Payal Jain lets go of conventions and the rule book for her collection inspired by Frida Kahlo
History has a way of finding itself in the collections of Payal Jain. The designer who celebrated 25 years in fashion with the launch of her Spring/Summer ’18 collection, Forbidden Love, unveiled a line that comes inspired by the life and paintings of Frida Kahlo. The line is an ode to the painter and the woman. Known for her minimalist taste and conservative use of colour throughout her previous collections, Frida Kahlo’s influence can be felt in the maximalist aesthetics of Forbidden Love. For the New Delhi-based designer, SS’18 meant florals and bold bows, ruffles and fringes, all in keeping with the Mexican painter’s love of excess—flowers, embroidery and more.
“Forbidden Love, that has been two years in the making, focuses more on the spirit of the woman, her personality and the attitude that her style and paintings embody. The soul of this collection lies in its random, unexpected, bohemian aesthetic,” Payal says. From the use of horticultural prints to boxy tailoring, the collection is an eclectic mix of motifs, colours, fabrics and silhouettes—with no one aspect overpowering the other. An extensive range of separates, Forbidden Love comprises an array of maxi dresses, full skirts and also detailed shirts paired with long jackets. “I’ve gone on a complete tangent with this collection. There were no rules as to which silhouette I would use and neither did I plan on creating such an assortment of garments.”
In the mix
Working extensively with a variety of loomed fabrics for the collection, Payal says that each ensemble is an amalgamation of different fabrics, textures and surface detailing. “One of my statement pieces is a dress that has at least seven different genres of fabrics,” she says, adding with a laugh, “I remember designing the dress. I was sitting in the middle of mounds of multi-coloured fabrics. It was such a rush then. It is only when you get orders on the dress that you think to yourself ‘how am I going to recreate this entire mix?’” This floor-length bustier dress is a patchwork medley of Benaras brocades, traditional mushroom cotton silk, woven silk dupion, chikankari embroidered panels, appliqué borders and three-dimensional thread embroidered yoke.
On completing 25 years in the industry, Payal tells us that her biggest learning has been the need to start working on her next collection. “I’d be completely obsessed with my collection until its release. But in retrospect, I would find a million faults with it. I guess that’s a sign of evolving aesthetics.”
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