Craft & Colour

Debarati Palit
Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Husband-wife designer duo Shyamal and Bhumika Shodhan talk about their latest collection ‘A Parisian Symphony’, highlighting dying traditional artwork and more 

Designer duo Shyamal and Bhumika Shodhan have always believed in their vision to take ‘India to the World’. Their designs highlight the dying traditional arts and crafts. They recently presented their latest collection ‘A Parisian Symphony’ at Amazon India Fashion Week Autumn/ Winter 2018, and actress Diana Penty walked the ramp as the showstopper.

Their Fall 2018 collection, which showcases an enthralling blend of craft and colour, includes silk skirts with aesthetically interlaced botanical floral motifs, statement dresses in soft velvets with multi-coloured sequins and bugle beads, and magnificent sarees in flowing organza. From deep wine to dark shades of green, twilight blue to seductive black, the colours induce mystery. The designers say that the mood of the collection captures a sense of mystery and intrigue.
The duo share more about their work:  

What is ‘A Parisian Symphony’ all about and the inspiration behind creating it?
Our collection A Parisian Symphony is an enthralling blend of craft and colour for a beautiful night as the drama of autumn unfolds. We visualise the collection through our muse who dresses extraordinarily for an evening out at the opera in an extremely dramatic setting of the fall season. Globetrotting, tasteful, powerful, feminine and sophisticated is how we describe our muse.

What was the reason behind choosing the colours for the collection and what do they convey? 
The mood of the collection captures a sense of mystery and intrigue. The vivid jewel tones of deep ruby, emerald and dark sapphire reflect the onset of winter while luring us in their warmth.

Your designs highlight a lot of dying traditional art and craft. Is it a conscious effort? 
We continue to remain faithful to our vision of taking ‘India to the World’. We amalgamate intricately crafted Indian handwork with modern aesthetics in our designs to make them timeless yet relevant to the present. We believe our rich culture has much to offer and should be highlighted globally. Our handcrafted, bespoke couture ensembles are a small way of bringing out the richness of our culture. It is very satisfying when what you do leads to preserving crafts and generating sizeable employment. 

You have been a part of several fashion weeks/ shows. How have they evolved? 
The most striking feature of fashion weeks today is the involvement of digital media. Digital and social media outreach is instant and widespread. Innovations have been made to runway presentations keeping in mind a global audience as compared to earlier when the shows were only for the spectators present at the show. Since live shows can be viewed across the globe, the source of information and feedback is immediate and leads to rapid exchange of ideas. This phenomenon was unthinkable when we had started. 

What are some of the fashion trends for the wedding season?
The freshness and playfulness of organic pastel shades with intricate light embroidery are the highlights of this season. Attention to design details with romantic floral patterns and Western silhouettes will hold sway. Dramatic flares with dynamic embroidery, short dresses and ruffled flares and asymmetrical full skirts with embellished details will be in vogue. Long ball gowns in vibrant emerald and raspberry will add to the glamour quotient. 

You launched your first store in Delhi. Which are the other cities you have in mind?
We have been waiting to be more accessible to the brides in North India for sometime now. After Ahmedabad and Mumbai, our third flagship store at the DLF Emporio in Delhi, gives us a great opportunity to reach out to more brides in India and abroad. We are also creating designs that will appeal to not only Indian brides but the multicultural global bride. Our recent collections have been very well received by brides who are looking for master craftsmanship in natural fabrics. 

As husband-wife duo, you have been working together for many years. What is the secret behind your successful collaboration?
Working together has been a wonderful journey. The division of roles is fairly complicated and often overlapping as we tend to take over each other’s responsibilities. Bhumika is the technical expert and the fashion designer and I am the entrepreneurial creative director who dabbles with multiple collections and creative business ideas. 
We have both given our lives to the building of the brand but, most importantly, we have grown together as individuals and are committed to each other and our families. Open and honest communication has helped us immensely from the very beginning. We have always let each other explore and widen our horizons. 

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