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Since 1st March, 1999
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Seriously stylish
The Guchhi Terrace at Hyatt Regency was all ready for a very special evening with a very special guest. Yellow roses, white lilies and shola artefacts came together to welcome Belgian star designer Dries Van Noten and his partner Patrick Vangheluwe(Above) . The dinner was elaborate with signature Italian, Bengali, Tandoori and Hyderabadi specialities rustled up for the guests. The city’s glam set dropped in to meet and greet Dries. “I love the evening, it is truly inspiring to meet so many different people,” smiled Dries towards the close of the evening. Pictures by Pabitra Das

How has your trip to Calcutta been so far?

It’s been a busy day. It’s my first time here. I visited all the different factories and I saw how the work is done. It’s fantastic. I wish I could stay longer but I am attending the annual luxury conference hosted by International Herald Tribune, where I will address the topic of working with India. After my trip I am even more inspired. I knew talking on India would be easy for me because it is such a special place for me, but now my job is easier. I will also show videos of how some of my embroideries are being done here for more than the past 20 years. I will show video clippings of the labourers too. People can see how lovely the embroidery looks but they should also see how skilled the labourer is and how much love and work they put in. Some outfits take 600 hours of embroidery!

Rajat Kejriwal, Dries and Vikram Hazra
(From left) Shalini Nopany, Natalie Dascq, Vibha Kejriwal and Dries Van Noten
(From left) Priti Goenka, Sumedha Saraogi and Pooja Goenka
Tanvi and Viraj Kejriwal

Your green thumb is legendary. In your entire garden, which are your favourite flowers?

My favourite flowers are the smallest of flowers called cyclamen. What I love most about them is that they bloom in the dark grey winter! They are beautiful, like a fuchsia carpet. In the spring, I am spoilt for choice! There are peonies, roses…. I love them all!

Which silhouette do you like best?

I love the sari. The way it wraps itself onto a lady’s form is amazing. It is the most beautiful garment and the woman who wears it feels more beautiful because of the immediate pride she feels when she drapes the sari. I always tell everyone around the world that the sari is my favourite.

What is the thought behind your latest collection?

The collection we unveiled in Paris Fashion Week was all about rediscovering colour. I wanted to go where I have never been before. I wanted to make a very interesting collection inspired by colours and that’s what I did. I used what I call ‘strange’ colours. It’s very easy to make a beautiful collection with beautiful colours but as I said, we wanted to push it forward and make it different.

So it wasn’t an easy, recession-friendly collection?

No, not at all! If I wanted to make a recession collection it would be lots of flowers and embellishments. That’s what people expect from me. But this time, the collection was for me (smiles). For a long time I have been thinking about this perspective. It answers the question ‘what is beauty?’.

Do negative reviews bother you?

When reviews are honest, I have no problem even if they are negative. In general, I know what I design. I enjoy myself. Fashion is what gives me energy to continue.

Finally, what are the five things you love most about India?

Only five? There are far too many things I love about your country. Five is unfair.

Shradha Agarwal

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