Torani’s latest offerings explore new territory in storytelling and visual design
History, folklore and nostalgia have always been at the heart of Torani’s design aesthetics. Be it Gulaabi Mela or Bazaar of Love, all of the brand’s previous collections and the corresponding lookbooks have spotlighted the art forms or the stories that have inspired their mood boards. Karan Torani’s latest lines Shuddhi and Dopahar possess all the signature hallmarks of the label, and yet, they are somehow distinct.
While perhaps the most visible change is seen in the brand’s Instagram campaigns and videos, a marked departure in the brand’s visual grammar is driven by Karan’s evolving approach to design and storytelling. “I feel like when I started the brand, I used design and the images surrounding it as a medium to retell the stories I had lived and where my roots were. But now, we, as a brand, are pivoting to what the future needs,” shares the designer, who ensembles have been spotted on the likes of Vidya Balan, Koechlin and Sobhita Dhulipala.
Free of nostalgic and heritage tropes, Shuddhi visually represents Karan’s interpretation of the Sapta Sindhus (the seven holy rivers of India.) This idea is embodied as women draped in fabrics that unfurl around them like waves. The waters of the rivers take the form of sheer saris crafted from organza and mulmul, and its ebb, flow and meeting are captured through the colour palette of white, beige, lilac and sky blue with intricate aari and doriya waraq.
Treading familiar design territory, Dopahar (which extends into a menswear edit) falls back on the brand’s tried and tested signature chintz on handwoven Chanderi silk cotton. The womenswear silhouettes include staples like saris, kurta sets, pants and lehengas. However, Dopahar offers men a chance at sartorial experimentation. Look out for angarkha and ghera sets that are rife with floral patterns and embroidery. However, if you want to play it safe and prefer the ‘boy-next-door’ look, Karan tells us kurtas, jackets, bundis and pants are also part of the collection.
“It is important not to look at a designer as only an artist. Artists often don’t worry about the commercial viability of their work, and increasingly are recognised for their genius posthumously. That isn’t the case with designers. Every time I sit at my drawing board to create a collection, I tell myself, ‘Here are ten garments to satisfy the creative artist in you and here is the rest that you will create for the larger market to support your karigars and the brand’.”
As for what to expect from Torani next, the 27-year-old reveals that his next collection, Kaya is already up for release. “We are exploring ideas about women’s sexual liberation with the new collection. But, you’ll have to wait and see how it pans out.”
Menswear starts at Rs 7,500, womenswear from Rs 13,500. Available at Collage from October 7.