I would like to call this collection , even at the risk of sounding trite , “ Ivory Coast and the Art of Zen “ .
It encompasses what I cherish most – a simplistic yet impactful way of being .
In one word “cool” .
The idea of controlling balance in a composition via irregularity and asymmetry is a central tenet of the Zen aesthetic along with the following principles , all of which we have tried to embody in our work .
Fukinsei : Asymmetry or irregularity.
Kanso : Simplicity or elimination of clutter. Things are expressed in a plain, simple, natural manner.
Shibui/Shibumi : Beautiful by being understated, or by being precisely what it was meant to be and not elaborated upon. Direct and simple way, without being flashy. Elegant simplicity. The term is sometimes used today to describe something cool but beautifully minimalist .
Shizen : Naturalness.
Seijaku :Tranquility or an energized calm
Datsuzoku : Freedom from habit or formula. Escape from daily routine or the ordinary. Unworldly. Transcending the conventional.
Easy breezy diaphanous chanderis are embroidered in ebony and interpreted in various avatars of the cape and paired with black jersey pants. This perfect fit of sheer and solid , for me represents the Yin and the Yang . The feminine with the masculine , in supreme harmony with the Universe .
Flared pants , drop crotch pants , dhoti pants , layered pants , cascade pants also combine with jersey asymmetrical capes , tunics and waterfall jackets which are tie and dyed or bleached to form a rust like pattern of a wheel which can be interpreted as the chakra of life or infinity …….
In essence , it’s a collection that lets you be who you want to be and yet lifts you out of the realm of the ordinary into the extraordinary .
A mouth watering and delectable range of linen tops and tunics embroidered with quirky designs are the staple of this collection. The silhouettes are easy yet unconventional, with box pleats and asymmetrical hemlines, carefully detailed with stitch lines and wooden buttons, designed to suit all ages and body types.
Lime, aqua, tangerine, mango, sunflower, turquoise, watermelon, coral and other bright pastels tango together as you ride bicycles and play with safety pins and measuring tapes.
A collection that is happy, playful, flirtatious and edgy. Bound to bring a ‘spring’ to your step.
Twilight Gold is a resplendent collection that glitters, shimmers and seduces the onlooker quietly but surely. High waisted voluminous skirts, skimming the floor are lovingly appliquéd with gold iridescent tissue and embroidered with burnished gold and copper metal threads. These are paired with crop tops in organza or tissue with hand sequined motifs. The collection comprises of beautiful floral patterns on colours that are jewel toned.
Translucent tops and tunics sequined with delicate patterns in various hues of gold are paired with linen palazzos and culottes. Cocoon dresses, sheath dresses and capes add to the splendor of Twilight Gold, a collection that has been previewed at The Eiffel Tower in Paris on 22 Oct 2016 and in Dallas on 18 Feb 2017.
This collection is an ode to the Mughals and draws inspiration from the luxurious costumes designed by them during their stay in the Indian Sub Continent particularly from the late 17th to early 19th centuries.
Made from the finest silks , velvets , brocades and muslins ( with names like Shabnam , Ab-e-Rawan and Baft Hawa ) how could I not be seduced by the Romance of The Mughals?
‘Yaktahi Jamas ‘ grinned at me ‘sheer fully ‘ while ‘Choghas ‘ made silken advances as they twirled and swirled across my extremely imaginative mind . Transparent ‘dhilja pai-jamas ‘ flapped to the staccato beats of kathak feet as my love affair took wing.
Along came ‘Bast Agags’ in diaphanous chanderis with tight fitted bodices , nipped in waists and flared skirts with hemlines skimming the ankles playfully. Iridescent ivories , corals , yellows , oranges and pinks , embroidered with burnished gold and silver threads , are paired with sheer wide dhiljas. Pristine white voiles gathered or panelled with extensive ‘kalis ‘ contrasting with black , gold , red and bordeaux make for a dramatic summer entree.
Choghas with brocade or embroidered hemlines and scattered floral motifs are open down the front , layered over yaleks or under tunics and dressed up with bias , crinkled or panelled skirts.
