Veteran designer Tarun Tahiliani, a name that represents modern India through his avant garde designs with a focus on rich Indian heritage art and craft, says that buying couture in India is centred around big events like weddings.
“Indian couture has, for the longest time, been synonymous with bridal or occasion wear. There is a lot of time and effort that goes into making each couture piece and that comes with its cost. So, purchasing couture in India has always been centred around an event and in our country, the biggest event in one’s life is their wedding,” Tahiliani said.
He also says that Indian couture has definitely evolved over the years in terms of the fine detailing that goes into each piece.
“Indian designers are being recognised globally for their work which is largely due to their celebration of intricate craftsmanship and fabrics that our country is known for,” he continued.
The designer, who launched his eponymous label in 1990, has styled the best in Bollywood and global icons such as Oprah Winfrey during her visit to India in 2011.
Talking about how Indians are making a difference between bridal and couture, he continued: “I think that finally, the wedding couture is becoming more and more contemporary. There is more movement and lightness. It is not solely obsessed with the costumes of royalty, and it is definitely a new path for the vitality of things.”
“It’s all in the process of becoming contemporary. It’s got technologically much more interesting because it takes western construct and puts it together, and I think that as it is very attractive in the western world, but it is now beginning to make some inroads, and will turn out to be glamorous,” he added.
The designer opened India Couture Week on Wednesday night with his latest collection.
Talking about his line, he said: “‘In Elysium’ is our couture and occasion wear collection that celebrates the modern Indian goddess. One who embraces luxury as a way of life and encapsulates all the beautiful influences of India, today. Juxtaposing iconic European construction with classic Indian styles and embroideries, this collection exemplifies an India Modern aesthetic.”
Shimmering florals and weightless draped recreate the mythical paradise of Elysium.
“The fine threadworm of traditional Indian embroidery forms the textured canvas for myriad layers of embellishment and drape. Fabrics like tulle and georgette add lightness and enhance movement, while the carefully hand embroidered Swarovski crystals add the twinkle to the clothing. Vivid bursts of three-dimensional florals span the collection in the innovative crafting of ribbon-twisted organza, chiffon couching, twisted sheer silk, laser-cut textiles, and detailed applique — each panel of bridal and cocktail lehengas, concept saris, gowns, jackets, and modern saris layered in multi-dimensional detailing”,” he added.
Actress Aditi Rao Hydari was the showstopper for the designer.
“She represents the quintessential Tarun Tahiliani muse — the woman who knows herself and the woman who looks like herself, the woman who is not weighed down with the burden of projects,” he said.
So how important is to have Bollywood face for such shows? “
“I have always maintained that the creations must be the star of the collection. However it is actually for the press that we need to have stars and because that has happened, it does excite some of our clients too, especially in Delhi, where they don’t get to see the stars that often.”
“I would only put a star as somebody who I think represents the brand and has the requisite poise,” said Tahiliani.
Apart from couture show, the designer is focusing on other things too.
“At the moment, we are only looking at doing two more stores. Since we are a very craft base company we don’t have unlimited expansion and we are moving back into being much more luxury and high end as opposed to focusing on the cheaper Ready to Wear. “
“We are also starting one or two more verticals with jewellery and our accessories which are growing, and we have been on a very aggressive international Trunk Show format to see where we need to start expanding our stores abroad which should probably happen by next year,” he added.