The designer, lovingly called TT' among his peers and clients, is best known for his dreamy drapes, lightweight embroideries and intricate jaalidar designs.
At the recently conducted FDCI India Couture Week 2023, ace courtier Tarun Tahiliani showcased an inspired range of handcrafted ensembles, bridal accessories, and accouterments in his latest haute couture collection ‘For Eternity’. The designer, lovingly called ‘TT’ among his peers and clients, is best known for his dreamy drapes, lightweight embroideries and intricate jaalidar designs.
In an exclusive interview, he doles out some interesting insights on the evolution of the Indian fashion industry.
The designer points out an interesting perspective about being in the fashion business for so long. He says, "Fashion cycles are different, and in this world of social media a lot of people are saying things for effect or are even paid to say things. That’s not really what I go to work for. I go to work for multiple other reasons. I run a business; thousands of people depend on me. Through my work, I have learned about India, myself, and many more reasons why I get satisfaction from my work. Of course, when a business does well you are measured by a profit but I have seen brilliant designers like Charles James who couldn’t run a business because they were not practical. And, some very mediocre designers who are marketing geniuses make a fortune.
Keeping up with trends
For any designer, constant evolution is a challenging yet invigorating process. The pressure to innovate is a driving force that propels TT to explore new realms of creativity. He points out, "My motivation mantra involves a deep commitment to staying true to my vision while embracing change. And, to de-stress, I find solace in spending time with my family, indulging in art, and travelling. My inspiration flows from the amalgamation of diverse cultures and artistic expressions. The celebration of heritage and contemporary sensibilities drives me to craft beautiful ensembles."
Talking about his favourite and not-so-favourite trends, he mentions, "One trend that has been overly saturated is the excessive use of bold and flashy colors. It’s time to usher in a more refined and sophisticated color palette. On the other hand, I believe that the trend of pre-loved or as I say "Loved and Re-loved" fashion should be gaining momentum, and should rightfully become more popular in the years to come."
Celebrating the craftsmen
While most designers at ICW 2023 picked Bollywood actors for culminating their collections, Tahiliani dedicated the show to his talented team of designers and artisans, who create fairytale trousseaus at this atelier every day. Bringing the OG vibes with his timeless runway creations, the delicate zardozi, hand-painted details, and artful drapery on the ensembles were the showstoppers for his couture show. Weaving the narrative of intricate Chikankari, elaborate Kashidakari, and captivating Byzantine and Egyptian motifs, TT’s collection was an ode to timeless elegance infused with a modern flair. Speaking about his never-ending love for handicrafts, the designer mentions, "Indian arts and crafts are the heartbeats of our couture collections — infusing each piece with a distinct soul. Clients have embraced our designs that showcase the beauty of Indian textiles and handicrafts. Blending modern aesthetics with age-old crafts is a delicate yet rewarding endeavor. It requires a keen understanding of both worlds and a deep respect for heritage. The appreciation from our clients for these intricate designs has been overwhelming, as they recognize the beauty of Indian textiles and handicrafts that encapsulate our heritage."
One of his most popular creations has been a seamless fusion of traditional drapes with modern silhouettes. And, for the next collection, he’s currently weaving a narrative that revolves around intricate handwork and ethereal pastel hues.