Swati Rai

Twenty five springs after her entry into the fashion world, Payal Jain wants to rediscover herself — according to the times she is in and the person she has come to be. No, it isn’t a coincidence that her latest collection, ‘Forbidden Love’, which was showcased at the FDCI Amazon India Fashion Week Spring/Summer ’18, was all about ‘letting go’.

Payal says the talk around fashion has dramatically changed in all these years. “We are living in the age of social media and of fashion influencers, where I still feel ill at ease. However, I do recognise its importance. The premium placed on having a showstopper five years ago has petered off now. To be fair, there’s more to the show than just the ambient and attendant factors — the music, the lights and so on.”

The short attention span, memory and the need for instant gratification have altered the scene; luxury fashion is within the reach of the middle class, apart from the fast moving ones, retailed online and made available no sooner than the ramp show is over. The chatter around street style has also increased the eyeballs that the designers’ clothes get off the ramp. Payal calls it democratisation of fashion. “I am open to retailing online as that is the future. In fact, we get a lot of online queries for what people see on Instagram and other such social media.”

Not the one to just give lip service to social media hashtags and buzzwords like ‘handloom’ and ‘Made in India’, Payal says, “I wish there was more focus on the weavers.” Making light of her continued association with some villages and their weavers, with whom she creates fabrics and patterns, Payal urges designers to give back to the community behind the scenes and support the craftsmen at the grassroots level.

Payal trained in the craft of designing, graduated summa-cum-laude from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, San Francisco, California, and is a firm believer in the science of fashion. Art and creativity is intrinsic, she feels, but “there’s no running away from learning about patterns, textures, cutting and draping of the cloth to come out with that perfect garment.” Her design sensibility is a marriage of a western outlook with Indian ethos.

Payal, who says less is more for her, loves fluid and clean lines in classy couture and prêt. Her latest collection, she says, is her most innovative and boldest ever. “If you don’t experiment, you become obsolete and jaded,” she says. So, over the last two years, she has played with colours and textures and mixed patterns and designs to her own surprise too. In an age when life is looked through many ‘filters’, her signature design leitmotif is ‘keeping it simple’ and she describes her brand ethos as having ‘a western body with an Indian soul’. This is exactly what she wants her collections to say too.

Talking about her latest collection, her most vibrant yet, she shares, ‘The soul of this collection lies in its random, unexpected, bohemian aesthetic. I have allowed myself to wander wherever my imagination took me. I cannot define specific colours, silhouettes, fabrics, embroideries as I have not followed any of those norms or direction.”Read more at:http://www.marieprom.co.uk

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