Designer gives sari the Dutch touch
He loves Indian embroidery and traditional Indian unpolished jewellery and has used the sari's draping and pleating technique in his dresses. Dutch designer Jan Taminiau, who has collaborated with Suneet Varma, says he doesn't follow any fashion industry but is inspired by India's rich heritage and culture.
"I never really followed any fashion industry, but I get inspiration from unique things that exist in a country. I love India because I love its rich heritage and culture... All things that have been done in the past, especially embroidery and detailing," Taminiau told IANS.
A regular at the Paris Fashion Week, he added: "Also, I am a big fan of uncut and unpolished jewellery that have been used in ancient India."
He has clothed a host of celebrities, from royals to pop icons.
Taminiau, 37, who launched his own fashion label in 2003, is the first Dutch designer whose creation was worn by Princess Maxima of the Netherlands during the opening of the Mode Biennale exhibition in Arnhem in June 2009.
His garments also made it to the wardrobe of Hollywood style icon Lady Gaga - she flaunted his dresses during several public appearances and even in the video "You and I".
Like many foreign designers, Taminiau too is mesmerised by the fascinating world of Indian saris and confessed: "I love saris, especially its draping and pleating technique."
"And this is what I have tried to translate through a few of my dresses. It's not feasible to get that exact thing done as the Indians have got expertise in that, so I took the sari in a very abstract way.
"I have used draping and pleating on the dresses to get that sari feel. I hope I will have more of it in my next collection."
Known for designing garments that have a mix of asymmetrical structure and surface treatment, including weaving techniques, Taminiau was in the capital as part of the Dutch Fashion Here and Now India initiative by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and the Dutch government.
A three-year programme, it is aimed at facilitating collaborations and interactions between the two countries.
The first leg features Taminiau's collaboration with his Indian counterpart Suneet Varma for a collection to be launched at the opening day of Spring-Summer 2013 edition of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) Oct 6 here.
Calling it an "exciting" endeavour, he said: "The idea to have two worlds meet in creativity and passion is very exciting and new. Also, I feel my work has a strong connection to the craftsmanship and luxurious femininity that India is famous for; so I cannot wait to come to India and explore routes together with my wonderful colleague Suneet Varma."
His love for India motivated him to do something he had not done before.
"I never did collaboration, but I said yes to this because I loved Suneet's work and, of course, who will miss the opportunity to be part of Indian fashion?" he said.
Though the designer is unsure about his future association with Indian culture, he hopes people will accept his collection.
"I don't know about future as at this point of time I only want to think about my October collection that will showcase a few of my works and then me collaborating with Sunnet to showcase some amazing designs...I am sure people will like it," he said.
(Nivedita can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)