From traditional attire with a tinge of modernity to classic and royal attire, Raghavendra Rathore has dazzled us all.
We catch up to him as he details about his new venture in carpentry and a sneak peek into the fashion trends of today.
In a time that is dominated by the glitz and pop are prominent in the fashion world, traditional attire with a stroke of handmade intricacies and classical fabric brings out the royal in a person. And designer Raghavendra Rathore does just that— irrespective of whatever he delves into.
Regarded as one of India’s finest traditional wear designer, he recently collaborated with a Mirzapur-based handwoven rug company, Obeetee, to showcase a unique collection of carpet pieces, titled ‘Proud To Be Indian’, in Delhi.
The collection throws light upon old-world luxury. The Marwar region, specifically Jodhpur, is the core inspiration for the idea and vision behind the look and feel of these carpets. The collection has experimented with paisleys, asymmetrical designs and unusual patterns to create unique design sensibilities taking references from the past.
Speaking to Raghavendra Rathore, he shares his experience of how designing carpet is different from designing outfits for A-listers, Rathore says, “While fashion depends much on structure style and silhouette, designing carpets needs a different set of skills but with the same inspiration and ethos.”
“Both fashion and lifestyle need the same concentration of design the processes and the by-product completely different. The new retail environment, which is mostly present online, needs a new designer one who is agile and can design both lifestyle and fashion products,” he adds.
Talking about the level of intricacies involved in creating these carpets, he points out, “The most challenging part of this project was to break out of the conventional norms of weaving a carpet and trying to work on unique finishes and surface embellishments on carpets that reinvent the idea of carpet. Eventually, those radical ideas were converted to workable techniques that took some back and forth.”
The collection offers three variants, each with its unique background. The ‘Durbar Gaadi Masand’, rendered with opulent embroidery in velvet, derives inspiration from the textured royal sette used by kings and queens in darbars of yore. The artwork in ‘Rajasthan Architecture’, on the other hand, borrows inspiration from the majestic arches and structural design elements—including mirror work and brightly painted religious figures—of the Sheesh Mahal in Mehrangarh Fort. The third variant, ‘Coat of Arms’, is an offbeat showcase of logos, emblems, insignias and monograms of Rajput princely states and jagirs.
Rathore feels that fashion is something, which evolves with time, structured in the fashion world as ‘season’. The phenomenon is acknowledged globally. He adds, “Driving ‘seasons’ and changing trends are big money and business; hence the industry is more competitive now than ever. What you see with designers today transcends first to top end opinion-makers, movie stars; then to stores in malls, finally to streetwear. Fashion is transient- it catches a moment; hence there are so many changes that one could see.”
Rathore believes that every trend makes people learn, unlearn of what is needed and what should be left there only. On asking how does this carpet define the theme ‘Proud to be Indian’ he explains, “This collection encapsulates all the old-world aesthetics and grandeur that is synonymous with brand Raghavendra Rathore Jodhpur that has its roots in the culturally rich and diversified imagery of India. The designs are a reflection of India’s glorious heritage, diversity and vibrancy.”