When you’re talking Indian fashion — Ritu Kumar, you can without any qualms say, is among the few designers whose name elicits a credible amount of respect and admiration. In fact, you can say that Ritu, with 46 years in the business, is among the first few couturiers in the country who’s seen the Indian fashion industry grow from nascency to its present thriving form. And the doyenne of fashion is only too pleased with how the industry has shaped up today.
First things first, the designer will be showcasing at the grand finale of the Blenders Pride Bangalore Fashion Week Summer/Showers 2013 on Monday. Her response is instant when we ask her what about the city-based fashion show interested her. “Well, yes, it is a city-based fashion show but then with the three stores we have here, I think we are a part of the city. And because we’d already done similar shows in Chennai in Kolkata, we thought it was time we did something on similar lines in Bangalore.”
As someone who’s probably seen the best and the worst of Indian fashion, you’d think Ritu Kumar would be cynical about commenting about the current scene. The designer, however, is extremely positive. She says, “Fashion in India today has gone out of the window. In the west, Paris is the epicenter of fashion and the trends there dictate fashion in the West but in India, it’s a completely different picture. Fashion in India is very involved and there’s an indigenous handwriting that makes it stand out from what you probably see in this part of the world. What I really like about the current scenario is the fact that different designers are doing different things. There’s a lot of variety you get to see which is really good.”
Quiz her about her take on the growing trend of city-based fashion shows and Ritu honestly states,”The way I see it, city-based fashion shows promote a lot of indigenous fashion. I think it is important to build fashion awareness across all Indian cities.” Drawing analogies she says, “Like how films are released everywhere in the country and not just the metros, fashion too needs pan-Indian exposure.” Finally, we wonder if the applause after a show still manages to excite her and she signs off saying, “It’s all just a part of the show. It’s professional and that’s just how I look at it.”