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Top designers from India and Pakistan, including Tarun Tahiliani, Rizwan Beyg and Ujjawal Dubey, will showcase their creations at the fashion exhibit ‘Sopritti’ by Pritti Nanda on February 1 at Jumeirah Emirates Towers.

More than 50 designers will participate in the day-long showcase, where Tahiliani and Beyg will present their eponymous labels, along with Dubey’s Antar-Agni men’s collection.

While fashion is subjective, Gulf News tabloid! spoke to the main players to discuss style, trends and Bollywood. Here’s their take on ...

Trend forecast for 2020:

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Tarun Tahiliani: “Today’s girls are confident, emancipated and educated. They care less about what other people think and more about themselves, as any fierce individual should.”

Rizwan Beyg: “Our design philosophy has always been not to follow trends. It’s about working with classic pieces, shape and designs because in our experience what has withstood the test of time are more than just seasonal trends. We do not subscribe to fast fashion.”

Ujjawal Dubey: “My trend forecast is a life forecast. Focus on being you. Stay as close to who you are in the way you present yourself and that extends to your clothes and accessories. The more comfortable you are the better you’ll look.”

Evolution of bridal couture and men’s fashion:

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Tahiliani: “Couture around the world is known as much for its lightness as it is for its gravity-defying construction. This is where our new couture began as we thought deeply of lightness so that Indian brides can enjoy their wedding and dance in their clothes. Over the years, we have created a new vocabulary of design. Our clients today are well travelled and have global outlook. They enjoy the comfort and the fit of western outfits for their daily activities. Once you get comfortable in western outfits, Indian Couture has to offer the same level of luxury and ease.”

Beyg: “The fashion in Pakistan is thriving right now. There are numerous fashion events like fashion weeks and fashion councils in place. There’s a huge interest in Pakistani craftsmanship too and there’s revival of old traditions by designers. There is interest among designers in working with rural communities and bringing back certain skills.”

Dubey: “Indian fashion has come a full circle. We’re finally getting to the point where we’re embracing our Indian clothes. A bandhgala or sherwani is being treated with the same respect we would give a tuxedo and that to me is exciting, we have waited almost a millennium to get to that point. What has definitely changed through is a sense of gender fluidity that traditional menswear is designed within. It’s less rigid and is so much more embracing of individual identities.”

Their idea of a perfect bride:

Tahiliani: “The quintessential Tarun Tahiliani bride is free and she dresses for herself with a sense of lightness as she dances the night away.”

Beyg: “To me the perfect bride would be somebody who dresses to please herself and not her mother-in law.”

Their creative process:

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Tahiliani: “Great design is always a visceral process. It’s something that you filter through your own perception, your own view of the world and out of this you will find a new voice, a new message, a new pattern and a new motive. My creativity comes when I travel, marvel at art, architecture, interiors, history and the Maharajas. My inspiration comes from many things. Sometimes it’s from that beautiful inlay work I’ve seen in a monument or something as simple as a kanjeevaram weave. Ultimately, my inspiration comes from India’s rich traditions of craftsmanship, especially embroideries in India.”

Beyg: “I’ve never really tried to define it but I think inspiration comes in different ways. You can dream about something, you can look at a tile in a graveyard, you can look at the door of the mosque or look at the flowers in the garden and take inspiration from that. There is no particular process.”

Dubey: “My creative process is human. I pay a lot of attention to what I’m feeling and what the people around me are feeling: ranging from the current mood, to the intense emotions to the frivolous ones and the ones that change us. Each of these transitions is captured in design, fabric, and embellishments if any. We try and take shape like water with whatever influences us during the process. However, the fabric remains our hero and we let it do the talking.”

Their Dubai showcase at Sopritti:

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Tahiliani: “We are bringing our Spring Summer 2020 collection to Dubai with specially curated styles from the Drape Series. A selection of ensembles ranging from classic Indian silhouettes like anarkalis, lehngas, kurtas and saris to the studio’s favourites — concept saris, jumpsuits, gilets, jackets and other separates will be displayed.”

