A dream that bloomed in bespoke of
Brahmaputra. A dream that affiants to his root and heritage of the alluring waves of Assam to bring it to the forefront of the world stage. A dream that he wears in his sleeves showing the world magnificent handcrafted handlooms of Assam silk. That is the translation and reviving of renowned Designer Kunal Kaushik's muse. Luxe luxurious, glorious, yet little unknown to rest of the world Assam silk. Kunal Kaushik showcased his collection "Looms of Assam" in the prestigious Tiffany's fashion week Paris. He not only showcased it but is back with a bang by owning the best designer in Tiffany's Fashion Week Paris with all the rave reviews.
Kunal Kaushik's work is Rhapsody of colors of
Assam which translates into modern and chic muse with charismatic cuts, fantastic frills, tassels, alluring fit and ornate in the intricate sustainable Assamese weaves - Eri, Muga and Pat silk. His latest collection for Tiffany's fashion week in Paris "Looms of Assam", at first glimpse is very global, but his Indian-Assamese soul to it has detailings like Riha (a scarf worn inside Assamese Sador especially during auspicious occasion), Pator Sador (Assamese silk scarf), motifs and colors as well with his own rhythm and rendition. In addition, his logo for Tiffiny's fashion week, also written in Assamese accentuates every bit of Indian-Assamese root.
Growing up as an artist after graduating in Fine Arts from Baroda MS University, Kunal Kaushik quickly moved over to his niche FASHION, inspired by his home state quintessential Assamese weaves, started his fashion house "Ethnicity Design House." In fact, his latest collection "Looms of Assam" is also a great tribute to weavers of
Assam. Kunal Kaushik is not just barely a designer but a trendsetter for many young dreamers/artists, for perseverance, passion and handwork can achieve what you aspire. Working on 17 years with Assamese weavers and trying to set a solution for Assamese weaves, his dream is to revive and present Assam silk in front of the world with modern and urban suited silhouette that is globally relevant. Working with Salukachi weavers of the only silk where generations do weaving for the living, Kunal is empowering them through his "Looms of Assam" which work towards promoting and preserving the art of Silk Weaving. Let's hear from his heart… village of Assam
1. Kunal Congratulations on your huge success in
Paris and your immaculate work. It is unquestionably a sentimental win for the whole north-east India. How do you feel about it?
Kunal Kaushik: Thank you so much. Indeed it's unquestionably a great feeling at being the
Winner First Place at Tiffany's Fashion Week Paris Autumn Winter 2017 at Paris. Words seem to desert me as I try to express my feelings at my achievement. And that to an international recognition. Ever since I started, my journey has never been easy. Every bit of my journey until this moment has been one with constant hardship and struggle. Having put one step forward, I have to put two steps backward. But I went on moving ahead since last 17 years persistently and never looked back and without even for a slightest of the moment, expecting a reward or appreciation. But God has been kind. So it means a lot as my belief is now more determined and strong and to further pursues my vision and goal of establishing Looms of Assam in the world market.
2. Tell us how do you get inspiration to create such great work? How your childhood or life imprints your design?
Kunal Kaushik: My greatest inspiration has always been the ardent sense and desire of creating something new innovative and creative. My Dreams are my basic source of inspirations. In fact, the creative urge has always been the basic source of motivation and inspiration leading to an emotional creative outburst in the form of my designs.
Creativity is something inborn in me. It's a God gift. A divine blessing. My mother is a very good artist and designer. She used to make beautiful paintings and design and stitch beautiful garments. So it an inborn gift in me from my mother. I owe it to My Mother.
However, my belief and sense of pride in myself, my roots and my family, my culture and traditions, the true colors of my home state
Assam and the North East Region are always major factors of inspirations.
3. How do you define fashion?
Kunal Kaushik: Fashion for me is nothing but an extension of art. An extension from my canvas and easel to fabrics and garments. Being a designer, and one with social responsibilities, fashion for me is a great challenge for me in making every person look beautiful, confident, sensible and comfortable, justifying their age, personality, profession, and culture. It's designing a personal fashion statement and style for every individual rather than imposing a particular style and trend. It's about making every individual human being special and extraordinary.
4. Where do you see
Assam in terms of fashion in next ten year?
Kunal Kaushik: I'm a very positive person with an open and broad perspective in life. But as far as Fashion is concerned in
Assam, the next ten years will be a too short period for its growth and to establish it's potential and identity in the greater world of fashion in spite of all its untapped potential and resources, as
Fashion is still in the nascent stage. Grass looks greener on the other sides. Same holds true for us Assamese. We are eyeing the green pastures on the other sides. We are more inclined and influenced by western culture and other trends. While doing this we are paying a very heavy price for the cost of our culture and identity as well as heritage. Our efforts should be to showcase the world what we have and it’s potential. For instance, silk weaving came to
Assam along with the Ahoms. It has been so many centuries yet the world is not aware of our mesmerizing silks. I took it as a personal and missionary zeal to show it to the world and dedicatedly work towards it. Nobody believed in me and my vision and my quest. But I did it and Almighty was kind. God opened its doors. And an Assamese came as a winner in Paris. It means a lot. Especially being from Assam.
5. Can you please tell us about your future projects?
Kunal Kaushik: My Future Projects revolves around the missionary zeal with which I started my career 17 years back, to showcase promote and popularize the handwoven traditional fabrics of Assam and those of the various tribal and ethnic groups of Assam and the North East Region of India. And to create a global market for it.
After winning the prestigious award in
Paris, I'm next invited to showcase my creations at the glittering Tiffany's red carpet show during the very Prestigious 70th Cannes Film Festival on 23rd May. And then in Paris and Monaco in July. New York in September and Paris again in October.
6. Any advice for upcoming designers who choose fashion as a career?
Kunal Kaushik: My advice to upcoming fashion designers is to be more sensible and to believe in their potentials and creativity. And to be a trendsetter rather than being a trend follower. Fashion is all about new innovations and creativity. One should be original to sustain in the long run. Being honest and sincere and hardworking and dedicated and of course, focus on perseverance and to understand the literal essence of being a designer in the true sense of the term. A designer designs and creates. A designer does not copy. So, believe in yourself and hard work. Success will be yours.
You can always follow him on Instagram @https://www.instagram.com/kunalkaushikofficial/
P.S - All photo credit goes to Kunal Kaushik.