The Dream Merchant Mantra

The Dream  Merchant  Mantra
Highlights

The Dream Merchant Mantra, fashion industry, Indian fashion, Ritu, Priyanka Chopra's Wedding. One should decide which part of the industry one can handle. There are many layers to learn in fashion industry.

One should decide which part of the industry one can handle. There are many layers to learn in fashion industry. If you want to be a doctor or lawyer you have to work hard; in the same way, as a fashion designer you have to work hard. Nobody can get everything in one day

Ritu Kumar is one of India’s foremost designers. Over the years she has developed a unique style of her own, reflecting the ancient traditions of Indian craftsmanship in a contemporary vocabulary. With a background in art history and museology, which has enriched her horizons, Ritu’s understanding of ancient designs and the innovative use of traditional crafts has created a new classicism.

Excerpts from an interview:

What is the status of Indian fashion industry and textiles?

The Indian fashion industry seems to be in a very healthy state in a sense. Most of the players are now in the business and we do have lot of fashion that is coming from outside and a lot of Indian textiles are making their way into fashion. But Indian handloom weavers are in a poor condition and not enough attention is being paid to preserve the heritage by the government. People come to India for handlooms and crafts. We must be sensitive about the USP of our country, which are these textiles.

You are the first woman to introduce the boutique culture in the country, tell us about that?

We have lot of retail out-lets now and lot of opportunities now compared to when I started. I perhaps never started a shop to become a retailer. I used my boutique to show my collection. There have been many changes for the better over the time. The industry has got more professional and organic in it’s working too.

How is it different designing for ramp compared to designing for films?

Movies are much demanding. As a designer you have to see through the director and art directors prospective. The edge that a good film script gives is that it brings out challenges to marry the clothes to the character in such a way that the identity of the actor is enhanced. For ramp the designer has to write the script and is incharge of the whole show. I enjoy doing films but I can’t be present on sets all the time, so I prefer ramp.

How do you perceive Indian fashion at global level?

The Indian fashion industry has undergone a sea change since I started out. The weddings have become much more flamboyant giving room to designers to make one-of-their-kind bridal outfits as well as ready to wear bridal line. Simultaneously, with several international brands entering the market and younger India becoming more fashion conscious, there is a demand for contemporary stylised western wear from Indian designers too.

You’ve won the Padma Shri and you’re the first mainstream fashion designer to receive this award.!

Being such a highly considered award, it came in as a pleasant surprise and felt wonderful. I felt very good because the industry has given this award. I think it belongs to me as much as to the really deserving craftsperson.

hat trends would you forecast for this season for brides?

Trend has changed. Earlier brides used to wear only sarees but now they dress up for every occasion, like sangeet, mehendi etc. Instead of having two sarees or three salwar kameez, we have lahangas and cocktail dresses. We want something from the west, and east some fusion dresses and there are lots of evolutionary dresses. The lehenga and saree still rule for formal occasions and while some brides do experiment, most prefer to stay classic and away from bling. Team it with super sized jewellery – all those kundan haars and antique silver jewellery are in. Vintage designs are still in vogue for brides.

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