Beyg: “We are not carrying a collection per se. What we are carrying are several pieces that are pret and bespoke. We want to test the Dubai market first. We have velvets for this season and designs for the upcoming wedding season too.”

Dubey: “It’s the first time we’re bringing our signature styles to Dubai and we are excited.”

Three Items that every woman and man should have in their wardrobe:

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Tahiliani: “Every woman should have a wonderful selection of saris and few ornate pieces. Apart from traditional Indian silhouettes, you must have jackets, capes and gilets, adorned with tassels to break the monotony. For menswear, a simple well-tailored kurta, a tuxedo and some experimental styles that create a balance of modernity and tradition are must-haves.”

Beyg: “A great pair of jeans, a white shirt and a nice watch.”

Dubey: “Everyday relaxed jackets, quirky shoes and statement bottoms. Each of these lends personality and mood irrespective of how you feel each day.”

Their muse and ways to attain fashion nirvana:

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Tahiliani: “Fashion is my muse. Art, architecture, interiors, history, travel, maharajas [kings]. My inspiration comes from many things. Sometimes it’s from beautiful inlay work I’ve seen in a fabulous monument, other times my inspiration can be something as simple as a beautiful kanjeevaram weaves. Ultimately, however, my inspiration comes from India’s rich traditions of craftsmanship — particularly when it comes to things like embroideries — that we have in India. Nothing is more amazing than beautifully executed, intricate, fine technique.”

Beyg: “I don’t work with a muse as I’m not impressed by any one individual. I am impressed by many women. Globally, women have proved that they can run the world better than men and, for me, it’s the universal image of a woman who is self-confident and can be herself in any given point in time. For me, it’s more about the individual than just being beautiful.”

Dubey: “Focus on yourself. Focus on who you are and what makes you translate that emotion and clarity, or lack of it in your clothes. Shed the inhibitions we have all grown up with about being ‘well dressed’ and fashionable to truly express yourself in word, action and attire. And then my friend, the fashion world will be at your feet.”

Their take on stars being employed as showstoppers:

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Tahiliani: “Majority of the press that covers fashion shows know little on fashion and, therefore, the celebrity will get all the eyeballs. It does help the TRPs [Target Rating Points] and if you have a celebrity like Sonam Kapoor, who adores fashion and wears it well, then she is even able to talk about it. However, in my experience with several celebrities — since the press knows little or doesn’t care about fashion — they will start interviewing them about their love life, recent films, what the new projects are... So the poor designer and the entire collection, which is made with a lot of thought, love and labour, is ignored while he stands there on the side and the celebrity is left to further their own case, whether they want to or not.

“In our early years, we had Shilpa Shetty, Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone walk for us because there was less information and they talked fashion. But today, a celebrity on the red carpet has more relevance than the celebrity walking the ramp at the end of the show. I have also seen that sometimes they are not briefed properly about the collection being presented at fashion week and celebrities then start doing absurd things trying to either seem authentic or are not sure what they are doing. In the west, celebrities sit in the front row and that means they endorse your brand even if you have paid them to attend.

"But that is what it is. Basically in an overcrowded world, people who are more famous will get more attention. If you truly have a great association with a celebrity and believe that they carry your designs with utmost grace, then it is completely the designer’s prerogative to have a celebrity showstopper. But it’s a double-edged sword. The star of any show should always be the designs.”

Beyg: “I don’t think stars should be made showstoppers. Having said that, certain women actually look more like models and they happen to be stars so I would love to dress those women and put them in my show. But just putting any star on the runway because she is a star makes no sense.”

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Don’t miss it!

What: Sopritti Spring/Summer 2020 by Pritti Nanda

Where: Jumeirah Emirates Towers

When: February 1, 2020 (Saturday)

Entry: Free

Time: 10am to 8pm