Bridal couture created with rich Indian heritage, exquisite craftsmanship and bespoke designs are what best describe the work of designer Karan Arora. Known to use indigenous skills and traditional fabrics, Karan Arora talks to Fibre2Fashion about the growing demand for bridal couture and design cha
Fibre2fashion : How would you define the market for couture bridal wear in India and abroad?
Indian fashion is growing and its designers are not mere tailors. Designers here primarily cater to bridal wear. They also believe the Indian market is opening up to couture bridal wear. In India and abroad, this segment has been evolving with ever-growing exposure and improvement in standard of living of the customer. So, people strive to make the best out of it on the important days of their life. And couture becomes an indispensable part of markets around the globe. Couture is luxury and luxury has to be exclusive in terms of aesthetics, which is perceived differently by different people. That is why quoting statistics for couture markets would be hypothetical.
Fibre2fashion : Do customers understand the craftsmanship that goes into a couture outfit?
Even if customers don't have exact knowledge, conveying the aesthetics and literature involved in the right perspective makes the process of indulgence much easier and stronger. The power of a brand depends on how precisely the knowledge of the product is communicated. That makes it exclusive. As fashion and design are co-related, they are driven by changing global distribution of both wealth and fashion creativity. The Indian fashion industry has seen a boom and gained popularity in the world. India is seen as a fashion-centric nation. Hence, marketing an experience holds substantial value in the process, making couture a luxury.
Fibre2fashion : How do the youth perceive handwoven and handcrafted garments?
Gandhiji had pointed out that machine-made things appeal to the eyes first but handmade things appeal to the heart first. With growing exposure, people's acceptance levels have gone up for hand-woven and hand-crafted garments acknowledging the sincere hard work involved and exclusivity offered by hand-made articles. Machine-made fabrics, especially silks, are flat and stiff. The textural beauty of handlooms and their fall compliments ornamentation taking Indian couture to a different level. When it comes to handcrafted garments, the essence of the product becomes different, adding soul to it. Impeccable detailing, subtle gradations and incredible talent are apparent across the line of products making them pieces of art almost too beautiful to be used. Designers endeavour to reintroduce traditional Indian textiles worked on by skilled artisans whom they work closely with to maximise the handmade element.
Fibre2fashion : Which Indian fabrics and embroidery forms are popular among brides?
Silks and intricate craft has been the soul of Indian couture since forever hence keeping the soul intact, the choice of hand loom silks and very intricate craftwork really compliment the timeless bridal look. The ton sur ton form of various thread craftsmanship forms a very distinguishable aspect of being a bride from hand loom silks like gecha tussar, katan , malda, matka resham to various intricate craft like zardozi, chickens , parsi. kasuti kantha , qashidaqari, in a well defining design frame forms the core of the couture for Indian brides. Hence brides' favourite has been always the choice based on design that intrigued them the most based on the silks with an authentic and well defining craftwork as above mentioned giving it a timeless elegance besides making it an integral part of cultural heritage.
Fibre2fashion : Are there any design challenges when it comes to using hand-woven and handcrafted garments? How do you overcome them?
The main challenge is the time taken to design the product. It is way more compared to the shelf life of the product besides involving a huge cost. We can't compare the handcrafted garments with FMCG products. Design is luxury and in luxury, the supply has to be always less than demand, besides living up to people's expectations to maintain the essence. It is a design challenge to innovate and continue working with craft communities and come up with new creations every time. Maintaining the balance only comes with experience.
Fibre2fashion : What is a timeless and classic look for an Indian bride?
The classic look comes with the Indian essence. The primary element that works is how she sees herself as a bride. The best way for the detailing of a classic and timeless look is to be yourself and carry your cultural roots along to make it a day to remember. Keep the aesthetics contemporary but avoid being swayed by what's in fashion.
Fibre2fashion : What are the latest trends in bridal wear this season?
Indian bridal wear is outside the ambit of fashion, silhouette and colours. It is primarily about bespoke craftsmanship that makes it more treasurable. So, besides keeping your heels high, just keep the bridal outfit as detailed as possibly it can be in terms of intricacy in workmanship and designs to make it an heirloom.
Fibre2fashion : How long does it take to create couture bridal attire? How involved do customers want to be in the whole process?
I give myself all the time I possibly can to make each ensemble before putting it up on the rack. Don't bind design instincts and creativity in the frame of time, it undergoes the play of emotions and it takes a part of my life with all the happiness to make it happen. Design is very personal, no matter what, hence customers do get involved when it comes to customisation in terms of colours, fine designs, fabric and how much they are ready to spend but all within the ambit of design that I believe in. I take personal responsibility in my design capacity to make the best out of it and in living up to my aesthetics.