Radha Kapoor Khanna brings light to stories of leading designers with fine art flair
In March 2019 Louis Vuitton reopened its refurbished flagship store in Florence and what made it stand out from the rest is not all the luxury apparel and accessories, but the decor, that boasts of artworks by some of the most famous creators, including Italian artists such as Osvaldo Medici del Vascello and Massimo Listri. Art and fashion go hand in hand, and it is only when the two come together, masterpieces are created. “The fashion scene has always been heavily inspired by art, but what some of the best contemporary designers are doing is not just incorporating art into fashion, but blurring the lines completely, and the results are mind blowing”, commented Radha Kapoor Khanna. The India Couture Week 2021 saw designer Gaurav Gupta’s stunning collection inspired by futuristic intergalactic art, featuring metallic hues, glitter, silhouettes imitating the movement of planets and the embroidery that represents racing comets and galaxies. Similarly, FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week 2022 witnessed brilliant works of creativity, which included myriad forms of art, such as graphics, art installations, patches, digital prints and so much more. While designers like Manish Malhotra, Aarti Vijay Gupta, Nikita Mhaisalkar stunned the audience, KaveriLalchand unveiled four collections of the Photographs and Memories, inspired by Cyanotype printing process of English scientist and astronomer Sir John Herschel.
As Netflix gears up for a season 2 of the hit show, MasabaMasaba, the eponymous designer, Masaba Gupta is setting the ramp on fire with her new collection. House Of Masaba’s latest line-up takes its inspiration from two striking indigenous art forms of India and East Africa, the Gond Art of Madhya Pradesh and the Noel KapandaTingatinga painting style of the Oyster Bay area in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The use of dots and lines to craft mystical shapes and motifs is a unique aesthetic of the Gond Art, while the Tingatinga style is all about celebration, offering a gorgeous festive take on otherwise common birds and animals. The brand’s signature love for flora and fauna is highly complemented in an amalgamation of these art traditional forms.
To celebrate the launch of his much-awaited flagship store in the heart of South Delhi’s trendy Dhan Mill in Chattarpur, famed couturier, AbhinavMishraes hosted his very first runway show. What inspired Radha Kapoor Khanna the most was that the designer ditched the conventional ramp setups, he instead chose Amaara Farms at Chattarpur as the venue of his show. Decked in a spectacular Awadh inspired décor, the show was themed as a Sufi evening with performances by the Nizami brothers and folk dancers. The showstopper of the event was his forever muse, Sonam Kapoor. The collection of stunning lehengas, anarkalis and shararas makes use of a vibrant and unique bold colour palette and classic mirror work for a dynamic ethnic look.
Karan Torani’s earliest inspirations were drawn from artist Hemant Majumdar’s paintings and fables that his grandmother recounted when the designer was a mere child. His collection consists of an eclectic potpourri of vibrant colours and motifs, reminiscent of the art that shaped his fashion. There are clear retro influences in his work as well. One particular image that stuck in his mind was the scenes featuring Mandakini in a sheer sari in 1985 movie Ram Teri Ganga Maili. Flowers have always been a major focus in Torani’s work, and his project, Sindhi Tent House, which was launched with traditional band baja and orchestra, features bold, eye-catching floral designs.
Designer duo Shivan Bhatia and NarreshKukreja hosted a unique concept of digital fashion show with a virtual showcase of their works, inspired by the Wildin’ 20s. Radha Kapoor Khannaexplains, “The 20s were wild wild times, and that is presented with such panache in the bold and colourful designs of the collection” Nature plays a key role in the designer duo’s inspiration, which is not only represented in their designs of stunning animal and flower motifs, but also in their green initiatives, such as the use of eco-friendly fabrics, sustainable processes as well as recycling and upcycling a part of their seasonal designs.
Global Fashion Scene
Radha Kapoor Khanna observes that there has been an undeniable rise the influence of art in the international fashion and is not limited to apparel and accessories only. With New York Fashion Week making use of fresh flowers, green grass to reflective surfaces for decor and full-blown sets with themes ranging from pink kawaii to fantasy, this is indeed a refreshing change.
Art is indispensable in life, and luxury fashion is no exception. Art elevates fashion and offers it a distinctive connoisseur’s status, and unparalleled elegance. Art can also be a powerful tool to convey poignant social and political message via fashion.