What's in a name? Well, so much, say designers, who push boundaries to come up with interesting names for their collections.
Sheen Mubarak, Chiconomics, Sex With My Ex, Space Age Sundari, The Grunge Begum, Artitude…. Call it quirky, whacky, daring or playful, designers are game when it comes to conjuring up names for their collections. Direct is boring, and predictable is passé. In the world of fashion, there's a lot to a name than meets the ear!
“The name of a line is as important as your name is to you. It's what differentiates you from the crowd,” says design ace Kiran Uttam Ghosh, whose recent Chiconomics (chic-meets-economy) made fashionistas sit up and take notice. “A winning name is one that's not just easy to pronounce, but also conveys effectively the essence of the line.”
While a good name adds that extra zing to a collection, to most designers, it's the starting point for creativity. Says Nisha Jamvwal, whose Sex With My Ex raised many neatly plucked eyebrows in styleville: “The name marks the beginning of a design journey. When I conceived the collection, I was thinking about trans-generational clothing. It's for women aged between 20 and 50, who are still euphoric about and in love with their teens.”
While Sex With My Ex is downright daring, Nisha's Pure Jeanius that celebrates the versatility of denims, smacks of smart word play. “It was the forerunner to my odyssey through the fascinating world of the round-the-year fabric,” says Nisha.
Inspired by theme
To Goa's national designer Wendell Rodricks, it's the theme that inspires the name and the creative process. “If I do not have a theme for inspiration, I cannot explore the nuances of colour, texture, fabric, silhouette and styling. I cannot understand designers who say they have no theme and are just making clothes. It's important to have at least a working title. For instance, you can't make structured clothes if you are planning to call your line The Wind!”
Talk about recall value, and Wendell is quick to add: “Designers name a collection for recall. Personally, I put a lot of thought into the name. However, I must admit that sometimes designers give such fancy names, and the thoughts are so philosophical that the clothes do not match up.” Incidentally, Wendell's recent Bossa Nova was spurred by Brazil's languid lounge style music. “It's a creative challenge to translate a music style since it's abstract. But, I enjoyed doing it.”
Swerving from recall value to archival value, designer Namrata Joshipura points out that names help a great deal in the records section of any design studio. It also helps the media and the buyers while referring to the body of work by a designer. It helps them understand and relate to the designs in a better way.”
While some designers coin names (think Anupamaa Dayal's Artitude), others indulge in word play (think Kiran Uttam Ghosh's Ethellectic that celebrated Big Ethel's imperfections with a line of eclectic clothes). A few others draw from cinema titles (Namrata's Blade Runner) or song titles (Pankaj & Nidhi Ahuja's Coldplay-inspired Life In Technicolor).
“Both Nidhi and I are Coldplay freaks. Life In Technicolor went with our philosophy of playing with hues. To us, the title put the whole line in perspective. It helped us move away from a predictable palette, and explore new realms. It also helped package the line. For instance, we completed the look with coloured stockings!” says Pankaj, whose award-winning graduating line in college was called Re-Psyched. “It was about recycling clothes inventively.”
Even a cursory glance at the line-up for fashion weeks will tell you that names tell a story all by themselves. “It connects the creations to the clientele. It's not for namesake! Much deeper,” smiles Namrata.
BEHIND THE NAMES
Narcotic Love…Elemental Strength by Namrata Joshipura: Love's like a drug that emboldens and provides fundamental strength.
Vissionaire by Wendell Rodricks: A line for the visually challenged…futuristic in design.
The Grunge Begum by jewellery designer Suhani Pittie: Aren't today's women unapologetically individualistic?
Ethno-city by Narendra Kumar Ahmed: Morocco's Tangier that reflects a combination of modern and traditional architectural styles.
She Was So Dark That She Was Blue by Anand Kabra: Trip into Draupadi's world.
Routes to Roots by Sonam Dubal: Today's global traveller who is searching for her cultural roots.
Spendthrift: Filth and the Misfortunes of Desire by Falguni and Shane Peacock: A soft Goth-Rock chic line triggered by Lydia Lunch's “shameless abundance”.