Tarun Tahiliani's collection has been styled in the raw sensual glamour of 1920s and motifs and colours highlight the grandeur of the bygone era

“In our country, artistes have always been specialising in creating intricate hand-embroidered work on our traditional dresses. Even today it is our artistes who are the force behind the Indian couture,” says ace designer Tarun Tahiliani.

Speaking at the launch of four-day-long “Tarun Tahiliani Couture Exposition-2012” at DLF Emporio here, the designer, who introduced couture in the Indian fashion industry, said: “This year also our artistes have come with outstanding intricate work. It is their barik work that epitomises the Indian couture.”

Tarun’s collection comprising key-hole jackets and shimmering lehengas is essentially for all those families who want to go in for big fat Indian weddings. “Absolutely my collection caters to Indian weddings. We also have to satisfy the modern Indian bride, who is exposed to the international trend. She expects us to come up with world-class fit.”

His collection caters to not just the bride and the groom but also has something for other members of their families. It has been styled in the raw sensual glamour of 1920s and motifs and colours highlight the grandeur of the bygone era.

The designer, credited with designing interiors of restaurants, hotels and resorts, has this time round shown his skills in decorating televisions embedded with striking Swarovski.

Though the designer prefers to maintain a distance from the film industry, he cannot stop eulogising his protégé Deepika Padukone who had modelled for his collections before entering Bollywood. “I watched ‘Cocktail’ recently only because of my association with Deepika. I found her exceedingly good-looking. Films do not interest me but I have so many clients from Bollywood like Katrina Kaif and Shilpa Shetty. In fact, both Katrina and Deepika have been my campaign girls. Both look absolutely gorgeous as models but the most stylish is undoubtedly Shilpa Shetty, who looks good in every garment.”

Besides designing clothes for the who’s who of the Indian film industry, the designer also has time for philanthropic activities. “I have worked for ‘Save the Children India’ in the past. I am contributing for the education of less fortunate ones and it is handled by my father Radhakrishna Hariram Tahiliani, who was Chief of the Naval Staff. I will also do my bit for schools built for orphans by former IAS officer Harsh Mander.”

Unlike the film industry where the leading stars are calling the shots giving newcomers very little scope to showcase their talent, Tarun asserts that the Indian fashion industry does not work in a similar way. “We do not monopolise the market. Ultimately it is up to the individual whether he or she wants to buy our stuff. Budding designers need to learn a lot before getting into this profession. There is lot of scope for them but they need to work hard. Initially they can also work with us like some of these,” the designer says, pointing to two girls who are working under him.

Tarun feels entry of big multinationals into the country has raised the standard of profession as far as designers are concerned. “Customers are getting better services. However, I do not feel that entry of multi-retail brands in the country would make that big a difference to us. As it is we are having superb infrastructure and so many big brands are running their stores. Personally speaking, I like small Italian-type shops rather than big brand shops.”