The youngest designer to show at the Lakme Fashion Week this year, Kunal Rawal is 21, completely focused and wants life to "be as hectic as possible." So when he launched his label D. Stress in Mumbai in 2006, it took him only a year to open two stores and then take on the challenge of the LFW because he "wanted to see if I could deliver on a completely business-oriented platform."
For Rawal, fashion design is personal to the point where he makes every garment for himself first. So it is logical to expect that his Fashion Week collection, Kumbh at Carnaby Street, be born of very personal reasons too. "I studied at the London College of Fashion, and I loved the city Carnaby Street is a hub of fashion there. Its high point was in the '60s because many artists gathered there to live and they spawned a fashion revolution."
His collection consists of casual tailcoats, hoodie jackets and pyjama pants, all with winter checks, tweed prints and twills on lightweight fabrics like voile, muslin and poplin. It is winter clothing for April.
The Kumbh connection was more organic. One night at a party, he spotted a Tanjore painting of Krishna. A long discussion ensued and he was plunged into Indian mythos. "I am proud to be Indian but my outlook is western. I knew little about these stories that are an integral part of our culture. And the more I researched, the more I was hooked."