CHENNAI: If you were one of the people seated in the enviable fi rst row at the Amazon India Fashion Week, you couldn’t have missed a stunning black sheer sari complete with metallic embellishments.
Designed by Nachiket Barve, the sari was an eccentric creation of a designer who stays true to his roots but also strays beyond the rule book to create awe-inspiring originals for the ramp with his eponymous label.
Basking in the success of his Autumn/Winter 2016 line, Tulipmania, we gear up to catch the ace designer spell out his wardrobe mandates for the season at Phoenix MarketCity, as part of its beauty and fashion interactive session — Glam’d Up, today.
A familiar face in the city’s sartorial scene, Nachiket is excited at the prospect of heading back to the city. “Chennai women keep it real in fashion and are truly inquisitive consumers, sticking to tradition but always open to try something new,” he says. Unlike his dedication to tulips, evident in his last collection, his latest — Fiori dabbles with florals in general.
“I noticed that I was sticking to quite a sombre palette in my collections, so this one will see brighter spring colours and motifs, dedicated to no fl ower in particular,” he quips. While Tulipmania saw an extensive use of merino wool, a design choice for which he bagged the International Woolmark Prize last year, Fiori is more about breezier silhouettes and hues across other material as well.
“The fabric per se interests me, but I am not restricted to it in any way. I am looking to go beyond merino wool and it's a constant learning process,” adds the Mumbaibased designer.
While he chooses to keep mum about the line until it hits stores here, one can certainly expect the quality and workmanship that have become synonymous with his label. “Workmanship and hard work are enviable attributes. Why wouldn't you want that to show in your work? I like seeing the fruit of labour in my work. This is my USP,” he observes.
Getting back to the sari, we ask the 36-year-old if he prefers the six-yard wonder in its traditional form or with a contemporary touch. “For something to stay relevant, it needs to update itself and keep up with the times. Like I have always said, I strive to be timely and timeless in my work. I think this garment is also one that has the power to balance both. It all depends on what you like but to survive, everything must adapt.”
He does, however, lament about the wastage in the industry. “Rather than being bothered about what we're making garments with, we need to see how we are using manufactured garments. Social media considerably contributes to waste in our industry with trends and fads going in and out of vogue,” he adds.
Big on reinventing and reusing himself, he heralds the age of upcycling and points out that each garment has a 100 ways of being paired and styled, propping himself as an example.
If you thought democracy was dead, Nachiket’s design philosophy will give you hope. Straying away from a sort of herd mentality that is common particularly in fast fashion, he insists that one mustn’t adopt a style because it looks good on a celebrity. “There may be something that looks great on Sonam or Sonakshi but may be a disaster when one of us wears it. The key is to style according to your body type,” he adds, calling for democratisation of size in particular.
He is also quick to warn designers to discard the propensity to play it safe. “We are a country of maximums and minimums, in terms of size, wants and needs. There probably is no in-between. So being neutral may not be the right way to go ahead,” he asserts. While he will share valuable styling hacks for that perfect summer ensemble, he chooses to fall back on designing despite it being the harder of the two. “The responsibility of creating something from scratch is daunting but there’s no thrill like it,” he smiles.
(The writer is a freelance journalist)