When Nachiket Barve, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Rahul Mishra, Troy Costa, Gaurav Jai Gupta and Omar Farooq come together for one single cause - you know it’s going to be big.
This group of Indian and Pakistani fashion designers united at a special event at the JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar to each present a Cool Wool collection that highlighted the versatility of the trans-seasonal fibre, whilst staying true to each designer’s personal aesthetics.
Nachiket Barve, known for intricate surface details in his clothes and who presented a collection called ‘Tulipmania’, inspired by the delicate flower, said “Merino wool as a fibre has been inspiring my work over the last few seasons consistently. I got a chance to work more closely with it during my nomination for the International Woolmark Prize. The versatile Cool Wool fabric has been reimagined for eveningwear and occasion wear through this collection, in a way that’s glamorous yet sensual”. The concept was best exemplified with Indian actress Aditi Rao Hydari’s outfit.
Gaurav Jai Gupta
Gaurav Jai Gupta showcased wool with an interesting array of blends.
“It all started with American travel and art photographer Trey Ratcliff’s images from Tokyo as a reference point,” said Gupta. “Hand-woven fabrics have been developed in Merino wool, monofilament silks, cotton, zari and stainless steel. The collection – titled ‘Mumuksha’ – consists of separates for both women and men along with sarees.”
Fresh off the runway at Paris Fashion Week, 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize Winner Rahul Mishra’s collection was inspired by metamorphosis in life. Speaking about his collection - the ‘Fourth Dimension’, Rahul commented: “The Fourth Dimension is an essential tool to revisit the past through Merino yarn and human hands in a world ruled by technology, and fight the constant time and space to look into the future - to preserve the unseen hand of the skilled artisan who painstakingly beats technology to infuse individual hand skill in creating a couture expression of the fourth dimension.”
Rajesh Pratap Singh
Rajesh Pratap Singh, known for his understated designs presented a simple yet flawless collection highlighting the fluidity, superb drape and versatility of Merino wool.
“Oversized silhouettes are predominant in the collection and many garments are reflective of traditional Indian costumes but with a modern twist and relevance for today’s man. There are tunics in grey, reds and oranges that add a burst of colour to the otherwise indigo palette,” he said. “The ubiquitous white shirt and tunic also find their place in the collection,” Rajesh remarked.
Popular celebrity designer Troy Costa – famous for dressing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and USA President Barack Obama – presented his collection inspired by La Bella Figura. Literally meaning the good impression, it was marked through “structured silhouettes of bespoke tailoring”, as Troy mentioned. The multi-talented entertainer Ash Chandler opened the collection, mesmerising the audience with his soulful voice. Additionally, Bollywood actor Vidyut Jamwal walked the ramp for the designer, embodying the Troy Costa signature look.
Pakistani menswear designer Omar Farooq, unveiled ‘Oriental Opulence’, a collection of embroideries, jacquards, knitting, embellishments and printing to create rich textile, bringing traditions to contemporary fashion. Commenting on his collection, Omar explained, “Taking contradicting forces and realising their complementing nature; toying with negating dynamics, to create harmonising effects; meshing together the disconnected to breed a connection – ‘Oriental Opulence’ is an attempt to look for divinity amongst the earthly.”
The Designer Collaboration Showcase also focused on the Make in India concept, highlighting the journey of Australian Merino wool to the weavers, manufacturers, brands and designers in India – from farm to fashion.