Stop trying to be ‘trendy’
Stop trying to be ‘trendy’

Tarun Tahiliani talks about his new collection and why India should stop aping the West

On his inspiration


“The idea for this collection was planted in my head many years ago when I saw some paintings by British-Indian artists Amrit and Rabindra Singh. It resonated not just because I liked the paintings, but I also realised that they stood for the same values that I believe in as a designer – India has to become modern. They took India, contemporised it, brought in western techniques, but at the same time they preserved the essence of the country, just the way I would like it to be. Their paintings aren’t just pretty pictures. They have a long story and history behind it.”


On his collection


“I love working with the Indian mediums of draping, form and colour to make it contemporary. So you will see a lot of structured draping in the menswear. This collection is resort wear and has an easygoing vibe to it. In this collection, I have incorporated the strong shading elements of the Singh Brothers. You will see their artwork in the lining of jackets and it is fun because you can see a peek-a-boo of these colours and prints here and there. While most men would be hesitant to wear it if the print was on the outside, in this way, it is easier to make a (subtle) statement. Other interesting pieces are the shaded bandis and lightweight sherwanis (which can also be worn as long jackets). These pieces are great for every occasion.”


On the current trends of the season


“Honestly, I think ‘trends’ in India is such an irrelevant concept. Great Indian things and tastes have got nothing to do with trends. ‘Trends’ is a western idea brought to you by departmental stores who need to change their products every now and then. For the kind of weather pattern we have, you don’t need to play by such rules. Wear chiffons, cottons and muslins all year round and they would still work. We have to stop trying be “western” and find our own identity. For me, the coolest trend is to ‘not be trending’ and just be yourself. Wear linen and khaki pants and cotton shirts and kurtas. But I must say, this season, I’ve seen many men wearing bandis at Lakmé Fashion Week.”


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