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Updated: May 12, 2013 15:55 IST

New seams and little pleats

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Out on a fashion tour, Rina Dhaka and Ashish Soni
The Hindu
Out on a fashion tour, Rina Dhaka and Ashish Soni

Style and the City, the new fashion show, travels to different parts of the country to draw inspiration for styles

Renowned French fashion designer, Coco Chanel, rightly observed: “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Fleshing out this statement on television is FOX Traveller which is all set to launch a fashion related travel show called Style and the City (SATC). The show will feature top Indian designers including Rocky S, Rina Dhaka and Ashish Soni who will travel with anchor Shibani Dandekar to different parts of India to draw inspiration from the city for the outfits they will create for the celebrities on the show.

In a telephonic interview, designer Rocky S. says: “The show is all about discovering travel through fashion. In SATC, the city becomes the muse for the designer. It revolves around how each city inspires the designer to create an outfit as per the celeb’s brief. The show is all about exploring a fashion statement called ‘India’ and personally it has been an enriching experience exploring the country’s rich and diverse heritage and distinctive style.”

Stating that the show isn’t only about the outfits, Rocky thinks: “It would be nice if people actually got to see and appreciate all that goes into the making of an outfit that garners rave reviews on the red carpet.”

Explaining the format of the show, Rocky says: “This series will feature celebrities and socialites who will brief us about their dream ensemble. The challenges present themselves in the form of deadlines, the event being attended, the colours they want incorporated, etc. The designer and Shibani, the anchor, will then zero in on the destination and set off on a style trail. By the end of each episode, the designers will not only have explored the local handicraft market, but would have also created a unique attire that represents the city we have been to.”

Featuring celebrities and socialites like Dia Mirza, Priya Sachdeva, Jacky Bhagnani, and Sophie, among others, the cities that will be explored are Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, Amritsar, Pushkar, Jaipur, Ajmer, Mathura, Agra, and Benaras. Why not any South Indian city? “I’m not sure why but the show’s premise revolves around exploring only these cities in the North. On a personal note, I am highly biased towards Rajasthan so I’m fine with it,” Rocky quips.

Any particular episode that is bound to captivate the viewers? “I enjoyed designing for Dia Mirza a lot. She wanted a different take on the traditional saree where the silhouette was to be more structured and I had to use pop colours. There was no better city to get inspired by than the vibrant Jaipur. Being from Rajasthan myself, it was all the more exciting to go back to my roots for inspiration. I’m sure everyone who watches this show will love each episode,” the design connoisseur elucidates.

He adds: “I also enjoyed designing an Anarkali suit for Sophie and a jacket for Jackie Bhagnani that took inspiration from Ajmer’s miniature paintings.”

Rocky’s favourite part of the job was to incorporate local material from each city that ranged from woven cloth and local handicrafts to traditional embroidery and embellishments. He says: “I actually visited the textile factories to get exactly what my brief necessitated.”

Ask him what were some of the challenges he encountered on the show and the designer responds: “About 25 days of shooting in North India where the heat is too much to bear was the biggest challenge. Show wise, given that the concept does not just end with one’s dress but is about one’s ensemble, picking the perfect jewellery and other accessories in such a limited time frame was crazy, but fun at the same time.”

While Rocky has carved a niche for himself in the Indian fashion industry already, with shows like this in his kitty, he hopes to take his designs to the who’s who of Hollywood and according to him, Julia Roberts would be his first muse!

Style and the City premieres on May 15 at 10 p.m. and will air every Wednesday and Thursday on FOX Traveller.

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