A few hours ahead of the launch of his exclusive store in Ludhiana, Rohit Bal was a treat to watch as he went about ordering the change of flowers on the centre table and the rearrangement of sofas, simultaneously greeting his admirers who were flowing in the store expressing their love for his magic with fabrics, cuts and intricate embroideries.
The ace designer who is known to make men and women go weak in the knees with his beautiful clothes looked in command but relaxed. “I am very happy with this eighth launch of my store in the country, and the first in the state. I enjoy a rich clientele from Punjab and hope to offer them here what they travel for,” he said.
Characteristic of his label, the clients should not expect the clothes to be customised according to their fancy, so no shortening of sleeve or deepening of neck. “Apart from fitting, I do not allow any changes in my creations,” he announces.
The designer, known for revival of Kashmiri embroidery, has also brought a line inspired by Punjab’s famed art of phulkari. Basanti Chola, as it is called, boasts of suits that capture the blend of this art with contemporary designs.
The collection at the store also features Bal’s trademark work in ivory, his favourite colour. “I love this colour. If I had my way, I would be working only with this colour,” says Bal who adds that the collection at the store is reasonably priced and ranges between R20,000 and R75,000.
The designer also had a lot to speak about various trends in Indian fashion. One of them being the mushrooming of fashion shows, a phenomenon he has been highly critical of. “I consider only one event — The Delhi Fashion Week — as a real platform for fashion designers. The event brings in buyers and generates business. What do these local so-called fashion weeks offer? People come to have a good time, watch models, drink and go back. These events can only be called fashion tamashas or at the most fashion galas,” says Bal.
What then can offer the upcoming designers a platform to showcase their creativity? “Not these shows of course. Every designer must work his or her way up towards this one top fashion event. That’s the only destination,” he says.
Asked about the fashion consciousness in an average Indian, Rohit admits that only two in 10 of his clients understand his work, rest buy for the sake of brand. “I am okay with this as far as my buyers allow me to do what I want to,” he says