Metroplus

Sealed with a ceiling

Bal’s collection is marked by achkans, gowns, pugris and suits

Bal’s collection is marked by achkans, gowns, pugris and suits   | Photo Credit: 21dmcrohitbal

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Rohit Bal’s collection for the just-concluded “India Couture Week” draws inspiration from his beloved Valley

Conquering the hearts of media fraternity was the last priority of designer Rohit Bal at the press preview of his collection for India Couture Week. Bal gave commensurate time to both the print and the electronic media and even thanked them profusely by folding his hands to signify a namaskar with his head bowed.

But in this fleeting 15 minutes the genius, who believes in quality rather quantity, simplicity rather than complex interweaving of designs, brevity rather than longwinded descriptions, scored a march over his contemporaries who held half-hour or even 40-minute full-fledged shows. But while the others could not make a clear statement in those long theatrical monotonous acts, Bal succeeded in conveying his love for natural surroundings and his interpretation of fashion.

This is my style of making a statement; take it or leave it: He did not say this in so many words, but — without an air of condescension — this was what he signified while bidding adieu to the media in his characteristic style.

Bal’s fondness for the Valley could be seen in his use of ivory in the traditional ensembles, such as the bandgala anarkalis. So the colours of the garments were beautiful yet subdued and the quality of the fabric was soft, subtle and sophisticated.

“This was only a press preview. I believe in understated elegance. All my collections reflect this mantra. With every collection I inadvertently keep going back to my roots in Jammu and Kashmir. The inspiration this time round was the wooden ceilings in Kashmir. Ivory is not found in the Valley but the karigars there make such extraordinary intricate jharokhas. Excellent craftsmanship,” said the designer.

He dressed his models in traditional attire — long striding achkans, flowing gowns, pugris and suits. The designer made imaginative use of mukesh and chameli work, proving he could still create magic even with minimal embellishment.

To break the monotony, he used jewellery in a way that the accessories did not look gaudy. “The idea was to highlight that I could make something out of nothing. I used austere colours like cream and immaculate white.”

A designer who believes in marriage between attire and jewels, Bal picked polki sets from Shree Raj Mahal Jewellers, the official sponsors of the fashion week, to complement his collection of traditional attire and with classic cuts. Set in the grandeur of a royal Indian wedding, the bridal polki sets were studded with ruby and pearls. They went well with Bal’s garments, shimmering perfectly rather than opulently.

Prodded on his ancestral State, the designer agreed, “No doubt my inspiration is from Kashmir. It is inseparable from my soul. Always an element of Kashmir crops up in my collection. It is an integral part of me.”

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 7:53:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/sealed-with-a-ceiling/article6229034.ece

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