Isabelle Mittal on LFW and More
There are not many designers who advocate the cause against animal-cruelty as well as saving the environment to such an extent that they refrain from the use of certain fabrics in their designs and collections. Well, Isabelle Mittal is one such designer who does just that, which speaks volumes about her compassionate personality.
With her brand, IZI ATELIER completing 1 year, Isabelle talks to InOnIt as she gears up to participate in her 3rd consecutive season at Lakme Fashion Week.
All your products are animal-friendly and made from organic fabrics. However, what are the cons or limitations you face when using such fabrics?
Our products are all eco-friendly, which doesn’t always mean organic. All of our cottons are organic, but we also use other natural fabrics like bamboo, linen and other less known fabrics like bemberg.
To an extent you are limited to the fabrics available, but on the other hand it offers an opportunity and challenge to re-invent the way these fabrics are used. This season we’ve designed a range of gold painted and crystal embellished organic cotton blouses and shift dresses, giving a new sense of luxury to organic cotton.
You abstain from using materials like silk which are so prominently used in the fashion world. Does it limit your creativity in anyway and how do you substitute it?
Abstaining from the use of silk, wool and leather, which can be the cause of animal suffering, also benefits the environment by reducing the energy and waste needed to raise livestock and process these materials. We use both natural and synthetic alternatives. Bemberg satin, which comes from a natural source and has the same drape and feel as silk, is used in many of our garments. This season we’ve also introduced a synthetic satin alternative to our collection which has a voluminous and luxurious drape, used in blouses, dresses and gowns.
This is the 3rd consecutive time you are participating in Lakme Fashion Week, what has the experience been like and are is there any differences this time round?
This season marks IZI ATELIER’S 1 year anniversary, so there’s a sense of accomplishment seeing how far we’ve come. Of course, it has been a lot of hard work but it’s been a rewarding learning experience.
What is your collection about this time? What has the inspiration been behind it?
I’m always exploring the drapery techniques of both my Greek and Indian cultures and transforming these qualities into contemporary ‘western’ silhouettes. This season in particular I’ve taken things further to include the Ancient Greek myth of King Midas. As the legend goes, everything he touched turned to gold, and you’ll certainly see a lot of that in our latest Winter 2012 collection. It all started on a trip to Greece, where I spent a lot of time visiting churches, which are all decorated in a Byzantine manner.
What do you think is an ideal outfit for a modern Indian woman?
The modern Indian woman’s ideal outfit is anything that she looks confident and feels beautiful in. That is what being a modern woman is all about after all..
Can you give us a few tips on the current trends?
I would say this season the biggest trend is indulgence! Whether it is through the predominant use of jewel tones, velvets or gold and crystal embellishments, this season it is completely alright to be a bit of a hedonist and as well as a little tough, dark and mysterious.
Having been born in New York and being of Greek origin, what is the difference in fashion trends in India as compared to the rest of the world?
While growing up in New York, you’re exposed to a plethora of different cultures, so the average person in New York much like the rest of the world adapt to changing trends more readily. India on the other hand has such a strong connection to its traditional attire which is wonderful in its own way. ‘Fashion’ in India is still young and it is the future generations that will define it.
As told to Priyanka Ghura