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Amit Aggarwal: “It is important to adapt to changing times and reinvent”

In an exclusive interview, the designer talks to Cosmo India about his first-ever digital couture presentation, the future of Indian couture and the launch of his digital store 

Cosmo IndiaThe first-ever digital edition of the India Couture Week this year is a first for you, too. As a designer, what can we expect from the Amit Aggarwal Couture presentation?

Amit Aggarwal: “The show video that we’ve done is a mood that highlights the idea of freedom and ethereal lightness. It is also about the sense of celebrating oneself more than ever before. We’ve tried to bring this feeling while trying to capture intricate details, structure and form of the outfits.”

Sketch

Cosmo India: What were the stark differences that you felt between doing a ramp show and a digital show through a fashion film?

AA: “It’s a challenge for us to weave the brand story of intricate craftsmanship and hand embroidery and put together an immersive experience for the viewers. I feel both come with their set of challenges and advantages. Overall, this has been a new experience and as much satisfying as putting a physical show together.” 

Cosmo India: Given the scenario, what were some of the challenges you faced while creating this collection and the presentation?

AA: “Ensuring the safety of the team and everyone involved was our top priority. I enjoyed working with fabrics and trims that were sourced locally and with a more streamlined team and vision. I am excited to embrace this change and put our vision across in a new medium.”

Mood Board

Cosmo India: The fashion film you've worked on evinces freedom, lightness and new beginnings. Could you elaborate on this a little for us, and how that is translated to the pieces?

AA: “This collection depicts the weightlessness of the ocean, the caress of the wind, and the cradle of the earth as they nurture you. Putting together a Couture show is creating a celebration for all the five senses for the audience to take in. Hopefully, through this film, we will be able to achieve it, even though it’s virtual content presented on screens. We wanted to create an escape to set the mind free and help reimagine the wearability of signature Amit Aggarwal textiles.” 

Cosmo India: What are some of your personal favourites from the collection?

AA: “We’ve been strongly inspired by the beauty of nature. Sea foam, deep forest green and sky blue are the main colors for this collection. Our 3-Dimensional embroidered winged lehenga is my favourite.”

3D lehenga

Cosmo India: With the current times reiterating the need to go timeless and season-less, what do you think is the future of fashion, especially in India. What lies ahead?

AA: “India has its own definition of couture. In India couture matters because it’s deeply rooted in tradition, craftsmanship and heritage embroideries. We have to shift towards more modern and newer workmanship, employing the strength of local craftsmen, emphasising on intricacies, finesse and quality of the product that finally is targeted toward better customer service.”

Cosmo India: Keeping conscious fashion in mind, what are some of the things we can all do to ensure our garments and purchases stay relevant for longer?

AA: “Consumers will look out for authenticity of the product and value for investment over impulse buy. Brand loyalty or repeat buying will come back as a trend. Unique products that stand out through the design process shall become customers preferred products. Consumers shall eliminate products and brands that are not of the utmost necessary and choose brands that have a more streamlined vision and identity.”

Amit Aggarwal

Cosmo India: We've been noticing the beautiful poetry you've been putting up on Instagram...have you always enjoyed reading and writing poetry?

AA: “I have always enjoyed writing and reading poetry, Gulzar has always inspired me. It’s a good way of self-expression, and during the lockdown, I got time to do the things I really enjoy like writing and painting.”

Cosmo India: You have always been an advocate and champion for creating fashion with recycled items...how has that philosophy evolved over the years, and what are you doing in the area now?

AA: “Over the years our understanding of upcycling textiles and using sustainable practices has deepened, recently we thought of utilising a lot of leftover fabrics, trims and print patches from production processes. We wanted to use them to create a small capsule of shirts solely by the entire team of karigars without the involvement of a design or production team. The idea was to empower them during these times.” 

Collection

Cosmo India: What are the key features of the digital store experience?

AA: “It’s a seamless virtual shopping experience for our customers from the safety and comfort of their houses. The digital store features our classics along with some exclusive products which will only be available on our website, along with digital bridal appointments with the designer. The website will offer sarees and lehengas, to dresses and separates, the offering also includes our luxury pret line.”

Cosmo India: Why did you feel the need to launch the website now after being in the industry for 8 years?

AA: “It is important to adapt to changing times and reinvent ways of communication and engagement with our customers and patron. The brand has always been about pushing the envelope whether it’s integrating industrial by-products in traditional Indian weaving techniques or technology, we are thrilled to launch our digital store.”