JJV.Kapurthala's first-ever collection has easy-to-carry modern line of separates
The new collection has saris, anarkalis, skirt-sets, kaftans and maxis for women, and a mix of shirts, kurtas, Nehru jackets and bandhgala suits for the men.
JJV.Kapurthala, an essentially bridge-to-luxury occasion wear label from the stable of celebrated couturier JJ Valaya, showcased its first collection, JJV.Kapurthala, at the recently concluded LFWxFDCI, witnessing an incredible response from the tasteful attendees. “As a true royal nomad at heart, I always felt that whilst we all prefer to travel light, there are so many instances during these journeys where we need to dress up to step out, be it for impromptu soirees, fine dining experiences or the opera. One of the reasons that people don't carry Indian clothes with them is the weight of the outfits. JJV.Kapurthala retains the distinct innovative signature of the JJ Valaya ethos, yet is a modern global label for the millennial who likes to be prepared for celebrations wherever they may go,” tells Valaya.
Tell us about the latest travel-inspired edit from the label?
This season's latest collection from JJV.Kapurthala which I presented at LFW X FDCI has a lot of black and ivory, a fair amount of blue, a colour that the brand is much associated with and then, of course, a lot of muted tones with one overriding thread which was antique metallics. The fabrics are all natural and sustainable, those are the only two varieties that we use. The entire collection includes an easy-to-carry modern line of separates. The silhouettes are neoclassical Indian but with a fair amount of Orient thrown in. So, while we have saris, anarkalis and skirt-sets, we also have kaftans and maxis to make it a very interesting, multicultural-inspired repertoire. For men, there’s a mix of shirts, kurtas, Nehru jackets and bandhgala suits.
Do you follow trends?
I’m not much for trends. I am a huge fan of them in the sense that I think they keep the buzz of fashion alive but I don't necessarily apply them to my work blindly. I pick up what's relevant and infuse it into the DNA of the brand and create something unique because I want my clothes to live on. I want them to be worn more than just one time. Trends are transient, so, I would say it's a happy mix.
What are the things that a bride must keep in mind while shopping their trousseau for this summer?
Brides have to believe in one cardinal rule -- they have to look and feel spectacular on their big day irrespective of the weather. As long as you have that belief in place, you can work things around. Just remember that you have to look and feel the part, to be able to create the part. Be chic, be elegant, be someone who makes an amazing statement, someone who can look back 20-30 years later, at her albums and say wow, that was spectacular! Be the perfect bride but be the bride that’s comfortable.
How has bridal fashion evolved over the years?
Today's bride is way more evolved than the woman who got married 20-30 years back. She is well travelled, has the world in the palm of her hand courtesy the internet, she knows exactly what's going on. She's smarter, fitter, sexier, and more confident and all of that translates into subtle and effective changes in the way she looks and wants to feel on her big day. Brides today are more confident in being themselves. They want to feel sensual and yet kind of respect tradition. So, all of that comes together beautifully in the modern woman’s bridal avatar.
How much have you evolved over the years as a label?
We recently discovered images of models being shot for our collection nearly 27 years ago and I couldn't believe that the evolution has been so radical. Changes such as these, sometimes aren’t registered by us as we go from year to year but when you see pictorial references, which are spread across a period of time, you realise how much has changed. Ironically, I've always believed that fashion is a cycle. So, when you probably see the work you've done maybe 20 years from now and compare it to what you did say 50 years back, you'd notice a distinct similarity as well. We feel that we've evolved in a beautiful, gentle, elegant, and sophisticated manner, but let's just say we still work towards the label remaining luxurious, sophisticated, and regal.
How much has the Indian fashion scene matured since your initial days in the industry?
It's a new world today. When I started my career, the Indian fashion movement had pretty much started. There were six-seven of us struggling to create an industry that didn't exist. There were no stores or shops, media, or fashion shows except a few odd ones happening in between. Cut to now, there has just been an incredible amount of change, evolution, and maturity that has crept in. Of course, we have a long way to go because even today, I still feel that Indian designers are trying too hard to kind of appease the West by imbibing a lot of western sensibilities into the world, which I feel is totally unnecessary.
What’s keeping you busy?
I have always worked on a number of things at the same time. Couture, which is the brand JJ Valaya, is my labour of love, where I spend hours developing new techniques, working on interesting weaves, colors and developing embellishments that excite me. In JJV.Kapurthala the same ethos, the same DNA has been reinterpreted to create something new and fascinating. It is also a great leveller for me, as I juggle from the detailed grandness couture to the modernity, the fun and the coolness of a bridge-to-luxury line.
There’s also Valaya Home, where we are designing spaces and thinking of textures, treatment of furniture, walls, flooring, ceilings. And last, my personal passion, which is photography.
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