Fashion designer Kunal Rawal’s upcoming collection at Lakme Fashion Week is a tribute to the city of dreams.
For fashion designer Kunal Rawal, his home city Mumbai – he was born and brought up in – is his biggest source of inspiration. “This city, it’s people and the energy, has always encouraged me from the word go, be it professionally or personally,” says Rawal. The designer will be paying tribute to the maximum city at the upcoming Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) through his collection Rousing showcashing 70 looks.
The glimpses of his inspirations can be seen in the form of cuts and patterns over the traditional wear, embroidery with texture play and the combination of digital prints with embroidery.
The city on fabric
Known for merging tradition with millennial sensibilities, Rawal’s upcoming showcase is a multifunctional collection expressing an individualistic style that is highly angle driven. In fact, the street style that the designer encounters daily around MIDC in Andheri has also inspired his collection.
“It is beautiful. A lot of it has come from how people put things together here and the beauty is there is so much variety in people and headspaces,” he says.
A fusion of ideal summer festive, the collection will also be presenting motifs like Y Salli, MUM motif and arrow embroidery celebrating the spirit of Mumbai. While Y Salli is inspired from the tetra-pods at Marine Drive, Mum comes from Mumbai.
“The motifs are inspired by the things we see around. The shape of tetra-pods is very exciting to me; hence the, Y-Salli, when done in a certain way on the fabric, gives you the tetra-pod shape. The Mum motif comes into a print, which goes into the surface, then into heavy embroidery eventually taking its variation, either with a Mumbai arrow or Mumbai knots. We are blowing up and going into some of our motifs and graphics, showing people the detailing that goes into it,” reveals the fashion designer.
The motifs, for the deisgner, at the same time, also define the space limitations that Mumbaikars live in. “This lack of space in the city has also inspired me. You interact with so many different worlds existing at one arm distance from you. Everything is so tight, which in turn opens your mind to a varied perspective,” smiles Rawal.
Changing the game
The collection boasting of cuts, patterns and contemprory take on traditional wear, has been conceptulised keeping in mind the cross-cultural influecne.
“I am super greedy and I have a lot to show so there is never one storyline to my designs. I work on multiple stories and concepts, which I then mix and match. For someone like me, the designs are always a combination of voice of the label—what we want to put out for the season—usability and the market we are catering to. That usually makes my collection, “ he explains.
With new silhouette, motifs and modern take on booti work, the designer for this season have introduced colours that he was never confident of. “I am bringing lot more pastels, brown as it works for any skin type, pink, greens, dark wine, lemon, fresher yellow and a lot of butter which is a new addition to vanilla, charcoal, and a bunch of blues. The combination will make the looks exciting,” he lists.
Merging his expertise of manipulating the fabric by layer on layer, Rawal with this collection will be introducing the concept of photosensitivity on apparel. “We create detailed all-white outfits with motifs and design and colour change. Once you step in the sun the colour of the fabric will change,” beams the designer who will be showcasing the collection against the backdrop of The Asiatic Library. “Power of textile is the reason I got into fashion in the first place. I love manipulating with the fabrics and techniques,” he adds.
Along with his collection for the fashion week, Rawal —an alumnus of LFW’s Gen Next Programme— will also be re-creating his first show for the programme.
“I am adding elements of my journey into my creations. Now when I look back, without realising a lot my inspiration over the years has been from Mumbai,” he concludes.