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Chic Interview: Nachiket Barve wants fashion to make people happy

September 20, 2011

Mumbai-based designer Nachiket Barve is from a family of doctors. A nature lover, he enjoys wildlife and nature photography. On a holiday, Nachiket Barve is most likely cooking himself a quiet meal, or travelling—enjoying museums, bookshops, fashion stores, forests and beaches.

Nachiket Barve’s clothes have a stark Indian signature but with an international appeal. You could wear his clothes to a Diwali celebration in India or a glam night out in London.

For his Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011 collection, Nachiket Barve played with the colours of dusk, night and sunrise  and his favourite ombre effects with fluid layering, appliqué, periwinkle embroidery and cutwork. (Our favourite was the wrap dress—see below).Nachiket Barve wrap dress LFW W/F 2011

Speaking Chic spoke to Nachiket Barve about his collection, design philosophy and life beyond fashion.

Your latest collection is called The Golden Hour. What does that refer to?
Just after the sun sets and starts dipping down, the colours in the sky change rapidly. It’s a marvellous sight, and those colours are the inspiration for my collection.

(Below: Nachiket Barve with model at LFW W/F 2011 press conference)

Nachiket Barve LFW W/F 2011

Why does appliqué feature so prominently in your collections?
I think design should be innovative, clever and modern. Appliqué makes use of fabric itself to decorate, and it requires a little extra thought and  creativity. A piece of fabric could be a tassle, flower, or foxglove. Also I like minimum wastage and the use of fabrics as embellishment is a good way to cut down on fabric waste.

How do you innovate season after season?
Innovation comes from interpreting existing things in a different way. For instance, even shapes can be used as new ideas, like the famous anarkali silhouette can be made into a jacket. Or the manta ray’s shape—I’ve made it into a garment.

What are your inspirations?
Too many to list—nature, culture (Uzbek weave, Turkish carpets). I’ve also drawn inspiration from geometry, using fractals in one of my garments in this collection. Even places inspire me, and the way people dress.

(Below: Detailing on Nachiket Barve lehenga)

Nachiket Barve LFW W/F 2011

What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion should have a sense of both fantasy and reality. I believe glamour exists as long as you can’t touch it. My fashion philosophy is to have separates that you can interpret in your own way. For example, a woman can wear a stunning neckpiece with a pair of skinny pants and a white shirt. I also believe fashion can be uplifting. Today you only read bad news in the papers, so while fashion can’t move mountains, it can make someone happier. All I want is to create a beautiful garment for the average user.

Nachiket Barve LFW W/F 2011

Who is the Nachiket Barve woman?
All women! My clients could be anywhere from 9 years to 71 years.

What are the trends you see for the upcoming festive season?
You know, I believe in a fashion democracy– mixing trends based on how you feel. I think we’re becoming more and more democratic toward fashion, especially with the global influences.

But don’t you think a lot of people today are sartorial clones of each other?
I agree, but it’s a time of flux in India, people are still figuring out what works for them. Style takes years to evolve and it takes time for people to figure out what’s right for them and what’s not.

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