What's in a name? Designers say it the desi way
By Nivedita, New Delhi, March 17 : Buyers at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) have a lot of Indianness to taste this season! Designers are choosing quirky desi names like 'Raat Ki Rani', 'Ishq-e-dilli' and 'Rajputana Bikers' for their collections to not just lure interest but also to maintain their Indian connect.
For some, the titles of their collection are a vital part of the showcase while others believe that in the end, it is just the final product that matters.
Whatever it may be, the latest edition of WIFW has witnessed a string of designers, who have dared to give Indian names to their collections - irrespective of whether international buyers from places like the US, Britain, Hong Kong, the Middle East and Bangladesh connect with the titles or not.
Take, for example, Nida Mahmood, whose latest line is called 'The Adventures of Capt. Must! Qalandar'.
"India", she says, "has always been my muse".
"Indian streets and Indian culture is where I am drawn from. Westerners have been exposed a lot to India in the recent past. Hence they are very intrigued by everything Indian. The concept and name of my collection has interested many so far," Mahmood told IANS.
"People are waking up to the cool factor that India can lend. It (the name of the collection) is only a matter of bringing about that change in perspective," added the designer, some of whose past offerings were called 'Machis', 'High On Chai' and 'Sadak Chhaap'.
Designer Puja Arya believes the trend only indicates that "we are comfortable in what we are doing as Indians", while Nikasha Tawadey, who showcased 'Raat Ki Rani', is of the opinion that "the clothes have to speak the language of the country".
'Ishq-e-dilli', a show by Anupamaa Dayal, was a step towards appreciating the heritage and traditions of the country, said the designer.
"Delhi, traditionally invaded, looted and plundered...a troubled and difficult past...and present. Yet, it is what it is, an important heritage city with over three world heritage treasures. For me personally, this collection is about digging deeper roots and making my peace with the city I choose to live in, work in and raise my children in," Dayal told IANS.
Popular among international buyers from all quarters, Dayal says her uniquely titled line has drawn foreigners' interest as much as it has intrigued buyers from the home turf.
"Western buyers are connected extremely well, in a sense they are even more drawn to deep cultural nuances. The reaction from western buyers has already been extremely positive," she added.
Designer Vineet Bahl's 'Awadh' collection, which explored the essence of the well-travelled career woman who is proud of her roots, and Samant Chauhan's 'Rajputana Bikers', an amalgamation of Rajasthani silhouettes and metallic aari-zardozi embellishments also added to the list of those promoting Indian sensibilities.
Veterans also seemed to join in the trend.
Widely popular Tarun Tahiliani showcased a Mahakumbh-inspired collection titled 'Kumbhback', which had a heavy reflection of how drapes are used by sadhus and fakirs.
All said and done, what's in a name?
(Nivedita Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)