Designing is something that has its roots lying deep within somewhere in the creative part of one’s mind. It is the ability and skill to understand the preference of the crowd, what they want to wear and what not. Though it is a passion for many, turning that passion into profession, especially, to the level of entrepreneurship, is the result of high spirit, great zeal and dedication. Designer Karan Arora is a living example of this enduring quest and this interview with him will help you to get detailed idea about the creations and future plans of this extremely successful entrepreneur.
Q: 1.How your journey had begun as a designer?
The journey has been extremely overwhelming. Beside various bottleneck situations and unavoidable challenges in the process of being an entrepreneur, the acceptance of my aesthetic by the best of people around has been really empowering for me. It literally restored my faith in the world who accepted my design sensibilities based on my work, rather than on the basis of networking or the people you know.
Q: 2.Which thing inspires you the most while you design your clothing range?
The idea of being effortless inspires me the most in the creation of the unique designs. And the idea is nourished with exquisite hand craftsmanship and hand woven works of our country. I like to keep things as how they are supposed to be ' I am an anti-fusion supporter and my focus is always on extreme level of detailing. So, my suits are suits, anarkalis are anarkalis and lehengas are lehengas in the purest forms without any kind of fusion works.
Just these are crafted intricately by using the most possible hand details of hand weaves to create magic.
Q: 3. Enlighten us a bit with your 'Wah Taj' concept. How this breakthrough idea came into picture?
Despite magnificent architecture and design inlays ' The monotonous neutrality of artwork on the ceilings, domes ,walls and floors of Taj Mahal has really inspired me to create Wah Taj. It is infused with intricacies in absolute Zardozi works that I used to bring back the old world charm. Also, the works are based on the neutrality of pastel shades that shimmers the detailing in the design with every move. Celebrating the craftsmanship of Taj Mahal, couturier Karan Arora has replicated the long lost era of the Mughal times on couture after working relentlessly for 4500 man hours which is simply remarkable.
Taj has always been the centre of attraction for its aesthetics and minute detailing of Mathura Art. The meticulously done floral motifs are simply inimitable and regal. Its richness in art and the detailing in flowers and vines motifs made Taj Mahal stand apart from any other monuments in the world. It took almost 22 years for the artwork on Taj to be completed, imagine how much artistry and detailing would it have taken to get it up and running. For it, to be pinned down on clothes is no easy task. But, ‘Wah Taj’ involves linings, motifs, zardozi work intricately done on the Malda Silk, a hand-woven silk specially sourced from Bengal, to emanate the same vibes and earthiness that the Taj reflects.
The invariability in the movement of warp and weft enhances the sensation of a pristine handcrafted artwork. Because of Malda Silk yarn, the fall of, let’s say the Lehenga is superior. The vines and flowers, leaves and birds, woven carefully and diligently could transpire the flamboyance within a woman. Arora says this ensemble is for them, who adore the traditional artworks intertwined with history for the longest time. He says that he purposefully ignored the usage of the machine produced silk because of its stiffness and inflexibility. Unbelievable as it may sound, Karan’s beautiful collection is the result of the magical weaving ability of the weavers, the authentic craftsmen of India.
Q: 4. Indian Handloom is the most ignored small scale industry, do you think so PM Modi can become role model for Youth to adopt 'Khadi'?
It is not that this initiative wasn’t taken earlier, but yes our PM has become the face of its revival and Make in India campaign like never before. It’s sad but true that the present global world is all about marketing and idea of reaching out which is taking its due toll on the abilities and income of the small scale weavers associated with Indian Handloom industry. And our PM has mastered this art of reaching to the world like nobody else have, ever. So it's a big Yes!
It is because our PM is the best marketing leader on this earth with absolutely fantastic presence on every possible platform of media to change and build public perception.
Q: 5.As a designer how do you see Indian Handloom or 'Khadi?
I think this is the best possible thing that can happen to fashion /textiles around the world. The very thought of indulging hand into the inception or weaving of fabric just takes the idea of luxury and bespoke on a different level. Gandhi Ji once quoted, “Art that is machine made appeal to eyes first and art that is handmade appeals to heart first than eyes.” So I pledge to keep using, promoting and preserving handloom at my best.
Q: 6. Give us your view on Shadow embroidery work/Chikankari. Is it going to hit Indian market again as new trend?
Trend would be an understatement for such a laborious and dignified craft. This exquisite art which transforms the plainest cotton and organdie into flowing yards of magic has left several people from kings to the general public captivated with its outstanding aesthetic appeal. It attains its elegance by the detailed work of needle and thread done on a transparent fabric. Its delicacy is mesmeric. The uniqueness and majesty of every dress represents the hours of thoughts, creativity and hard work of the weavers which promotes the creative workmanship of artisans and derives inspiration from different cultures within India. So it was there, it is there and it will be there. Yes, the craft deserves much more attention for its revival and modification in its artwork. The good thing is, with the globalisation of trends a number of people now do understand the elegance of this hand done luxury.
Q: 7. How Fashion industries offer huge business opportunities for Beauty Professionals?
We all want to look good in every possible way. Hence beauty professionals and fashion goes hand in hand. I work with a set team of makeup artist, hair artist and aesthetic doctors who greatly help me to get the best look of the designs that I make for my clients. Right make up on the right skin type with right hair is the need of an hour in order to justify the look of design at its best.
Q: 8. How do you see Indian fashion industry in the next few years at International markets?
I see Indian Fashion in international markets evolving at its unique selling points of indigenous handmade art and craft which no one else have. With rampant industrialization of every possible thing, Indian fashion will survive and make its way for such bespoke exclusivity.
Q: 9 One last closing note for our readers!!
When in India, be like an Indian! It is super cool to be who we are and accepting our roots as it eliminates the confusions in the process of our decision making. Living with a strong identity makes life more meaningful and interesting indeed!
Few pictures from Karan collections, one must see: