Your work is so simple, yet elegant. Can you tell us about your source of inspiration?
My source of inspiration comes from within. I truly believe on what MF Hussain said, ‘An artist doesn’t need any inspiration, I can even draw in the midnight at middle of jungle.” My design definitely reflects my thought process which is simple, easy and extremely characterised.
Have you ever thought about experimenting with Ethnic-Western fusion?
No I haven’t and I never will. I believe when Indian, be like an Indian. I strongly feel about my place of origin and hence it truly reflects in my design sensibilities. I believe in celebrating the grandeur of being Indian via clothing and you can get so many looks for every aspect of life based on different kind of craftsmanship on different kind of silhouette like Anarkali, Lehenga, suits, saris, keeping the glam and characterisation aspect intact. I, in my design capacity believe that culmination of two cultures in terms fusion on clothes is a cluster.
Tell us about your collection- “The Golden Lady”
The collections talks about the substance of women in particular which is beyond the idea of feminism. Using intense intricate craftsmanship like Zardozi , Spring Parsi , Chikankari , dori in a well-defined artwork depicting the various literature in terms of architecture like Taj Mahal , Samode palace etc over the pastel colour pallets with merging details of the neutrality of work. The idea is to compliment the women beauty than to substitute it.
Your work is quite exquisite, how much time and money do you usually have to invest in your designs?
Well it takes unbelievable amount of time in the kind of workmanship that I work on, in particular. It took me 3 long years to complete my first collection because of the nature of craft I have opted for. And so when the work is much laborious, the money that is required is also not easy. Like Wah Taj! bridal lehenga from Golden Lady collection has undergone 4400 man hours of workmanship depicting the zari work that brings back the old world charm.
You offer the most detailed and finest tailoring. What is the price range of your designs and what kind of customers do you target?
Well, right from the choice of Handloom silks over machine made to selection of finest zari and thread work, the prices are bit steep but it is value for the money for the people who want to get best out of the money they wish to invest. The people who come with the mind-set of strong individuality, who really understand the idea of luxury, and who feels special about preserving and carry forwarding the legacy of authentic Indian-ness are my customers.
What are your views on the current bridal couture fashion in India?
Except a few people who are able to preserve and take Indian authentic workmanship very well, the current bridal couture is turning up in a mess with idea of fusion. It’s like people are trying too hard to be different and to catch people’s eye while I think now-a-days the best way to look different is to look simple and normal.
Do you believe that the love for Handloom will continue in the future?
Gandhi quoted, “Machine made things would appeal to your eyes first but hand made things would appeal to your heart first than eyes”. With the ever-growing exposure, people’s acceptance level have really gone up for hand-woven and handcrafted garments acknowledging the sincere hard-work involved and the exclusivity offered by handmade articles. Machine made fabrics especially silks are flat and stiff but textural beauty of Handlooms have always complimented craftwork of India and hence is taking up Indian couture on a different level.
You have talked about Restoration of Old Handloom and Handmade articles as a Luxury stature. Tell us a bit about it.
The brand, Karan Arora, has been sincerely dedicated towards reviving age-old traditional craft work though its exquisite handmade collection of rich fabrics, which otherwise is slowly diminishing due to economic pressure and reducing number of skilled workforce. The product portfolio has been built taking the socio-economic backgrounds of the artisans into concern. The workmanship ranges from weaving of the finest Indian textiles such as Malda, Katan, Tussar, Cotton to using exotic hand embroideries. “Luxury” is exclusivity. It does not die with trend but is preserved and passed through generations. Handicraft is luxury as it could not be copied as machine made products.
Do your customers understand the amount of work that goes into Hand-crafted garments?
Customers, even if don’t have that exact knowledge, conveying the aesthetics and literature involved in the right perspective makes the process of indulgence much easier and stronger. . Power of a brand depends on how precisely the knowledge of product is communicated.