We caught up with Vineet Bahl and got to talking about his fabulous, new collection for Pernia's Pop Up Shop—what inspires him, who he thinks are the most stylish celebs in the business—and even what he's wearing right this minute!
Cosmo: Tell us a little bit about the collab came about…
Vineet Bahl: We've never done party wear online before—and we figured the perfect time (and place) to do it was right now, and with Pernia. Our contract with Net-a-Porter had earlier kept us from other collaborations, but the moment that allowed us to do more collaborations, we decided to take this forward.
The collection stems from the birth of the online consumer_and how global their lifestyle has become. The market is huge for partywear—for everyone sitting in their homes from Chandigarh to Bombay—and that's where we wanted to head.
Cosmo: How different is the process of putting together a collection for the runway versus for real buyers?
Vineet Bahl: When you're designing for the runway, it's so much more about beauty than practicality—you want to make an impact, so wearability isn't such a factor. When you're designing for retail, it's that practicality that's key—the dynamics change, but not every designer gets that distinction.
Cosmo: Embellishments: How do you toe the line between tacky and tasteful?
Vineet Bahl: It's all about application. I mean, for the longest time, I thought sequins were tacky. I was like 'Who uses sequins?', but now I've started to fall in love with them, because I love how we're using them. It just depends on whether it's done tastefully, and doesn't cross over into overt.
Cosmo: We see a lot of capes in your collection—is it a trend you're favouring right now?
Vineet Bahl: I think it's a particularly flattering silhouette. It works across sizes, because it hides and shows all the right bits. Also, it's the flavour of the season—everyone loves capes right now.
Cosmo: What would you say is quintessentially the Vineet Bahl Aesthetic?
Vineet Bahl: Clothes that are Indian without being ethnic—and it's really hard to get that balance, but you have to know where to draw the line. I like the idea of a restrained minimalism, if you will.
Cosmo: What would you say is the star piece from this collection, in your opinion?
There's a black jacket dress that I just adore right now—it's what stands out in my mind when I think about the collection.
Cosmo: The Little Black Dress vs The Little Bright Dress: which one do you think is winning, and why?
Vineet Bahl: The Little Bright Dress—everyone's got a little black dress, but this is still relatively fresh.
Cosmo: A celebrity who's style you think is totally on-point right now.
Vineet Bahl: Everyone has a stylist these days. So, to me, it's all about when their personality comes through—I think Konkana Sen Sharma's personality always shines through, whatever she wears.
Cosmo: …and a celebrity who's desperately lacking?
Vineet Bahl: Vidya Balan. I mean, I think it's time she stepped out Fabindia, don't you?
Cosmo: Alternatively, a celebrity who's style has evolved dramatically over the years…
Vineet Bahl: Even though I think it's actually Manosh Malhotra to whom the credit ought to go, I'd say Urmila Matondkar. Noone talks about her anymore, true, but I think she went quite smoothly from tacky to sexy.
Cosmo: If you had to dress Priyanka Chopra for the Oscars, you'd put her in…
Vineet Bahl: Oh, that'd be a dream! I'd put her in gown from my upcoming collection—something that reflects her roots without screaming ethnic.
Cosmo: One trend you're absolutely loving right now…
Vineet Bahl: Distressed denims that show the knees? I think those are SO hot.
Cosmo: And lastly, what you wearing RIGHT now?
Vineet Bahl: I'm wearing Ted Baker trousers, a white Ferragamo shirt and Prada shoes. Or, you know, I could be in a dhoti and lying to you (laughs).