Affairs of art
Colour splashes, graphic prints and watercolour washes — the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Summer/Resort 2015 ramp will witness a bunch of designers dabbling in allthings art. Even as Tarun Tahiliani reprises his Spring-Summer 2015 line, showcased atIndia Fashion Week in October, featuring the art of London-based miniature painting exponents — The Singh Twins — and their unique “Past Modern” take on contemporary iconography, there are other designers too, who are peeping into artists’ portfolios and drawing inspiration from their work and lives. From Cubism and FrenchImpressionism to post-Impressionists and digital artists, the spectrum of art walkingthe runway will have you debating if you need to allot these clothes wardrobe space or give them a wall expanse.
Making an impression
For Shivan Bhatiya and Narresh Kukreja, art is as much a way of life as it is a mode of expression of their resortwear brand’s style soliloquy. The artistically-inclined duo — Bhatiya is an illustrator and Kukreja has dabbled in painting — has drawn inspiration from the works of many painters and sculptors over the years. For their Cruise-Resort 2015 collection, they turn to the oeuvre of French artist Henri Rousseau, whose work they discovered back in 2009 during a visit to the Musée D’Orsay in Paris. “This collection sees a translation of Rousseau’s depiction of jungles wherein elements have been taken and interpreted in our modernist style,” says Bhatiya. Three salient print stories, featuring geometric cabanas in Rousseau’s trademark colour palette, an abstraction of his foliage tips, and a juxtaposition of vintage vegetables against sharp geometric shapes, form the crux of the vibrant collection.
Parul Bhargava’s five-year-stay in Paris was steeped in art and culture. So finding inspiration in Claude Oscar Monet’s famed “Water Lilies” series for her label Mirage’s summer line wasn’t a stretch by any imagination. What started with her fascination for the nine-part series of paintings soon extended to the artist’s life. “I visited his house in Giverny and saw the gardens that inspired the paintings. I’ve developed embroideries inspired by those very gardens,” says Bhargava, who drew her own version of the water lilies and converted them into a signature print for “Minuit a Paris”. The designer has created embroideries using sequins in varied shapes, Swarovski crystals, glass beads, silk thread and satin silk ribbon to depict Monet’s floral obsession.
The Manipuri-Nepalese pair of Teresa Laisom and Utsav Pradhan not only bring their divergent cultures, but also a striking modern and minimalist aesthetic to their label, munkee.see.munkee.doo. This season, the duo finds inspiration in the works of Taiwanese digital artist and illustrator Hsiao-Ron Cheng. The Taipei-based artist’s surreal work, which strikes an uneasy balance between the sweet and
bizarre, appealed to Laisom and Pradhan’s penchant for contrasts. “We have mainly played with cottons in somber hues of blue, mint, lilac and charcoal grey, taking a cue from the works of Cheng. These soft colours form the base for motifs of guns embroidered on dresses, tops and jumpsuits,” says Laisom.
Part of the GenNext batch, Pune-based designer Salita Nanda will debut with “Demoiselles”, a collection inspired by Pablo Picasso’s famed artwork Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Nanda, who studied art history during her stint at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, has always been fascinated by the Cubism art movement. “The inspiration came from this Picasso painting. I have reinterpreted the women featured in the artwork, as well as given the red and blue used in the painting a touch of pop,” says Nanda, who has skillfully combined digital and 3D printing through a process called “selective laser sintering” to create some arresting pieces.