Rina’s total recall

GIVING FASHION TIPS Rina Dhaka at the event   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Ace designer Rina Dhaka believes in straight-talk even if it becomes at times self deprecating. Even after more than two decades in the fashion industry, Rina has no hesitation to accept that she still has to struggle with deadlines and the challenge of coming up with fresh innovative ideas.

Reminiscing her foray into fashion under the guidance of legendary designer Rohit Khosla – who literally set the benchmark for Indian fashion –Rina said: “We then only had the late Rohit Khosla, who in Maharani Bagh had a tailor and a master. While he was being served juice, he also made my collection.”

This was not all as the designer also had the challenge of decking up J. Swaminathan, the famous artist. “In that very heady time, I also had the opportunity of dressing up the great artist who was a contemporary of M. F. Husain. We did one of the biggest shows ever. Based on their art, I knitted Swaminathan’s stripes in kind of a play suit, then I did it in the boots and it was very scandalous for them. I got myself all kinds of names like dare bare Dhaka. Today nothing would shock because those are normal street wear. So there has been a big change because we didn’t have an industry then,” she added while addressing students of the JD Institute of Fashion Technology at a two-day master seminar at Siri Fort Auditorium.

Rina says new design vocabulary is the need of hour in fashion. “Change in fashion is metaphorical because we are also trying a lot to revive from history. If you look at the biggest labels this season, especially Gucci, they have really brought in the 70s story back again. In fashion, change is a constant thing we all struggle with it because you are as good as your last show.”

Elaborating on this point, Rina said it may not matter to anyone if she is not able to change her methods, her look. “If I am not conforming to the season, you may not have a story for me to be presenting to your students. So change is the biggest struggle but it is part of the game,” she said.

On her tryst with Bollywood, Rina was frank enough to admit that she has worked with actors who are headstrong as well as those who are accommodating. “Like some of them are very easy like Deepika Padukone who will wear whatever you tell her to wear and there will be others who will decide for themselves like Anushka Sharma.”

Talking about her experience with a star on a film project, Rina said, “We did a movie where I was called as a stylist to do her look. She was to be a jhopdi waali ladki. However, she refused to give up her shiny Donna Karan dress and high heel sandals. So they would all laugh like this is Hindi cinema, this is the jhopdi waali girl. So a lot of them didn’t let you work but today the control is not so much in the hands of the movie star. It has shifted into the hands of the stylist.”

Her advise for upcoming designers was to be original and not follow on the footsteps of their predecessors. “Not everyone is the same. That is the biggest mistake students make in colleges. I remember when Manish Arora became such a big rage at NIFT, for years, every collection after him was like his.”

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 7:38:51 AM |

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