A Tete-A-Tete With India’s First Fashion Designer- Ritu Kumar

Still riding in the glory of receiving her Padma Shri award, India’s most veteran designer chats with us. As she launches her latest Spring Summer 2013 accessory collection, the design pioneer, Ritu Kumar talks to us in an exclusive about the latest trends and the growth of the Indian fashion industry.

Ritu Kumar doing what she does best

Ritu Kumar doing what she does best

You have been designing for decades now. What are the inspirations behind your creations that help you never run out of ideas?

 It all started when I returned to India from America with a desire to learn more about our country and its heritage. I took up a course dealing with histology which provided me exposure to museology and this became the genesis of my interest in the various craft forms. As I progressed, I got introduced to hand block printing and eventually started interacting with a cross-section of artisans across Kolkata. There was undocumented repertoire of knowledge and skills and this was the foundation of my continued association with Indian designs and hand-woven textiles.

What are your favourite materials to work with?

 Traditional Indian textiles and weaves such as chanderi, silks , khadi and tussars are what I favour the most.

What made you venture into designing handbags? Can you tell us what type of bags are trending right now.

The Brand is now foraying into varied allied verticals like accessories, footwear and jewellery with the aim to offer complete wardrobe solutions to the women of today. We have started retailing the accessories and jewellery range from _MG_2341last few years and the recently launched line of Label bags has some elegant, trendy and classic pieces that speak perfection. Using the motifs and mood from the Art Deco era, the collection brings to life a contemporary design language that draws inspiration from the architecture of the period. The range is fairly graphic in nature with some of the statement pieces being hand embroidered in Resham and sequins making them a perfect accessory for any occasion.
As far as trends are concerned, we’re seeing a lot of cleaner shapes with harder constructions in small to medium sizes. The emphasis is to create collectibles that are versatile in their usage and unique in the materials used.

What do you think is an ideal outfit for a modern Indian woman?

It is an easy option to choose a printed salwar kurta or kurti with pants or saris with a light soft print.

Having been one of India’s first designers, can you comment on how much our fashion industry has grown. 

It has come from a nonexistent industry to a rich, vibrant one which has revived indigenous textiles. It has plenty of potential to grow even more, the foundation has been set for the Indian fashion industry.

What are your favourite trends this season?

I am loving the colours that are trending right now. They’re bright yet soft, the hues are corals, turquoises, lime greens and rani pinks. They are fresh and bright, not the dull looks associated with western looking pastels.

Which celebrities do you think can carry off your creations best?

Many of them look great in our designs, a few that come to mind are Dia Mirza, Vidya Balan, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Shabana Azmi and the late Princess Diana.

Can you give us a few tips on the current trends.

Incorporate bright and happy colours into your style. There are many small items in the wardrobe this summer, like interesting scarves, gilets  and crinkle skirts to layer all one over the other.


Picture Courtesy: http://www.careers360.co

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