Fashion and Bollywood go hand in hand. Taking a cue from this, shoe designer Rohan Arora will present at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week a unique footwear collection that has hand paintings of Bollywood actors and film posters.
Kolkata-based Arora, who will showcase his Bollywood inspired collection on Tuesday at LFW, has designed 16 pairs for the event and says his collection is a tribute to old Hindi songs and films.
"It is a Bollywood inspired collection. Through this I’m trying to revive the art of old Bollywood hand painted posters. All these paintings on the shoes are actually done by people who used to paint the posters," Arora told IANS.
"Right now, most of them are out of work. Some of them are pulling rickshaws in Kolkata, some of them are working as waiters at small time restaurants. So somehow I got in touch with few of them to revive the art," he added.
The footwear, mostly boots and flat shoes, was produced in two weeks and the price ranges from Rs.4,000 to Rs.10,000.
"We have concentrated on boots because it is a winter collection. We have flat shoes as well. The colours we have used are many but all of them are subdued. They are all earthy tones of bright colours," said Arora, who used to design shoes for leading designers like Sabyasachi Mukherjee.
"The leather we have used is chicken legs leather which is a new discovery. It’s been invented about a month back. Earlier, I was planning to use inter-tweed leather, but when I got to know about this, I thought why not use something new."
Another interesting fact about the collection is that it’s majorly hand done. "Everything on the shoes is hand done. The only machine that we have used is the sewing machine, otherwise everything else is done by hands. Even the heels, made of wood, have been hand carved," said the designer.
Are these shoes, for which one would really have to loosen the purse strings, comfortable enough? "The shoes are very comfortable. When I was doing my fittings, I had the models literally running around, they had no problems at all. They are atleast better than stilettos," said Arora.
He has his workshop in Kolkata and has been customising shoes for two years now. For this collection, he employed five artists.
"I was already doing a lot of hand painted stuff since the past six-seven months, so when I came across this painter who used to paint Bollywood posters, I thought why not do something quirky and Bollywood related? I have already got a few individual orders and some stores have also ordered a few pieces," he said.