Tarun Tahiliani gives a sneak peek into his creative process

Designer Tarun Tahiliani gives a glimpse of his new Autumn/Winter collection this weekend at the Kingsley boutique
Designer Tarun Tahiliani Collection
Designer Tarun Tahiliani Collection

A specially curated exhibition by Chennai-based designers and entrepreneurs Ahalya S and Vidya Gajapathi Raju Singh brings the couturier Tarun Tahiliani and his Autumn Winter collection to the city. This ready-to-wear-line which was launched during the Amazon Indian Fashion Week will be available for sale at their Kingsley boutique. A day prior to the exhibition will be a talk by the Mumbai-based designer as a part of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) about his studio experiences and experiments through a talk & presentation.

Dramatic flair
Inspired by the nomadic beauty of Indian tribes and motifs from Mughal armory-inspired art, the Autumn-Winter ‘17 collection comes in a palette of emerald, indigo and red along with black, cream and beige to mark the onset of fall. Embracing a multitude of techniques - including laser etching, zardozi and embroidery the apparel is made out of rich fabrics of silk, khadi, georgette and velvet. The collection celebrates the concept of ‘separates’, suited for the modern Indian lifestyle where drapes, crop tops or jackets can be paired with separates like jeans, tights or skirts. Look out for their Polka range with patterns made using Ajrakh block print, Kasuti collection with geometric patterns and Chikankari collection with resham embroidery on damask prints.

Walk the talk
Known for his signature style of combining traditional aesthetics with contemporary techniques for a modern Indian, the designer’s talk will be a long presentation with a slide show and live demonstration about styling by models who will be wearing his creations. An important part of the session would be Sketch to Couture, meaning how collections are conceptualised, designed and processed in the studio. “At a personal level it is about how we are inspired by different things in India from architecture to culture. We take traditional methods and use western construction to make contemporary clothes made out of it for modern needs,” says Tarun Tahiliani. 

Beyond the sketch
Expect a peek into the creative process of the designer’s life, field of fashion designing, a vision of how they work and how his company evolved over the years. “If people are under the impression that designing is just about drawing random patterns and trying to implement them practically on mannequins, then that is not true. There is more to it in terms of elements like fitting clothes on models, making new patterns, constructions, drapes, and fits,” says Tarun. The session is open to all, from the mainstream audience to fashion enthusiasts.  “As a designer, we must constantly be aware of trending colours, thought process, fit, customer needs and how all of these work together,” says Tarun.  

Hand to digital
While we speak to him about the latest trends in the printing techniques, he says, “We use some screen printing techniques but most of our designs have digital printing and that is one thing we are not too traditional about. The reason is because I use advanced and complex colours and patterns which cannot be replicated through block printing. This is because people prefer different range of colours today and believe in fast fashion.” Calling digital printing the future of fashion in India, he also highlights the use of Indian handcrafted works and embroidery like chikankari, mukaish, bandhani, kanjivaram, zardosi and aari in his works. Although new prints are a part of the evolution and cannot be avoided, he does not encourage the slow fade in traditional textile heritage either. For instance, certain prints like dabu, a Jaipuri technique, cannot possess the same effect in digital form. The designer’s next project will be a festive collection which is in its final stages of completion. With a mystery palette that he is keeping under wraps for now, what he does reveal is that we can look out for a touch of the oriental.  

From Drawing Board To Mannequin will be on November 10. Time: 10 am to 1 pm. At Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park. `1,500. 

Special preview of his Autumn/Winter collection at Kingsley boutique in Chetpet. On November 10 and 11. `35,000  upwards.  Details: 96770 74108

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