Fashion

Drama and the debut

From Charchit's collection

From Charchit's collection  

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After experiencing the freneticism of fashion week, Charchit Bafna talks about being a part of the 19th edition of the Gen Next show at the Lakme Fashion Week .

Sordid stories of anxiety, rejection and hardship mark the life of many celebrated actors, painters and singers. Their endless search for the right opportunity, financial comfort and recognition make for an interesting read. But how does it feel to be a first-timer in a world unabashedly driven by extravagance, indulgence and style? What does it take to debut on the ramp, ruled by popular names whose works are closely followed by the rich and famous?

Featuring in this season’s list of designers to watch out for, Charchit, with his innovative design palette, describes his clothes’ journey from the drawing board to the runway, the excitement of pushing the frontiers of fashion and the challenge of putting together a collection through crowdfunding.

The experience of debuting at LFW?

Absolutely humbling — the kind of encouragement one gets from industry seniors and stalwarts is amazing and there is, of course, a learning opportunity from day one. You are mentored and groomed, and pushed to put your best foot forward, and given such a great launch pad. I think the fashion world is extremely receptive to new entrants. Of course, like any other field today, it is fiercely competitive, and making it big is not easy. However, if you are able to carve a unique niche for yourself, and also find your market, you can aspire to become established. Like other creative fields, new-comers inject their own energy into the dynamics of the industry, and I am happy to be a part of this eco-system now.

How helpful was crowdfunding?

The crowdfunding aspect was an exciting new element of the whole process, and for the first time, LFW had tied up with Ketto to enable the GenNext designers to raise funds for their collections. I went about it through the crowdfunding pages that had been created, mobilised my social network, spread the word amongst family and friends, and essentially got the word of my participation out. This initiative also helped generate some amount of buzz on my participation, get a majority of the target that had been set and helped in designing the collection.

What’s the essence of your line?

Charchit Bafna is a brand that plays around with the concept of androgyny and questions gender norms. It is a brand that also emphasises on striking a balance between two seemingly polarised points — the dishevelled and the manicured, the perfect and the flawed. This space opens up my imagination. The brand is meant for spirited individuals who have a lust for life. They don’t shy away from being ahead of the curve, and are always re-inventing themselves with a fresh and interesting approach towards life. At the same time, they also have a high sense of aesthetics, and appreciate both functionality and comfort in their attire.

Why the title Elakka Ice?

The inspiration for this came from the notion of a tropical winter, which is playful, zesty and flirts with a more vivacious palette of styles and colours than what one might except from this season. I like to create gender-neutral pieces that question pre-determined notions of masculine and feminine styles, which I have in this collection as well.

The colours I have used are bolder hues of blues, greens and gold. My silhouettes are more straight-lined, with simple cuts to create versatile pieces. I will be using a banana-leaf print and floral hand embroideries to further give this collection a distinct look. I have used a range of fabrics, including suiting fabric, cotton poplin, faux leather, cotton mesh and organza among others.

Your take on the narrowing gap between the ramp and e-portals?

E-commerce is a reality of our times, and being in the business of production and creation, one cannot afford to ignore this. I believe that the next growth trajectory that will happen in fashion will also happen online, and e-portals are where the action will slowly move to. Currently, it is good to have a balance of both the offline and the online models going for any design house, and I am in talks with e-commerce portals to strike up a fruitful partnership.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 9:16:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fashion/charchit-bafna-debuts-at-the-lakme-fashion-week/article7625034.ece

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