Interview Fashion

Crystal-inspired drapes for the bride

A model sports an ensemble from the Crystalis collection   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

Designer Amit Aggarwal is set to unveil his collection, Crystalis, at Elahe, Banjara Hills, on Tuesday, January 29. Crystalis courted the spotlight when it was first launched at the India Couture Week, New Delhi, in 2018. Known for his signature style of blending design and technology to arrive at ensembles that are structurally different and occupy a unique designscape, Amit Aggarwal pushed the boundaries further with Crystalis, a collection inspired from the intricate construction of crystals.

The designer tells us how it all began. He came across a video of the formation of crystals and it stuck with him: “I did a lot of research on crystals. Its architectural patterns, organic forms and the multifaceted details left me fascinated and inspired. Two wondrous natural phenomena — the formation of crystals at a molecular level and the enveloping of the metallic chrysalis around a butterfly cocoon — take place for a crystal to form, and Crystalis is an amalgamation of the words crystal and chrysalis.”

Amit Aggarwal

Amit Aggarwal   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

The design inspiration was the first step. The process of translating it tangibly on to fabric had just begun. “When molecules come together to form a highly ordered microscopic pattern, which then repeats itself infinitely, a crystal is formed. This phenomenon greatly resonates with our design process, which is centred on forging unique materials together to create singular design units and then repeating them to create complex patterns, textiles and embroideries,” says Amit.

Sporting Crystalis ensembles in colour palettes ranging from soft pearly white and silver to deep metallic-inspired jewel tones, models walked the ramp at the India Couture Week. And the collection was observed closely for the way it dealt with the silhouettes of the sari, lehengas, sari-inspired gowns, tops and dresses using the crystal design ethos. Amit elaborates on the silhouette constructions, saying, “One of the most compelling stories in this collection has been our extensive silhouette exploration, morphing different aspects of traditional Indian saris and lehenga shapes with western couture shapes, infusing them with structure and form.” Sharply cut innovative patterns that accentuate and enhance the female form, he explains, have been combined with sculptural yet agile fabrications that dramatically drape around the body, creating a new and inimitable couture language.

Crystal-inspired drapes for the bride

The designer is known to combine traditional textiles with industrial material to arrive at innovative, pliable fabrics. It wasn’t different for Crystalis. Experimental textiles, created using modern industrial materials applied through traditional zardosi and ari hand techniques, he highlights as hallmarks of his couture designs. “We explored a range of hand-done three-dimensional embroideries in various crystalline and bi0-mimicked forms and motifs to give our fabrics a unique visual and tactile quality,” he adds.

A few seasons ago, Amit began sourcing industrial plastic and re-using them to make fabric, thus taking a step in the direction of sustainability. Looking back, he says, “When we started our brand we were aware of the fact that the world had changed. There was a collective consciousness to find more environmentally sustainable ways of living.” He had always enjoyed working with different materials and textures that one doesn’t normally chance upon in the market. “Our creative process begins with a central material with details of our recycled polymer detail that’s fabricated into strips that are then pleated, moulded and twisted to create the collection,” he elaborates.

For the Hyderabad showcase of Crystalis, Amit will have a few surprises up his sleeve. With experience, he’s gauged how women in different cities respond to his collections and understands that customisation is imperative. “We’ve chosen pieces specifically to be showcased for the South Indian bride. And we customise while staying true to the design of the pieces,” he sums up.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 9:56:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fashion/designer-amit-aggarwal-discusses-his-couture-collection-crystalis-and-his-penchant-for-experimental-fashion/article26111336.ece

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