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Exclusive: Designer Ashish N Soni On His Latest Collaboration With Indya, Creating Genderfluid Festive Wear And Modern-Day Heirloom Designs

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The festive season is just around the corner. From crowds displaying their best moves on Bollywood’s most-cherished music medley to window panes of the biggest to the smallest boutiques, decorated with the shiniest of designs, festive cheer is knocking on our doors. Besides the joy of binge-eating laddoos, and meeting our loved ones, the idea of dressing up returns like an annual ritual. And hoping to deliver their best-sculpted curations in this category, designers welcome the season of celebrations with open arms. With a collection allotted to the most glimmering months of the year, customers are invited to the world of new trends, cuts and colours, that will guide them towards a successful festive look. And as you take a trip to the internet bazaar or hop to your favourite designer stores, to find a piece for your shopping cart, we’d love to steal your attention for a minute to display this new collaboration in town.

Coming straight from the design genius of designer Ashish N Soni and Delhi-based modern Indian wear brand–Indya, the partnership promises to offer something special for your closet. Joining hands, the two popular names in style, have whipped up a fall festive capsule collection that marries Ashish N Soni’s minimalism with Indya’s modern-day approach. Speaking further about the collection, genderfluid festive wear and upcoming trends, ace designer Ashish N Soni takes us behind the scenes of this collection.

Q: What was your inspiration behind this collection?

Ashish N Soni: My thought behind this collection was quite simple–create a festive collection in which the Ashish N Soni design values, merge seamlessly with those of Indya’s to develop a collective yearning for traditional Indianwear with a modern twist. We hoped to provide intellectual and creative inspiration to both, our and Indya’s customers. The end result is an elevated look that is simultaneously timeless and of the moment, strong, powerful, reduced, sophisticated, yet visually commanding.

Q: What is that one thing about Indya that pulled you towards this collaboration?

Ashish N Soni: The brand has established itself in the space of tasteful design at a reasonable price in the women’s occasion wear industry. More importantly, their contemporary design values merge beautifully with mine. They gave me a free hand to develop a collection that represented my sensibilities, and brought something exciting to their mix. We’ve created an exciting Indian wear collection with a chic and modern edge.

Q:  Festive/occasion wear has always been associated with being ‘Glamorous.’ Do you think the definition of festive wear has changed over time and how?

Ashish N Soni: Festive wear by definition has always been glamorous but doesn’t always require to be OTT. Besides, modern India has changed extensively. Being loud is no longer required to make a statement. The new generation doesn’t like to go heavy on colours and is looking for subtler and sophisticated festive options.

 

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Q:  Many designers are collaborating with clothing companies to reach a wider audience and in a way democratise their designs for all. What is the one essence of your label that you keep intact in a collaboration like this? And what are the challenges you face here?

Ashish N Soni: We have endeavoured to maintain more than one essence of our label while entering this collaboration. Our biggest qualities of impeccable design, fit and cutting-edge contemporary feel, have been kept intact in this collection. Our main challenge was to bring a value-for-money proposition, which Indya has hugely helped us bridge, allowing a much larger audience to buy an Ashish N Soni creation.

Q: With your design ideologies, you’ve always blurred the lines between gender-specific fashion. But how does one build a genderfluid wardrobe in the festive wear category?

Ashish N Soni: Well to be honest, because I do plenty of jackets and male predominant styles, gender fluidity has been a natural progression every time I’ve put a lady in a pantsuit. With festive wear, it works the other way around, where we use softer lines in menswear with draped kurtas and cowls on men’s jackets etc. For the Indya collaboration which is a womenswear line, we have sneaked in a very sexy and potentially unisex black & gold brocade pantsuit.

 

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Q: Are customers still coming to you with big Bollywood looks on their mood boards?

Ashish N Soni: It’s a mixed bag. While some come to me to look like a star, some others realise that if a designer can come up with new looks for a celebrity, then they can for them too. The latter is more trusting with my vision.

Q: What are the many factors that helped you ensure that you cater to inclusivity and diversity in this collection?

Ashish N Soni: We are producing all sizes from XS to 2XL. Skirts, jackets, pants and capes are sold as separates, so anyone can choose to buy into the range and mix it with their existing wardrobe as they are not limited to an entire look.

 

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Also Read: Weave The Festive Cheer In Your Closet With These Celeb Favourite Feather Hemlines

Q: The colour palette for this collection, accurately describes your aesthetic. Was it a conscious effort to play around with jewel tones, black and ivory?

Ashish N Soni: Yes, it was a conscious design call as we wanted to remain in a colour zone that appealed to our label’s aesthetics. Besides that, we are very confident that jewel tones, black and ivory lend themselves beautifully to our story of women’s evening wear. Some of the pieces can easily become classics and can be worn repeatedly.

 

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Also Read: Lilly Singh, Sonam Kapoor And Other Stars Will Convince You To Add This Menswear Staple Into Your Festive Wear Menu

Q: What is your idea of a modern woman?

Ashish N Soni: A modern woman for me is any lady that makes her own decisions, is fearless, mobile, ambitious, and functions in a high-pressure work environment but without losing touch with her femininity.

Q: Ethnicwear has always been dear to Indian homes and is a piece that travels through the passage of time and generations. With the rising popularity of massively produced, trend-ruled designs, do you think that perception is changing with time? If not, then how do you as a designer curate an heirloom-worthy piece?

Ashish N Soni: There is a certain speed that is entering festive wear in the same manner that it did with western wear. While the modern Indian home holds onto its heirloom sarees and weaves and would probably pull them out for some momentous occasions, today’s woman wants to look different from her mother. Rather than draping six yards, she’d love to be in an unusual drape pre-stitched saree which is sleek, sexy and gives her easy movement. Our personal touch is that we like to make it as special as possible and hope the customer values the garment to wear it over and over again.
Ranging from one-shouldered kurtas, powerful pantsuits and pre-stitched sarees to classic lehengas, the collection comprises of 37 stylish separates that are sure to light up your special occasions. You can find your pick from www.houseofindya.com and exclusive Indya brand stores.

Image Credits: Instagram/Ashish N Soni/Indya

From Modern-Day Maatha Pattis To Haath Phool, Get Ready To Receive Tons Of Taareef For These Festive Accessories

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