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At the Paris Fashion Week

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Designer, Amit Aggarwal:

Amit Aggarwal, a master of structure and the unconventional, recently showed his Autumn/Winter'16 Collection at a private show for buyers at the Paris Fashion Week. Born from his extensive trips to Tamil Nadu and Kolkata, the collection sieves through a potpourri of cultural references and translates it into sharp folds, rich peplums and intricate panel patchwork. Breezy Jamdani muslin, spruced with plastic straws and metallic panels paints the contrast between the two cultures that inspired the collection. We get in touch with the designer as he tells us about the show that once again puts India on the global fashion map.

You've mentioned the collection's inspiration came from your trips to Kolkata and Tamil Nadu. What factors from the cultures became central influences?
My trip to Chennai influenced me with its chaos, the madness and the jumble of the coloured temples, the textiles and the shine of gold. The air-like Jamdani weaves, the purity and easiness of muslin was what I took back from Kolkata.

How was the inspiration translated into textures, colours, textiles and in turn into silhouettes?
The psychedelic temples of the South were blurred to create stripe illusion; the gold of the utensils and Kanjeevarams came through our signature faux metal strips almost forming chevrons to connect it with Jamdani patterns. A myriad of collages became the base to bring matt and iridescent surfaces together to form unusual panel patchwork in almost anti-fit and trapeze like shapes. The domes of temples came through in tent like silhouettes.

For your show at Paris, how important was it for you to reflect on your roots and where you come from?
I feel fashion has become very personalised. Trends are fading and people are looking at individuality and a point of view from creators the world over. Here comes in the significance of the personal experiences of one’s life as an inspiration to create. If one is able to translate a personal experience into what they create, it eventually turns out unique and unlike what's been seen before. I feel my roots and experiences are the only things that I stand by.

Do the couture and the pret lines share the same inspiration? How are the amplifications different in each line?
Considering the product comes out from the same studio, there is bound to be adherence. Our moodboards are the same, sometimes the choices of fabric and the amount of workmanship varies to suit the products ultimate place in the market. 
The target markets and price points and the reason to own them by the final wearer are different and accordingly are the amplifications. 

How did you bring the lines together as you showed them simultaneously?
We broke the couture down into separates this season for its easy adaptation with other pieces from Ready-to-Wear. It was a fun exercise. Where you mix easy with a bit of crazy; the crazy you carry with a bit of ease.

What is the one thing you're taking back from Paris Fashion Week?
Besides the overwhelming response to AM.IT, the biggest luxury stores queued up to order the couture. I am happy that I am able to make a mark on the international fashion retail scene with an aesthetic that once was considered just futuristic and ramp worthy. I guess the future just became the present. 

What does 2016 have in store for you?
I wish to bring the two lines closer together to form a unanimous whole. An aesthetic that transcends cultural or regional boundaries. To own a piece from our studio that you could wear in Kuwait, India or to the moon.


Text Ritupriya Basu

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