Designs for everyone

Fashion Designer Tarun Tahiliani. Photo: S.Subramanium   | Photo Credit: S_Subramanium

After his brush with high society clientele, ace couturier Tarun Tahiliani is getting ready to make the prêt line more attractive to the large middle class which needs practical, affordable flexible clothing. “I am done with couture. I want to get back to pret. Fashion cannot exist in a vacuum. It is certainly my desire to reach out to those areas of the country where people have no access to my clothes,” says Tarun, taking a break from the Vogue Wedding Show 2015 at Taj Palace hotel.

To give shape to his vision of making attire for the public which needs functional garments and not necessarily customised outfits, Tarun will soon announce his own e-commerce portal. “I have had bad experience showcasing my range of clothes on a portal. When someone buys my attire he naturally wants it in a Tarun Tahiliani box. It should be expressive with cuts and the right fitting. If it does not work his way then our brand value gets ruined. Our portal will make available clothes which reach out to people who do not have access to my stores.”

The couturier understands that fashion has to evolve to the changing needs of the large working population of the country. And the way forward is to make eclectic comfortable clothing line. Tarun is absolutely clear that he would pursue ethnic symbols like dhoti which has easy silhouettes. He feels the colonial hangover has impacted the thinking of Indians. “The problem is we are a colonised lot who easily get swayed by the West. Women in kurtis look fabulous but if someone with a big tummy wears it then she would look awful. She needs to get to sport a lycra, which is comfortable and has evolved with technique.”

Pointing out that Indian men look best when they are draped in dhotis, Tarun, who is showcasing different varieties of dhotis at the wedding show, says innovation is the key to make it trendier and fashionable. “At 53 I finally have more clarity that dhoti needs to be given a fillip as it is ethnic and can also be used to make a style statement.” In the BMW India Bridal Fashion Week, Tarun showcased opulence of Indian textiles. He made an attempt to shift thefocus to embroideries and craftsmanship. “We have evolved by creating a new vocabulary of design.”

As far as fashion in the general sense is concerned, Tarun wants people to be as they are and look their age. He points to a diminutive grey haired woman, sporting a T-shirt and denim, who stands out in the crowd. “I think she is original. She has not coloured her hair to look like a 35-year-old. Fashion is a design to live a life.”

Noting that he likes working with like-minded people, Tarun says he recently did a video Separates with Lisa Hayden. “Lisa embodies my spirit. She is unpretentious, educated and is real, not manufactured. Similarly attires need to be unpretentious. One should not dress up like it is a fancy dress costume ball. If you want to keep your hair open it is okay. If you are a beautiful girl you don’t need to look unrecognisable.”

He confides that his daughter is insisting on having a necklace of her choice for her marriage. “The necklace might be small but she wants to have it her own way. She doesn’t want to look like a maharani. Youngsters of her generation want to have a new cool look. We were at a disadvantage as we didn’t have Internet while growing up. Now there are so many influences. My kids have got everything on a platter but people of my generation had to work hard like I used to wash dishes.”

Tarun feels too much of money sometimes result in people having awful gaudy taste. “I think family background is important when you make decisions like selecting your garments and accessories. It doesn’t matter how much money you have but you have to make the right choice. We have reached to a point of hideousness.”

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 9:33:46 PM |

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