We caught up with fashion designer, Archana Kochhar, who was in Hong Kong for her Trunk Show 2014. We quizzed her on the latest trends and of course, some styling tips for the upcoming festive season.
What is your specialisation as a designer?
My forte is Indian Bridal wear, but I also specialise in western gowns, tunics, ethnic, prêt and fusion wear. Fusion includes gown sarees, straight kurtas with palazzos, crop tops with flared skirts/ghagra to name a few.
How and where do you get your inspirations from to design a collection?
Most of my inspirations of my collections come from different cities of the world. My last Spring Summer collection titled “Paris A’mour” was inspired by the beautiful city of Paris. I had incorporated the elements of the city such as the Eiffel Tower, the structure of Paris and the spring flowers into prints for my collection.
Is Bridal Wear the most profitable section in the market? What are your views?
Bridal wear is definitely a profitable section in the market, as there are no boundaries for the clients to get the best, regardless of the monetary factor. But a new trend that has surfaced is the Resort weddings that are very popular. Thus clients opt for resort wear, which is less traditional, and more resort yet maintaining the essence of the occasion.
Fashion and styling has become a very important part of not just celebrities but even regular everyday life of most people. Do you think, in a way, our standard of beauty has changed over the years?
Fashion and styling go hand in hand. From high fashion to street fashion, styling is the main key to making an individual statement. Styling has become the main element in bringing out the look in fashion. From movies, and fashion shows to photoshoots, styling and fashion have become eminent essentials. Our standard in fashion has definitely risen over the years and people in general are more aware and mindful about what they wear and how they look.
What do you prefer– traditional Indian wear or chic western silhouettes? What does it take to fuse the two well?
Western wear is more practical for daily attire, whereas traditional Indian apparel is more conventional and appropriate for occasions and events. One way of fusing both is by taking a saree silhouette and translating it into a drape saree gown in a more modern fitting. Also one of the silhouettes that can be converted into an indo-western fusion wear is a straight kurta teamed up with a palazzo pants to give a modern chic yet with a traditional stance.
What are the latest trends in ethnic wear and fusion wear?
The latest trends this season for ethnic wear would be straight silk kurtas teamed up with patialas or cigarette silk pants. A sheer dupatta completes the look. Gown sarees are the latest raging trend on the fashion front; it’s modern chic yet elegant.
What are the must-have styles for the upcoming autumn festive season?
Autumn festive season is a season of bright colourful lights and fashion. Vibrant colours with a hint of gold bring out the festive flavour delightfully. Women can opt for mirror work cholis teamed with bright coloured flared lehenga skirts. High-low anarkalis with printed leggings is also a must have look for this season. Men can opt for textured or printed kurtas teamed up with patialas or chinos trousers for a smart and chic look. Bright printed bandi or half-sleeved bandgala jacket teamed with silk kurtas and patialas are the hottest items this season.
Which colours do you think are popular this season?
This season the colours that are trendy are shades of bright coral pink, orange and red. Gold, Yellow, bottle green and cobalt blue are also in trend this coming season.
What styles/looks did your Trunk Show 2014 exhibit for your Hong Kong?
This season I had a wide range of cuts and silhouettes for my Hong Kong clients. It ranged from gown sarees, lightweight lehengas with long kurtas, and straight kurtas with flared palazzo pants, to kurtas with patialas, drape anarkalis, stitched sarees, kaftans with printed inners and many more. The colour range was festive and delightful.
Could you also tell us about your association with the SMILE Foundation?
My association with Smile Foundation, which is a charity for the girl child, has been ongoing for quite some time. We have worked on numerous events together on raising funds for the charity and it has been successful.