From Goa to Chennai, celebrity designer Rocky S explores a range of stylescapes in Season 2 of the famous TV show Style & the City
For a change, Rocky S abandons the comfort of his swanky studio and hits the streets in search of style. As Style & the City returned to the small screen (Fox Traveller, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 p.m.) the Mumbai-based designer whose creations are a staple in the wardrobes of Bollywood celebrities, talks about the show and exploring new markets, craft traditions and sensibilities as he travels from Goa to Chennai. Joining him this season are designers Nikhil Thampi and Shantanu & Nikhil, besides well-known names from the swish circuit Shilpa Shetty, Kalki Koechlin, Harman Baweja, Richa Chadda and Yami Gautam. A quick five with Rocky…
What made you return to Style & the City?
It’s the challenge of creating styles from the very foundation of Indian culture. There’s a thrill in travelling to various local and historic markets in search of an inspiration. The concept of discovering fashion through travel is interesting as every place has so much to offer in terms of art, culture, textiles, architecture and craft. It’s a combination of all these that help me develop an inspiration and take it to the final stage.
There’s a line-up of Bollywood personalities in the show. To what extent does celebrity style come in?
The stars provide the designers with a brief of the style they want to wear. It’s the designer’s job to understand that and come up with choices based on their exploration of different places. We have to make something that not only suits the stars but also fulfill the purpose of the show — which is throwing light on the finer points of our destinations. A new dimension to the show is that the stars share a special memento, something that has an emotional resonance to their lives, with the designers and we are supposed to weave that as well into the creation.
Since the show will cover West and South India, can you tell us what you liked about these regions as a designer?
Each region is distinct. There are various techniques in terms of weaving. When you get into the nuances of textile traditions, it’s so interesting. From the hand-woven Kunbi saris of Goa to the rich silks of Chennai and Kancheepuram, this is a fascinating journey. Sawantwadi and Pune are in the itinerary too.
This is a different experience compared to work in your studio. What’s it about hitting the streets that you like most?
The experience of understanding street style in terms of accessories, textures and drapes is truly memorable.
The viewership for style on the small screen seems to be growing. Many designers are experimenting with the medium…
Style & the City is an interesting concept wherein you travel to create. So yes, it does attract substantial viewership. It’s wonderful the way designers connect with viewers. Experimenting in terms of style, design and fabric and having an audience relate to it becomes much simpler on this platform.
Stars and statements
Here’s what Rocky S thinks of celebrities in the show and their style sense
Shilpa Shetty: Extremely feminine and classy
Kalki Koechlin: Youthful sense of styling, quirky and innovative
Harman Baweja: Streamlined and casual
Richa Chadda: Experimental
Yami Gautam: Subtle and individualistic