The first look of Rimi Nayak’s spring/summer 2021 collection ‘Bloom’
Sleepless nights. Endless hours of edit. After months of pause, Rimi Nayak had a well-timed reason to unpause. A digital show (today, 3pm) at FDCI’s spring/summer 2021 Lotus Make-up India Fashion Week. We caught up with Rimi on the making of the show — shot at Itachuna Rajbari — and the attempt to arrive at spring.
We’ve have had quite a journey this pandemic given the situation. How difficult has it been to “find that feeling called spring”?
The last few months have been quite a journey for us all. Isolation, stagnation, fear, hopelessness and loss were an integral part of our lives. And to think of, it took a virus to tell us that mortality is real and that nothing is permanent. Today is here and tomorrow might not be there. And we should learn to embrace life as it is and make the most of whatever we have got.
So as we were working on the new collection we thought of taking inspiration from nature. As we were stuck in our rooms, feeling helpless, nature on the other side was still blooming. Our true nature is to bloom and flourish, not stay stunted or caged. This divine truth is reflected in every plant, animal, bird and organism in nature.
So to me, spring is not a season, spring is a feeling. It is a feeling that will make us stand up again, against all that we have suffered and endured.
Do you think you have arrived at “spring?”
Personally, yes. The pandemic has not left me scared, it has taught me some of the greatest lessons of life. I believe it gave us all the opportunity to stop and think. As we couldn’t journey outside, I took the opportunity to journey inside. The pandemic really taught me the essence of the word “universal”. Today, like love, loss is universal. Isolation is universal, stagnation is universal. The only way forward is together. So today, to me, it’s no longer just ‘me’, it’s ‘we’. I choose to look at the brighter side of life, take in the positivity and hope for a better tomorrow. To me, this is spring, right here, right now.
What is the eternal spring state of mind for you?
An eternal spring state of mind to me is a frame of mind which looks for calm in chaos, for happiness in despair and growth in stagnation. It’s a mind frame of positivity, growth and happiness.
How much of your soul-searching journey has gone into Bloom?
As we were stuck at home feeling confined within the four walls, I decided to take a stroll inside my own self, looking for some deeper meaning of life. I started valuing the stillness as I realised how important it is for growth. I even took up an online course from Yale University, on the science of well-being.
I definitely believe the calm and clarity that I experienced during this period helped me while designing the collection. It made me look at the positives in life, valuing meaningful relations, being kinder and to be grateful for all that I have. Thus my collection narrates the story of hope and resilience in times of despair.
Bloom looks bright, beautiful and simple. Can you take us through the 14 pieces?
We have a range of dresses, co-cords, kaftans and shorts in a vibrant colour palette. There are a lot of organic and graphic foliage prints along with tropical bird motifs. The prints are often highlighted by hand embroideries. The silhouettes are relaxed, flowy and easy to wear. There is a resort vibe in the collection.
What are your favourite blooms?
Lilies and carnations are my favourite flowers.
The making was a different ball game altogether. What were the most challenging bits?
It was a completely different experience to do a show in a digital format. For the past 12 years, I have been doing fashion week in the physical ramp format and so the change itself was quite a challenge. But then again, it was the challenge of the new format which excited me to participate this year as I felt it gave me an opportunity to push boundaries and try to explore a new format in fashion. Today the entire world is the audience for my show and everyone gets the front-row seat, getting to watch it live from the comfort of their own screens. The format this time was to film a short video of the entire collection, which would be aired live from all the FDCI social media handles on the day of our show. So we had to manage every bit of the film-making. Starting from the conception and execution of the actual film, to looking for the right models, finding the ideal location, figuring out the logistics and assembling the best team that could pull off the project.
When you finally saw Bloom in the film, did you have tears of happiness?
We filmed the video at a very short notice with the weather playing a spoilsport delaying our shoots along with endless on-the-spot mishaps. We all spent endless sleepless nights working for around 18 hours a day at the editing table to meet the deadline.
So after all glitches, hard work and toil, when we finally finished the film and as the credit rolled, I was truly overwhelmed. It was a different kind of feeling. I guess I have never been happier to watch my own show as I was this time. It was a mammoth task and I was feeling grateful for all the support that I had from my friends, without which it wouldn’t have been possible.
The mood board is holiday, relaxation and tranquillity. So, where are you taking off to ‘bloom’?
Yes, the collection is a resort line, ideal for a travel destination. I am personally an avid traveller, and the slightest opportunity I get, I travel. With the current scenario, I am only travelling in my mind, planning for the next possible destination to visit, once it all is in a better state. All my international travel plans are cancelled for this year but I do have a few plans lined for the coming months in a couple of chosen destinations in India.
Rimi Nayak’s Bloom is like a deep breath. You can the feel the calmness serenade you, lulling you into a spring mind. As you breathe out, you let go of grey doubts, the joyous riot of colours whispering that all will be well.
The 4.57-minute film opens with black-and-white frame that gives way to a shrug of shoulders to despair, breaking into jubilant smiles.
Easy-breezy styles speak of the abandon in the heart. Happy faces dipped in radiance and the laid-back mirth of a free spirit make you smile. Sunshiny flowers and pouring sunlight fill you with hope.
And, Subhamita Banerjee picturesque against the expanse of the blue sky in the closing shots is magical.
The Telegraph dropped by at the making of the show at itachuna rajbari. Glimpses from the behind-the-scenes action
- Tuhina Das
- Subhamita Banerjee
- Sushmita Roy
- Megha Jhulka
- Ditsa Roy
Neha Gandhi Binjrajka (she did it remotely, was not present at the shoot)
- Abhishek Murmu
- Supriyo Mondal
- Prasenjit Manik