2020 changed the idea of dressing up for the better, says designer Kushal Chatterjee
The youngest couturier in town is also the most productive; stylist-turned-designer Kushal Chatterjee has an effortless output process which allows him to come up with more than six lines in a year, across design memos. This may sound astonishing but for 2020-21 this mode of production may just be a face-saver for any design house trying to diversify. The key is, of course, a lean and focused exploration of one aesthetic, and not something too comprehensive.
“I just feel good when I create something! I think that goes a long way when I work. But I try to not include too many pieces in one line-up; in my collection, you’ll see 10-15 numbers and since I don’t repeat them it makes it all a lot more exclusive and I would say this creative process has helped me with my buyers,” Chatterjee shares.
There’s no denying Chatterjee’s design range - his newest fall/winter couture line is all sheer florals and corsets while his last festive curation Shuddhi featured polished nude tones and cream silks. “I work with everything, from silks to linens, and I source them from all over the country, be it Rajasthan or local units. I have a few personal buyers across the globe who I sell to so that gives me some freedom with my designs. I did a few exhibits in Dubai plus I have friends in Australia and New Zealand. The niche global connect did help me. Although I’m planning to open a store in the city as well but since everything has been on a halt, I’ve hit pause on the plans for the time being,” the designer reveals.
Interestingly Chatterjee did not join in on the designer masks bandwagon as he doesn’t relate to masks as an accessory, considering it’s a health necessity. “I just don’t know if masks and fashion should mix, they’re on different spectrums. That’s of course, my opinion; I don’t think I’ll design masks because that’s not the way to do things when we’re in the midst of a pandemic,” he shares. Chatterjee also feels that urban buyers are currently grappling with a shift in priority, in terms of splurging and that has welcomed an alternate form of underplayed styling.
“I feel people are not as keen to spend, but even when they are splurging they are going for muted looks, the idea of what is chic and what is not has changed. Even in Tollywood, celebrities are going for fuss-free picks for their off-duty looks, the overall style memo is definitely steering towards a relaxed aesthetic and moving away from stuffy couture. Pastels are doing really well even with bridal shoppers. In fact, if you look at Shuddhi which is a festive line, it’s all about earthy tones and it worked so well,” Chatterjee remarks.