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Updated: July 6, 2010 16:24 IST

It's on the cards

Shalini Shah
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The Empress dress
The Empress dress

Satya Paul's ‘Art of Tarot' line was an interesting reading of the tarot deck. Through the ages, people have associated their own meaning to tarot cards — they're gateway to the occult for some, a subject of literature or film for a few, hogwash for many, and pretty, interesting cards — maybe even collector's items without too much meaning — for the others.

“The fact that I don't believe in tarot doesn't mean I can't be taken in with the visual appeal of the tarot cards,” says Puneet Nanda, design head of Satya Paul. Through the ages, people have associated their own meaning to tarot cards — they're gateway to the occult for some, a subject of literature or film for a few, hogwash for many, and pretty, interesting cards — maybe even collector's items without too much meaning — for the others. Puneet Nanda obviously belongs to the latter. Besides creating a tarot deck with his own artistic interpretation, he has based a whole collection on the cards, ‘Art of Tarot', which showcased at The Oberoi recently.

Drawing on the aspects of mystery and layers that come associated with tarot cards, texturing and shade play have been used wisely. The hallmark Satya Paul prints, too. Leather, silk and net, sometimes on the same garment, further drove the point home.

The saris, of course, were there, sometimes with blouses sporting the on-trend bold shoulders. A leather corset came on a chiffon draped jumpsuit with what looked like a braided pallu. There were draped dresses in red and silk dresses with draped sleeves. (One pretty grey dress came with a green poured-paint-effect print down the shoulders.) Showstopper Jacqueline Fernandez played The Empress in a floor-sweeping gold sequinned dress with elaborate feathered headgear.

The moon and star cards got translated to silver headgear, against black outfits.

On the theme, “It's the idea of the moment. Fashion, like all things, moves in cycles. There is a renewed interest among people about how things will work for them in the future. People are enquiring what is important in their mortal lives. This renewed sense of self-discovery has brought the focus on many things,” says Nanda.

From the collection, the designer picks out a red-and-white mono-sleeve tunic made of silk knit as a favourite.

Since we're talking of tarot, what does he foresee for the Satya Paul brand? “This is a very dynamic situation. In the next few years, we're looking at consolidating our position and making each store stronger,” he says. “India is a big country, but what people don't realise is that it's an untapped market.”

Plans also include increasing the product line. “Each product line has its own set of customers,” he says. “We're trying to move into garments in a bigger way.” Does that mean the spotlight shifts from the saris? “No. When we make a new collection per season, that is the focus. For example, we make a lot of accessories, like scarves. What many don't know is that we make more scarves than anyone in the market.”

About Jacqueline Fernandez, he says, “She fits really well, she's beautiful and plays the part perfectly.”

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