Here’s a quick Q&A with designer Prashant Verma…
1. As a designer, what inspires you? Have a muse?
Ambition. Courage. Power. I like things hard and strong. No, I don’t have a muse.
2. We’ve seen you experiment with and use a lot of digital prints in your collections, is that something we can look forward to in your next collection as well??
I’ve been experimenting. I’ve been jumping around quite a bit in the last four seasons. Over the last few years I have expressed my story through a few key techniques – the prints, the structuring, the references to human ambition – although these are things that have been associated with my work, I’d like to stress on the fact that they are only mediums and tools- they may or may not change – it really depends on where I go artistically. Every collection takes a lot of work but once the show is over, you only have the choice of looking ahead. I tend to work only for the process. The journey is more important. So once its over, I don’t really care much for it. As long as I learn what I was meant to learn from that exercise and move forward. I know it’s a body of work, but I’m not particularly fond of the past. Once I’m done with the presentation, I only look at mistakes and things to work on. And then I move. It’s the nature of the industry – a six month life cycle – its short and crisp, its fast yet full.
Will I be developing more digital prints for the next collection? Maybe, maybe not, depends on where the process leads me.
3. Are you a procrastinator or do you usually have your collections planned the moment an inspiration or idea takes root?
The clothes are merely an end product of a process of research and introspection. They are just about as important as the soundtrack or the lights or the props – they’re all coming together to tell a story. They only reflect the journey and its very significant points. As I said the journey is more important right now. At a nascent stage of artistic development, it’s important to research and look and try different approaches to develop your own. That’s how my process has been up until now. I have some subjects that I address through my work- of power, strength, courage, ambition … things that I admire and find attractive and stimulating. Of late I have looked across a lot of different references that bring forth such issues. But I’m even tired of that approach now. The minute it gets too familiar, it tends to lose its excitement. I’m now restructuring my work process… identifying the key looks, shapes, representative elements, etc. – something a little less diverse, and more focused and distilled. Although the main direction always emerges clearly once the clothes tangibly start coming out, but before that its six months of research. So I guess I’m a bit of both. But if I work too much in advance then I get bored of the idea … too much familiarity can be unattractive.
4. How has the high-end luxury brand influx in India changed the local fashion scene?
People have more things to buy. The brands have more people to cater to. The magazines have glossier handbags to feature. And the average Indian can pronounce a lot more names at ease. But I wish this easier access to world culture would help inculcate a yearning for a more educated taste.
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?
It’s not such a big issue. Its huge publicity currency but really… you wouldn’t have brands running after you unless you were someone worth it, even if that is momentary. Besides, if Indian actors are endorsing international brands at award shows, its very easy to understand where it is coming from – it just makes them more easily acceptable – not just visually but also because they come across as international rather than ethnic. Frida Pinto wearing Dolce & Gabbbana or Zac Posen effortlessly makes her an easier product to absorb globally, she confirms to a universally acceptable language- and it helps her get where she wants to faster than if she came clutching on to her Indianness as her only charm.
6. Who is that one Indian celebrity that you are just itching to give a make-over to? Don’t hold back on us!?
If someone is miserably dressed, that’s their bad luck. I’m not interested in visual social service.
7. Five essentials that should take us through the seasons this year?
I’m quite old school about such things. The basics are the most important.
Good Face, tight skin, fit body, young smell, and fresh breath.
8. How would you describe your own sense of style?
Sharp T-shirts. Worn out Jeans. Sharp hair. Sharp shoes. Workout.
9. Is it the clothing that adds allure to a woman or a woman who makes the clothing more alluring with her personality?
Lets face it. Substance comes first.
10. And finally…
a. One word that describes you?
b. A trend you wish would go away?
Empty Headed … there is nothing more vulgar than style without personality.
c. A trend you can’t get enough of?
d. Shoes or bags?
e. If you weren’t a designer, you would be?
f. One thing Prashant Verma cannot live without?
Prashant Verma Fall 09
Image courtesy: Yahoo