Whether it’s the more wearable prêt line or eccentric couture collections, Amit Aggarwal’s designs are strikingly innovative
How did your tryst with fashion begin?
AA: As a child, watching my father work with his mathematical blueprints was my introduction to drawing as a means of expression. That memory has inspired the genesis and esthetic on which Studio Amit Aggarwal built its work and continues to do so. Observing my mother drape her sari every day is another key instance that connected me to the idea of fashion.
My time at NIFT Delhi was critical as it helped me create a worldview of my own. Of course, one learns the technical bits which are extremely important, but a formal education also allows a person to experiment around that. In college I experimented with draping and pattern cutting and that remains a crucial part of the work that goes into our collections.
As part of an internship I visited Japan, where I lived with a local family. I think that was a great learning experience. The landlord, who was a major textile merchant, sponsored my final year collection and I got to use the best textiles. It was a dream back in 2001, but Japan has gained its due multiple times in the last 20 years.
How do you achieve a cross-culture blend in your designs?
AA: It takes some amount of relevance for influences from different cultures to work together in a collection. Be it a play between manmade or natural or a symphony between industrial and organic influences, it comes down to forces that make them one. I think there is great beauty in opposites and all our collections have attended this idea in some way or the other.
How do you overcome a creative block?
AA: I think I am in a space that I truly consider my own, so I don’t usually have a creative block. My team and I discuss ideas and it’s an open place for anyone to express how they think we can do something. Exchange is important; I have an incredible team on whom I can bounce off ideas. I may not like a result of an experiment, but we rework the same design or take a different route.
How do fashion trends affect the wardrobe choices of people in India?
AA: Trends are influences that are used to design garments or looks. As Indians, we were not consuming trends directly, but now with fast fashion, we end up picking clothing that is at the top of the trend cycle. Sometimes we see celebrities or an acquaintance wear something and it catches our eye. There are different ways trends are formed within India and globally. I think it is an exciting cycle, especially when a decade-old trend comes back into fashion and suddenly the entire market is full of it. As designers, we see textile shops full of fabrics that are in trend at any given point. Or even at trade fairs. There are colors dictated by food, climate, politics, etc.