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Human suffering inspires designer Nitin Bal Chauhan

Designer Nitin Bal Chauhan chooses dark themes for his clothing range that he says are inspired by human suffering, conflict and pain because "this is the reality".

fashion and trends Updated: Feb 05, 2009 11:36 IST
Shilpa Raina
Shilpa Raina

Designer Nitin Bal Chauhan chooses dark themes for his clothing range that he says are inspired by human suffering, conflict and pain because "this is the reality". A painter and a filmmaker too, Chauhan now plans to switch completely over to art which will help him speak his mind.

In spite of doing so well in the fashion world, Chauhan says he cannot give full expression to his beliefs through designing and documentary making.

"All these are beautiful mediums of expression, but for some reason I cannot express all my beliefs through them so I will use the power of my sketching and painting to speak my mind," Chauhan told IANS.

"I project a grim view of our society because this is the reality; we cannot escape from it. Also, every time we (designers) cannot come up with glamorous designs; we do try to contribute to society in our own way," he added.

"We all have taken comfort for granted but there are so many people who are suffering every minute, but we are happy in our comfort zones. My expressions (designs) will not contribute much to society but at least my audience will think for a second about the cause," Chauhan said.

The 29-year-old has chosen unusual themes for all his collections like, "I cannot see my content face", "Mourning" and "Conditions Apply Part II".

Elaborating on his "Conditions Apply Part II" theme, Chauhan said: "It speaks about the darker side of life and growing conflicts and depressions that we are forced to live with."

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Chauhan impresses with his knowledge about Indian craftsmanship and tradition, and prefers to promote the craftspersons through his collections.

"The kind of embroideries we use in India are amazing and I feel craft is like a melting pot of gold that needs harvesting, and that is what I am doing. I believe that Indian craftsmanship can help us establish our roots in the global scenario," Chauhan explained.

The young designer made his debut at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week 2007, and later participated in the London Fashion Week in September 2008 and Tranoi fair in Paris in October last year.

This year he participated in the Japan Fashion week Jan 13-17. Chauhan says international fashion weeks give more exposure to young designers and teach them a lot about the international fashion scene.

"It is extremely beneficial to participate in international fashion weeks as it gives you good exposure and a platform to make your presence felt in the market," Chauhan explained.

"Art reflects the mindset of the whole society and people abroad are judging us; so it is our responsibility to showcase our best there and demonstrate to them the real craftsmanship of India," he added.

This Himachal Pradesh-born designer specializes in contemporary women's wear, but is now planning to create his men's line soon.

Not many know, but Chauhan is also director of the documentary Lost or Found (2006) that was nominated for best cinematography at The Art House in Singapore as part of the Asian Festival of First Films 2006.

"The documentary was very well received there because everyone could relate to it. It had again raised questions about our existence and our quest for happiness in urban world," Chauhan maintained.

First Published: Feb 05, 2009 11:34 IST