Back to basics: Rathore courts cotton
Even though designer Raghavendra Rathore operates from the "old, dusty town of Jodhpur", far from the hi-fashion capital, he's quite in tune with what he hopes to show this year at the Lakme India Fashion Week (LIFW) in Mumbai.
A sketch can help people understand a design better, feels Rathore, who was taught to be a visionary rather than a technical designer at the Parson School of Design. "With photoshop one can do wonders, even change colours. It's made fashion more versatile. As a result we are sending our sketches to Delhi where they are changed at the final stages of execution," says Rathore.
The sketch presented here symbolises his look for the year 2003 – sexy with the choli redefined, longer at the front with the zipper gone. "It's now got the sides put together in either knots or straps, that gives one a peek of the skin on the sides. In this particular sketch the choli is teamed up with a basic cotton no-frill skirt," says Rathore.
Trying to take the fabric of the masses, cotton (in its finest form poplin), to a couture level, Rathore believes that an overdose of linen on the ramp is a strategy that might work. "It's used without any funk or trims, just the way it is, and has been rendered in slim cuts rather than A-line ones, with a side slit," says Rathore. Though a balance has been struck in both the pants and skirts, if there is a short top, then a bit of volume has been added at the bottom of the 44-inch skirt.
The beauty of Rathore's clothes is that they can be worn on a yacht trip to Spain, and then the next day in Mumbai, because even though the tops are intelligently Indian they are not ethnic, and hope to compete with fancy international brands. "That's why the look is clean rather than confused and fuzzy. I've gone back to the basics with cotton that was till now neglected, playing with bandhgalas teamed up with Jodhpur breeches along the way," concludes Rathore.