‘Tax us after we come up’
Amidst the bright hues of silk, chiffon and georgette, Indian fashion is still struggling, and the recently-proposed taxation of fashion events won’t help, says designer Varun Bahl
HE IS KNOWN for his quirky designs and had recently showcased his collection on the ramp at IIFA. Designer Varun Bahl, who has collaborated with Karan Johar recently for a new line of menswear, speaks to FW on a few things fashion. Excerpts:
What was your inspiration for the IIFA collection?
I partnered with Grey Goose for the event. And we took on four cocktails paired with four cities — Tokyo, Madrid, Mumbai and Paris. The texture, colours, and designs of the collection reflect the intrinsic nature of these cities.
What are the fabrics and colour palette that you’ve used?
I’ve used net, silk, chiffon, georgette etc. for the collection. There is a wide variety of colours — different hues of blue, red, orange, lime, lavender, gold. The idea was to build on the characters of these cities and associate each city with a cocktail.
You seem to have pulled off a coup by having Nargis Fakhri as showstopper.
Nargis is a dream to work with. She has a beautiful face and also a great figure. It was absolutely fantastic to have her as our showstopper.
Bollywood is almost always synonymous with fashion. Don’t you think that Bollywood is taking over the Indian fashion scene?
I don’t think so. The new generation is so not Bollywood. Also, Bollywood fashion is experimental and has a strong character of its own. Mostly sponsored fashion events advertise a Bollywood connect, where the guest is a star or celebrity. The rest of us do not cash in on Bollywood.
Recently there was talk of taxing fashion events. Do you think it’s unfair?
I think fashion should be treated as art. Many reactions that came in said that then even art galleries should be taxed. I hold on to that argument. The Indian fashion industry needs a lot of help. Look at the support that the Italian government gives its fashion industry. And look at where Italian fashion stands. There is immense talent in India. The government must really step in. If nothing, they must go and check how other countries deal with their fashion industries. We need help first. Only when Indian fashion reaches a certain status, should it be taxed.
Who is your ideal buyer?
My ideal buyer is one who understands what he or she is buying. One who knows the intricacies and also the pain that goes behind a garment. Also, one who understands himself/herself.