|Kiran (centre) takes a bow after the show
On the evening of March 15, Kiran Uttam Ghosh sent across her line for F/W 2013. Lots of great looks that can be dressed up or down, high on repeat value (no one a better ambassador for that than KUG herself) with an element of quirk here and there — the show spoke to the woman of today. A chat with the designer to know more about the mood and the muse...
“Delicate interpretations of the soldier’s uniform” — how did this contradictory concoction reach the moodboard?
I believe there’s something amazing about fragility and femininity in uniform, a woman’s beauty is enhanced when she’s simple or even that little bit unconventionally dressed. We have so much of ‘pretty pretty’ around us and that’s just not my woman. She knows she’s beautiful and she doesn’t have to wear it on her arm. She doesn’t just want the image of a fashion brand, rather it’s the substance: to feel fragile, feminine, simple and sexy without being overt. That works for us.
You travel to the Orient quite regularly for inspiration. What about the region makes it so alluring?
I had a Japanese roommate when I worked with Jasper Conran from Moshi Moshi, in London. Oriental food, Japanese packaging that’s mind-blowingly simple and beautiful, and naming my label Kimono that is now over 15 years old... I think somewhere I was of Oriental origin in my last life!
You nod to your eternal love, the white collar shirt, yet again. What would your life — personal and professional — be like if it wasn’t invented?
Hmm... I wouldn’t have become a designer... probably a filing clerk! I love filing and tidying up and hate the way my current life doesn’t allow me enough time to do it myself.
Your sarong-sari makes a comeback this season, though it didn’t really go anywhere. It’s cooler, edgier and sexier. How did it come about and where is it headed?
I love wearing saris but never have the time, patience or desire to drape them ‘just right’. My saris are for women like me, and my friends and clients who want to wear saris and look good but really aren’t interested in looking ‘just as it should be’ but rather have it as we want it to be.... It’s easier to slip on a skirt, with a polo-neck or round-neck jersey choli and tuck in the sari as a simple chunni drape with a belt over it and you are ready to go. No chance of it falling off as you get off the car or getting displaced as you sit in the car. Besides, a bit dishevelled is the look.
And there’s a cool iPad cross-body…
For people like me who prefer simpler silhouettes and love repeating my outfits, they’re too beautiful not to wear again. Accessories is what makes them look different and work for different occasions. That’s where the iPad covers, clutches, ankle bands, hair combs and all the other KUG accessories work. They are great as gifts too. They work for people who don’t necessarily want to buy my clothes that day but love the brand and its ideology and love of detail. So many men buy my accessories.
Some tips and tricks on layering, for people not as thin as you?
Dark colours and softer fabrics.
Will KUG ever make a full heroine collection, with no tomboy influences whatsoever?
Nope. We just don’t do pretty-pretty airheads. Not necessarily tomboy but there will always be an intelligent or thought-out detail to the look, colour and silhouette. Our ‘heroine’ is like my client — intelligent, well read, travelled and aware.
Finally, where do you think your next ‘protagonist’ is hiding?
I’ll think about her in August for the next fashion week! From this week, it’s on to the wedding line that I’ve put on hold for two years and my clients are waiting patiently for the new trousseau range from KUG — sexy, simple, definitely not busy yet dramatic, elegant and high on bling for brides and their entourage.
Yummy colour palette that went from sorbet-like to sparkish — in the form of watermelon, oyster, teal, crimson red and a gold that was the ultimate balance between dazzling and dull.
The modest white shirt. With a no-nonsense collar and girl-at-work rolled-up sleeves.
Floral inspirations for the embroidery — from signature lilies to quirky bougainvillea.
The new kurta — the Cheongsam (a Chinese silhouette), fun breezy kalis that made a non-weighty gherdaar, multi-levelled jackets and waistcoats that played peekaboo with wispy layers.
The new sari on the block. It’s sarong-style. It’s sexy. And, of course, it’s pleated.
A print trip that started six seasons ago when Dev R Nil moved to WIFW from Lakme Fashion Week reached a new ‘silence’ this season. The roses were quieter, closer, an almost whispering fern leaf print, a tree-lined horizon, mathematically precise doilies and bamboo. It was all clutter-free and calm at In Silence on Day 4.
The collection was marked with their key features that have slowly and steadily emerged as their signature look — straight-line silhouettes, interplay of sheer and solid, juxtaposition of volume and control, light and dark.... This runway presentation was special — it showed their trademark beadwork, intense and shadowy, that they do so well.
And, of course, roses and more roses — in reds, in greys. “We will bore you with roses,” Dev had said in their Thakurpukur workshop during a preview. Well that’s not happening anytime soon.