Picking up where we left off with our Q&A series, here’s a quick tête-à-tête with the designer Kallol Datta…
1. As a designer, what inspires you? Have a muse?
As a person, I gravitate towards concepts of putrefaction, transmigration etc, and to the works of artists who’ve dealt with the aforementioned topics. When in design mode, it remains the same. The thought of having a muse throws me off for a loop. I cannot imagine creating garments based on the visual imagery of just one(type) woman.
2. What is the core aesthetic that you aim for in your clothes?
Bling- free, Bling – less, Bling to death and the likes. Shiny objects distract me. Though details in garments are important, for me the shape and form of the piece hold more importance.
3. With multiple fashion weeks springing up in almost every major city, how effective are they?
It’s weird right? Almost like having a Mardi gras at every nook and corner. However India keeps stressing way too much on the word ‘week’. I’ve conditioned myself; substituting ‘week’ for ‘extravaganza and jazz’, because in India that’s what it is at the end of the day.
4. How has the high-end luxury brand influx in India changed the local fashion scene?
Well, for starters, people have started denying the fact that they’ve picked up their Gucci from Mumbai. But seriously, other than the fact of having my garment appear in a magazine on a model wearing a Patrick Cox shoe and the point that is Chanel and not ‘Channel’ anymore, it’s all the same.
5. How do you feel about more and more celebrities choosing to wear International labels at various award functions and other public events? As a designer do you feel our homespun designers aren’t getting their due?
Ask me something on meta-physics and I am sure, I’ll fare better. I stay far away from celebrities and their lives. Their sartorial choice in clothing however, brings out the ‘Kathy Griffin’ in me.
6. How important is it for a designer to have his/her creations seen on a celebrity versus conventional advertising mediums?
By celebrity, let’s assume we mean people from the Indian film industry. Designers catering to that particular market segment will prolly benefit from actors and the likes wearing their clothes. As for my case, forget the clothes, let’s get people to pronounce ‘Kallol’ the way my mum intended it to be.
7. Five essentials that should take us through the seasons this year?
Well groomed selves (even if one tends to appear otherwise), brill innerwear, a beginner’s sense of humour, lady luck and a glass of vino.
8. How would you describe your own sense of style?
Magpie; random, borrowed, stolen. Roomy, all enveloping and the likes.
9. Thoughts on mainstream actresses replacing models on all major (fashion) magazine covers?
I know!!! How dare they!! but I cry myself to bed every night hoping that it’s only because female actors make better marketing sense and that’s it…
10. And finally…
a. One word that describes you?
b. A trend you wish would go away?
Besides the obsessive usage of the word ‘trend’? ummm bodycon and bling…lets make it two trends that could go away.
c. A trend you can’t get enough of?
d. Shoes or bags?
e. If you weren’t a designer, you would be?
Just your friendly neighbourhood chav, on government support with the fanciest council apartment. I cannot fathom doing anything else other than designing at the moment.
f. One thing Kallol Datta cannot live without?
Having something constructive to do…
Kallol Datta, Fall 2009
Photo Credit: Viral Bhayani