Designer Karan Torani recreates a collection that is reminiscent of the romance of simpler times


Designs from the past: With Chatt, designer Karan Torani recreates a collection that is reminiscent of the romance of simpler times

Karan Torani admits he is old-fashioned. A 90s kid, his most vivid memories of winter are of his family and him lazing in the afternoon sun on the terrace of their home in Delhi; flying kites, making pickles and knitting sweaters. With adjoined terraces, the neighbours became like family. We shared food, stories and a few laughs, he reminisces. “These are such simple but strong memories. Today, in this chaotic world, I don’t know if kids understand the simple pleasures of just being and observing these little things as they unfurl. My Autumn/Winter collection Chatt (meaning terrace in Hindi) is the peace I found amidst the everyday chaos,” says the designer, who was in Chennai to showcase this collection at Collage.

It is a rather unassuming name for a collection, isn’t it? “Agreed,” smiles Karan, adding, “But that is how the brand has always been. Nothing over the top, both in terms of design and name.” Each collection stems from a story that has a personal connect. For example, his first collection Airavata was inspired by his nani and how she lived in her hometown in Bhopal. Gulabi Mela was thus named because it was the first time he held hands with a girl as he walked around a carnival with ₹50 in his pocket and everything felt rosy. Then there was Pithoo: named after his favourite childhood game that made him race back from school everyday, and Sindhdi that drew elements from his ancestors, their clothes, music and folklore.

Chatt is a blur of mustard, black, aqua, red, maroon, orange and blue. There are phirans, lehengas, jackets, kedia tops, saris and scarves in organza, chanderi and cotton silk. For the men there is the option of choosing from sherwanis, kurta sets and jackets.

Like chintz, the bird chakor too features prominently on most of the garments in this collection. They are embellished with ghungroos, shells, mirror and moti work, lace embroidery, ari work and bulbous tassles that look like genda phool. Flowers are something that Karan often uses in his creations. He is obsessed with them, he says. That explains why the room, with his displays, is lined with orange and yellow marigold, and red roses. “My store in Shahpur Jat (Delhi) has to have flowers. Or my team knows I am not happy. It is a way of bringing Nature into work,” smiles the 27-year-old.

With this line, Karan forays into kids wear. So now he designs for the entire family. But when Karan launched his label Torani last July, his first thought was: “these are clothes for people my mom’s age.” They had full sleeves, nothing tight-fitting or revealing. “But I was wrong. Young shoppers are not trying to look sexy. They are looking to find their roots and are happy to be close to their heritage and culture,” says Karan.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 1:14:36 AM |

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