Kallol Datta has unconventional designs for Hyderabad

Kallol Dutta spent his early years in the Middle East, until he was in senior high school. That was the time when gold souks came up prominently in the Middle East. Kallol was never drawn to bling, being fed on art and literature, and was put off by all that glitter. Years later, ever since he turned fashion designer, he avoided bling and focussed on form, shape and detailing. The young designer, now based in Kolkata, has been often termed ‘problem child of Indian fashion'. Beyond such labels, Kallol has consistently managed to amaze critics and buyers. In the city to unveil his new collection for spring-summer at Anonym, he says without flattery, “To my surprise, some of my experimental clothes find buyers in Hyderabad. I don't retail in Kolkata since I feel the city is not ready for it. Hyderabad, next to Mumbai, is a great market for me.”

This collection, he says, is similar to the one he showcased at Lakme Fashion Week. “I sell the same designs I show on the runway and don't water in down with a gota border just to make it more saleable.” The collection is unprintably named Avantgarde F&*# and Kallol reasons, “I was tired of every other designer bringing out the same old designs in the name of avant-garde fashion and wanted to voice my option on this through my clothes.” So, he drew inspiration from everyday irrelevant objects in the form of graphics on garments.

The simple garden dresses, at first look, have floral motifs. Look closer and you find each petal is drawn from a cockroach and four dragonflies make a flower! Yet, they remain pretty and wearable. Blacks and greys are his eternal favourites, but in this collection, he makes way for reds, pinks and yellows to cater to the Valentine season. “My mother was happy I introduced some colour into my garments,” he says. His label is ‘Kallol Datta 1955', the number referring to the year his mother was born. “My mother is my number one stress buster. She stays with me when I'm working before the Fashion Week. It helps me de-stress.”

A former NIFTian, he pursued higher studies in fashion at Central Saint Martin's, London in 2004. The multi-cultural design influences stem from here and from his observations in the Middle East. He reflects, “I was always drawn to art, particularly art like that of Salvador Dali.” Kallol's previous collections took a stance on putrefaction and mining in Africa. “It's easy to appreciate beautiful things but I've been drawn to the other side of life,” he explains. And to think that at one point of time this radical designer aspired to be a lawyer after watching Ally McBeal! “I thought it would be cool to be a lawyer.” Now, he is glad he is dabbling in fashion.