Fashion

Amit Aggarwal’s mini supernova

Designs from Supernova couture

Designs from Supernova couture

Things can change overnight, let alone over two years. Amit Aggarwal’s latest collection, Supernova, is targetted at the people who have emerged from the pandemic. “We are stepping towards a new world,” says Aggarwal, 44. “I have seen people change around me; they have accepted that there is a struggle. But in between those challenges, how do you still rejoice? How do you still keep evolving?”

It’s this sense of rejoicing that lights up his Summer ’22 line. He’s used three distinct colour stories — luminous pink, radiant green, and shimmery monochromes like pewter, grey, silver and mica. “Never has the brand seen so many colours in one collection,” he shares. “It was a big challenge and risk to move away from our traditional palettes of jewel tones or neutrals. But people are loving it. It’s summer couture, so there are a lot of occasions, be it a wedding or everyday celebrations.”

Amit Aggarwal

Amit Aggarwal

The flexibility of film

Aggarwal’s own ideas of showcasing fashion have also changed dramatically over the pandemic. He now prefers digital shows and films. He consciously chose not to be a part of the recent FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week because “presenting on a traditional runway feels a little contrived”, he says. “It wouldn’t come close to what I envision the clothing and setting to be. Films help me come closer to how I like to visualise and present the clothes.”

In the last two years, he has made several 10-minute films. Currently, he’s busy creating one for his next big collection for Couture Week.

Fluid gender norms

The Delhi-based designer has been talking about human evolution — “how your conjunction with the world has made you a more ‘super’ version of yourself” — since the last Couture Week. He connects the idea of self-evolution with the phenomenon of the supernova (when a star dies, it explodes, releasing impossible amounts of energy). “All of us came to a point where we breathed our last, and yet we accepted ourselves totally, embraced that there is a uniqueness in each one of us, and that we shine with that hope of our individual personalities.”

Supernova

Supernova

The 50-piece collection, featuring menswear and womenswear across couture, luxury prêt and classic brand pieces, is developed around the star. Expect draped dresses, lehengas with structured blouses, and modern saris with plissé, to tuxedos, waistcoats, and kurtas with draped pants.

As collections become gender fluid, Aggarwal says he hopes the concept doesn’t go the way of sustainability — a trending word without any understanding of it. “I feel that gender fluidity as an idea has been created by the system. I don’t look at individuals like that. I have never demarcated a man from a woman,” he says. “I am from the LGBT community myself. I make clothes and it is something that a man or a woman chooses to wear; I would never control it.”

Post pandemic retail

The altered dynamics of post-pandemic retail are real, he says. But the only tweaking he’s done is defining the collection brief, making conscious decisions on how many styles to sample, and having a clear idea of how to take it forward. He opened a flagship store in Mumbai in the middle of the pandemic, so “I feel we’re on the right track.” What he’s working on is a thorough understanding of the clientele. “How do you give them a product that is elevated, but not excessively designed or produced?”

Craft vs technology
Supernova’s designs may look futuristic — with recycled rubber cords hand-embroidered on multicolour textiles that are created by hand-weaving polymer — but Aggarwal stresses that no technology goes into its making. “It’s just that we employ materials that are not traditional. And because it changes the visual language, it might seem that it’s created with a machine.” But he doesn’t discount tech in the future. If used wisely, something like 3D printing could add design definition that could not be achieved by hand. “A blend of both is something that would excite me. But it will never be devoid of human touch. Considering our country is one of the few in the world that boasts such a history of craftsmanship, it is something I will never give up.”

Informed pricing is the key. There could be times when he makes exclusive pieces that cross that mark, but “overall, I think, it is understanding the dynamics of the bottom consumer, and the fact that they are conscious spenders unlike what it used to be earlier”.

What about tying up with corporate partners (like designers Tarun Tahiliani or Rahul Mishra have done)? “I’ll keep it a little grey [for now],” he says, explaining that his experimental designs have paid off in the long run. “Till the time the right partner comes who understands how the uniqueness of the brand can become the larger USP, I don’t feel comfortable having someone on board.”

Available online, and at the flagship stores in Delhi and Mumbai. The pret collection is priced Rs. 18,500 to 58,000, and the couture collection from Rs. 85,000 to 2,85,000.


Our code of editorial values

  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.

Printable version | Apr 1, 2022 4:28:51 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fashion/amit-aggarwal-new-summer-collection-supernova-couture-pret/article65278098.ece