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Last Updated Tuesday June 27 2017 04:46 PM IST

Tarun Tahiliani: Of designs that are sexy without showing skin

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Tarun Tahiliani Models walk the ramp in Tarun Tahiliani's collection on the final day of m4marry wedding week in Kochi on Sunday. Photo: E.V.Sreekumar/Tarun Tahiliani's FB page

At a time when 'being Indian is not cool enough', promoting fashion indigenous to this nation with a rich cultural heritage is imperative. And Tarun Tahiliani is doing it just right. A top-notch bridal couture designer, Tahiliani has done much in transforming the image of Indian designs to a classy one.

Tarun Tahiliani's couture collection ends m4marry wedding week on a royal high

As the final curtain fell on the m4marry wedding week at Le Meridien in Kochi on Monday, the one thing that etched upon the minds of the audience was Tahiliani’s beautiful lehengas, which blended north Indian patterns on south Indian fabric. 

"The world's fashion scenario has changed greatly in recent times due to the popularity of mass media…Fashion has grown out of ramps and shows to TV screens and streaming shows. When Alexander McQueen launched live streaming of his show, it was a novelty. But not anymore.

  • m4marry Wedding Week 2016

    Models showcase Tarun Tahiliani collections at m4marry Wedding Week 2016 in Kochi. Photo: EV Sreekumar

    m4marry Wedding Week 2016
  • m4marry Wedding Week 2016

    Models showcase Tarun Tahiliani collections at m4marry Wedding Week 2016 in Kochi. Photo: EV Sreekumar

    m4marry Wedding Week 2016
  • m4marry Wedding Week 2016

    Models showcase Tarun Tahiliani collections at m4marry Wedding Week 2016 in Kochi. Photo: EV Sreekumar

    m4marry Wedding Week 2016
  • m4marry Wedding Week 2016

    Models showcase Tarun Tahiliani collections at m4marry Wedding Week 2016 in Kochi. Photo: EV Sreekumar

    m4marry Wedding Week 2016
  • m4marry Wedding Week 2016

    Models showcase Tarun Tahiliani collections at m4marry Wedding Week 2016 in Kochi. Photo: EV Sreekumar

    m4marry Wedding Week 2016
  • m4marry Wedding Week 2016

    Models showcase Tarun Tahiliani collections at m4marry Wedding Week 2016 in Kochi. Photo: EV Sreekumar

    m4marry Wedding Week 2016
  • m4marry Wedding Week 2016

    Models showcase Tarun Tahiliani collections at m4marry Wedding Week 2016 in Kochi. Photo: EV Sreekumar

    m4marry Wedding Week 2016
  • m4marry Wedding Week 2016

    Models showcase Tarun Tahiliani collections at m4marry Wedding Week 2016 in Kochi. Photo: EV Sreekumar

    m4marry Wedding Week 2016
  • m4marry Wedding Week 2016

    Models showcase Tarun Tahiliani collections at m4marry Wedding Week 2016 in Kochi. Photo: EV Sreekumar

    m4marry Wedding Week 2016
  • m4marry Wedding Week 2016

    Models showcase Tarun Tahiliani collections at m4marry Wedding Week 2016 in Kochi. Photo: EV Sreekumar

    m4marry Wedding Week 2016

"In a city like Kochi, much can be done in the field of fashion with the help of cross-platforms. You can really be a part of it even if you are not physically there. I think that it is the game changer for fashion," he said.

Tarun Tahiliani Models walk the ramp in Tarun Tahiliani's collection on the final day of m4marry wedding week in Kochi on Sunday. Photo: E.V.Sreekumar

What do you think of Kochi as a fashion destination?

I don't know much about Kerala's fashion, but looking at the billboards, I can say fashion is still very traditional here. Kochi isn't trying to be something else, because it doesn't have to be. 

It is also very hard for a city with a climate like this to be a fashion capital. Although north-Indian outfits are making entries to the sector, the hot climate here doesn't allow experimenting with materials or even layering. 

There is no need to switch wardrobes as traditional wear like a perfectly draped silk sari or a dhothi make people look stunning. 

You have been to umpteen major fashion events. In comparison, where do you think the fashion scenario of India stands at?

I started out as a retailer and by promoting Indian fashion. During that time, I saw very beautiful fashion that was made in India, but only sold abroad. When I first entered this field, I was fascinated by the western fashion scenario. Compared to it, India drags far behind in identifying and exploring the styles indigenous to our culture.

So I felt I should stand to promote Indian designs and make people proud of it by having a proper world class store for the same. That's how I started designing.

The fashion scenario in India has undergone a major makeover. The accessibility to various places, access to information and the coming of popular culture has changed the way people dress.

Sari is no longer a practical option as the lifestyle of Indian women has changed.

Fashion happens when the focus shifts from utility to luxury. Fashion doesn't exist in itself, but is always rooted in something: technologies, popular culture, convenience and lifestyle. 

Tarun Tahiliani Models walk the ramp in Tarun Tahiliani's collection on the final day of m4marry wedding week in Kochi on Sunday. E.V.Sreekumar

What is the specialty of the collection presented at m4marry wedding week?

It is essentially a bridal couture collection. And this is to be worn to be beautiful and seductive, to show your hierarchy, to show you have fine taste. These are worn to the innumerable functions that proceed to a wedding and beyond. 

The sari is draped differently in various parts of the country. One of the things I do while making lehengas is a particular technique called structure draping. It shows off the best features of the person who wears it by customized draping. 

My designs are not revealing, but sexy. 

The collection presented for m4marry wedding week features beautiful embroidery designs. They are customized to suit the bride's body. In these dresses, you will be comfortable for sure; you can even dance.

You have designed many celebrity wedding collections. Is it more challenging than designing for normal clients?

Actually it is the other way around. These celebrities, who have a public personality, maintain their bodies really well. They have beautiful features. The only challenge is to make them look even more better. 

After coming here, did you feel like experimenting with the south Indian bridal fashion?

Wedding fashion in south India is still largely traditional. People are hesitant to change. Yet, a lot of people have already started wearing northern outfits as well as dresses, merging the cultures. The market I am part of still focuses on the northern wedding trends.

However, I have started experimenting with western materials and designs. Three of the lehengas I presented in Kochi have used Kanchivaram, which is from south India. 

Would you consider opening a store in Kochi?

The market here is not the one I would fit in. At some point, there will be a market in here. And then, I would be a part of it for sure.

The opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of Manorama. The responsibility of opinions expressed here lies solely with the author. According to the IT Act, derogatory statements towards an individual, community, religion and country as well as the use of obscene words are punishable offenses. Legal action will be taken against such practices.
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