Exclusive: Archana Kochhar On Collaborating With Maharashtra Govt. For NYFW, Giving Paithani A Powerful Twist, And More

A proud moment for India!

At this year’s New York Fashion Week, designer Archana Kochhar made her marvellous presentation, in collaboration with the Maharashtra Government. For this special collection, Kochhar gave a spin to the age-old Paithani sarees and brought a slice of India to the international runway. Her collection incorporated a mix of silk skirts, blouses, and modern-day silhouettes that took the spotlight. In an exclusive conversation with me, the designer took us through the collation and expressed the change she wished to see in Indian fashion.

Q: Take us through your collection Anant.

Archana Kochhar: The ‘Anant’ Collection at New York Fashion Week is a celebration of Indian weaves and women. It’s divided into three segments: ‘Maharashtra Heritage’ showcases vibrant pink Paithani Saris in collaboration with the Maharashtra Government, ‘Global Resilience’ symbolises globalisation with a unique cobalt ‘sare-gown silhouette,’ and ‘Diversity in All Shades’ celebrates the beauty of women in various shapes and sizes. The collection draws inspiration from Indian culture’s rich tapestry and evolution, with influencers and eco-friendly materials playing a vital role. It’s a collaboration that proudly represents Maharashtra’s cultural heritage on a global stage.

Q: How was it collaborating with the Maharashtra govt?

Archana Kochhar: Collaborating with the Maharashtra Government was a tremendous honour and a beautiful partnership. It’s a testament to our state’s craftsmanship and artistry, and it’s been a joy to have influencers as the face of this collection, representing Indian creativity to the world. Their support helped us bring this vision to a global stage, and I’m deeply thankful for their involvement in this unique collaboration.

Q:  How did you give a new shape and image to the traditional Paithani saree through this collection?

Archana Kochhar: We gave the traditional Paithani saree a fresh look through the ‘Anant’ Collection by incorporating vibrant rani pink hues and modern silhouettes. Collaborating with the Government of Maharashtra, we celebrated the rich cultural heritage of Maharashtra, creating a fusion of tradition and modernity. This collection aimed to showcase the timeless elegance of Indian weaves while embracing the evolving landscape of women’s fashion in independent India. It was about adding a touch of contemporary style to a beloved traditional piece.

Q: Do you think Indian weavers are getting the recognition they deserve?

Archana Kochhar: Yes, through initiatives like the ‘Anant’ Collection and collaborations with the Government of Maharashtra, we are working to give Indian weavers the recognition they truly deserve. This collection celebrates the elegance of Indian weaves and showcases the rich cultural heritage, presenting it on an international platform like New York Fashion Week. We aim to highlight the craftsmanship and artistry of Indian weavers and ensure their talents are recognised and appreciated globally.

Q: What made Diana Hayden the perfect muse for the collection?

Archana Kochhar: Diana Hayden was the perfect muse for the collection because she embodies the timeless elegance and strength that the ‘Anant’ Collection represents. Her presence on the runway in New York wearing our exquisite piece beautifully symbolizes the fusion of Indian culture and modernity. Diana’s grace and beauty align perfectly with our vision of celebrating the evolving landscape of women’s fashion in independent India.

Q:  What inspired your collection?

Archana Kochhar: The inspiration behind the ‘Anant’ Collection comes from the rich tapestry of Indian culture and its continuous evolution. We aimed to combine the elegance of Indian weaves with the modern vision of Indian women and Independent India. The collection is a celebration of this fusion, paying tribute to the timeless elegance of Indian weaves while embracing the changing landscape of women’s fashion in independent India. It’s about infinite possibilities and celebrating the beauty and diversity of the female form.

Q: You’ve been a part of the industry for quite a long time, what do you think should be changed?

Archana Kochhar: In my opinion, the fashion industry should continue evolving to embrace diversity and creativity. We should celebrate our cultural heritage while also staying in tune with the changing landscape of women’s fashion. It’s essential to support and promote talent from various backgrounds and bring their unique perspectives to the forefront of the industry.

Q: How can designers and shoppers support Indian craft and weavers?

Archana Kochhar: Designers and shoppers can support Indian craft and weavers by appreciating and promoting the beauty of Indian textiles and traditional craftsmanship. Designers should incorporate these elements into their collections, giving weavers the recognition they deserve. Shoppers can actively choose to buy products made with Indian weaves, thereby supporting the artisans and preserving our rich cultural heritage.


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Also Read: Content Creator Nagma Mirajkar Marks Her Runway Debut With Designer Archana Kochhar At India Fashion Week Australia

Q: How can Indian fashion find its place in the wardrobes of international markets?

Archana Kochhar: Indian fashion can find its place in the wardrobes of international markets by embracing its rich cultural heritage while also adapting to modern trends and preferences. It’s essential to showcase the diversity and beauty of Indian textiles and craftsmanship on global platforms like New York Fashion Week, as I did with my ‘Anant’ Collection. Collaboration with influencers and eco-friendly practices can also make Indian fashion more appealing and sustainable to international audiences. This way, we can present Indian creativity to the world and create a lasting impact internationally.


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Q: What are some trends that you wish to set through this collection?

Archana Kochhar: Through the ‘Anant’ Collection, I aim to set trends that celebrate the timeless elegance of Indian weaves while embracing the evolving landscape of women’s fashion in independent India. This collection showcases the fusion of traditional craftsmanship with modern silhouettes, vibrant colours, and eco-friendly practices. We also emphasize the importance of diversity in fashion, paying tribute to the beauty of every woman, regardless of her shape or size. In essence, I hope to inspire a fashion trend that honours our rich cultural heritage and resonates with women worldwide.

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Jasveen Kaur Sawhney

Jasveen Kaur is a fashion writer, and pyjama hoarder, who loves watching interviews of all kinds, and checking her Pinterest mood board every hour!

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