The ornate zardozi work on rich black velvet is testimony to celebrated designer Rohit Bal's commitment to the craft. This collection was inspired by Russia, and in a way he says it reminds him of Kashmir where he grew up and spent hours at a tailor's shop trying to design his own clothes. In a black and white photo from his childhood, the designer is wearing a cardigan with floral embroidery. Years later, the floral embroidery finds a prominent place on his garments that are flamboyant and embody "luxury".
Early Start At 14, he had decided that he wanted to be a designer, and his first collection had the creole and chain stitch embroideries from Kashmir, which he deconstructed to make jackets. And then, at his first-ever fashion show, he had carried sacks of dried Chinar leaves. Nostalgia is what always forces creation, he says. Now, as the new minister of textiles Smriti Irani goes for a unique public-private partnership involving designers to push the cause of handloom, Bal wants to open a cluster in Kashmir. Having completed 25 years in fashion last year, Bal remains the undisputed king of drama and couture who has kept his love for the ornate and flamboyance consistent. However his eagerness to experiment is undying and unshakable. "I want to do more," says Bal.
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