After a grand preview in Mumbai in the first week of September, Blenders Pride fashion tour (BPFT) 2012 commenced in Chandigarh on Saturday at Hotel Mountview, Sector 10. On the first day of the two-day fashion extravaganza, ace designers Nida Mahmood, Raghavendra Rathore, Pankaj & Nidhi and Neeta Lulla talk to HT City about their journey and their latest collection.
A name that doesn’t need an introduction and a face that has been prominent in the fashion industry for the past two-and-a-half decades — Neeta Lulla, ace fashion stylist and costume designer, has four National Film Awards for Best Costume Design to her credit. On being one of the most sorted designers in the industry, and reaching that position, Lulla said, “The world out there is quite ruthless; one must know their job well to know what they are
Sharing an anecdote from her first National Award (1991 for Lamhe), she said, “I was very new to the industry when I got the call to receive my award. I told my husband to go and collect it on my half, as I was busy with my next project with Sri Devi. But, when Sri Devi got to know of it, she forced me to go and collect the award in person, and I received it from the then President of India, R Venkataraman.”
“Back then, I wasn’t brand conscious; today, to market your product, brand name is the key to success,” she added.
About her latest collection for BPFT, she said, “It’s all black; gothic in fact. The idea is to make a woman look sensual with elegance.”
Hailing from Jodhpur, Rathore’s designs, this time (like always), reflect Rajasthani heritage; Jodhpuri bandhgala, Jodhpuri achkans and jackets being his forte. At BPFT, Rathore brought forth his high-end line, Club J, which has been designed keeping in mind a mainstream look that works for the western as well as the ethnic buyer. In his collection, importance, as always, has been given to the quality of fabrics. “Club J is ethnic wear with Jodhpuri jackets, silk kurtas with chudhidars and long embroidered waistcoats,” said Rathore.
The latest ‘womaniya’ of Bollywood, Huma Qureshi was the showstopper for Rathore’s collection on Saturday. Recently, Rathore has also designed for Akshay Kumar for his new movie, OMG (Oh My God). “Akshay is one of those Bollywood actors who believe in listening to designers. Also, he has got the right personality for being my Club J man!” quips Rathore.
A National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) product, Mahmood is a fashion designer, painter, columnist, stylist and a graphic artist. Her label, Art Translated, epitomises her design philosophy in more ways than one. When asked whom would she like to see carrying off her designs, she said, “It’s not about who I want; it’s about who is interested in wearing my
collection. Recently, on her India visit, Lady Gaga wore my outfit, which I was thrilled about.”
About her collection at BPFT, she said, “There are quirky designs and prints, coupled with unconventional silhouettes for women. My collection here is called Bombay Bun Maska.”
Pankaj & Nidhi
About their ‘off-beat’ collection at BPFT, the duo said, “We are showcasing our latest collection, Liquid Gold Tree, this time, which is basically evening formal wear.”
Incorporating gold in their collection for the first time, the duo added, “Normally, we do bright colors and are known for our contrasts with black, white and grey.”
A part of their collection consisted of the famous contrast of hot pink and black and abstract printed short dresses as well as slim pants. Their showstopper, Soha Ali Khan, walked the ramp in a beautiful hot pink crochet jacket with black leggings.