Peshwaz or loose jama-like robes , fastened at the front, with ties at the waist , ‘churi’ sleeved and billowy , in gossamer weaves glinting with appliquéd gold tissue , are layered over each other to create the illusion of translucence and opaque.
Digital printed voiles and chanderis edged with pewter , copper and bronze draw their inspirations from Persia and Central Asia to form silhouettes that are voluminous or asymmetrical.
Cows , marigolds , lotuses , poppies and lattice designs lend themselves beautifully to create a collection that is as resplendent as it is understated and elegant.
The intrepid traveller who follows her unbridled heart leading her through the amazing labyrinth of colors , patterns and tapestries of Central Asia . . Weaving her own stories as she traipses across Isfahan , Tabriz , Shiraz , Dushanbe and other soul stirring cities.
Taika brings you something for every occasion, from a simple house party to a wedding jamboree with two collections this season. The prêt-a-porter line consists of delicately embroidered and boldly appliquéd asymmetrical and linear tunics in fresh juicy tones that make a contemporary yet classic look. In a nutshell, AW 14 is edgy, quirky, fun and affordable.
Taika by Poonam Bhagat
Slice of Samarkand & Bite of Bokara
The Summer Spring 2013 collection from Taika by Poonam Bhagat is inspired by the vivid and enriching world of Central Asian Suzanis specifically from the regions of Samarkand , Bukhara , Tashkent and Shar-i-Sabz . Suzanis are vibrantly embroidered fabrics which were traditionally handcrafted by Central Asian brides as part of their dowry and were presented to the groom on the wedding day. Often used as a canopy over their heads during the ceremony. It derives its name from the Persian word ‘ Suzan” which means needle. Popular design motifs include sun and moon disks, tulips, carnations, and irises.
This inspiration led to one cohesive colorful story on the ramp. Swirling , twirling , whirling kaleidoscope of fluid ensembles both contemporary and classic , yet edgy . Short dresses , jumpsuits and long flowing robes are part of the silhouettes. Dramatic reds , blacks , ivories and emeralds dance together in appliquéd and embroidered forms.
The Slice of Samarkand & Bite of Bokara collection is currently in stores and is available at Samsaara (Delhi & Mumbai), AZA (Delhi & Mumbai), Evoluzione (Delhi & Mumbai), Kimaya (Delhi, Mumbai & Surat). Elan, Elahe, Collage and Ensemble apart from many other locations.
Hair accessories designed by Yvonne Alexandridou. Paperjewelz by Vrinda Gokhale.
The same theme has been carried forward the costumes exclusively designed for Opera Lafayette’s staged production of Felicien David’s “Lallah Roukh” to be performed at the Kennedy Centre , Washington DC and The Lincoln Centre , New York on 26th and 31st January 2013.
It is a charming story of Aurangzeb’s daughter on how she sets out on a journey from Delhi to Bactria ( as it was known in the 1800 ) to marry the Prince of Samarkand , but falls in love with a poet while passing through the enchanting valley of Kashmir.
Lallah Roukh was first written as four narrative poems by Thomas Moore in 1817 and later staged in operatic form by Gaspare Spontini (1821) , Felicien David (1862) , Antonio Rubinstein ( 1863) , Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1879).
Opera Lafayette presented a graceful and witty production of Félicien David’s “Lalla Roukh” at the Rose Theater in The Lincoln Centre , New York and EisenhowerTheatre at The Kennedy Centre ,Washington DC earlier this year . This opéra-comique set in Mughal India had fallen into oblivion since its wildly successful premiere in 1862, well ahead of the wave of other French operas like Bizet’s “Pêcheurs de Perles,” Delibes’s “Lakmé” or Meyerbeer’s “Africaine.”
David’s lush and inventive score, which frames a story set on the road from Delhi to Samarkand, was considered his masterpiece and held the Paris stage for twenty years after its debut in 1862. Opera Lafayette’s revival features a collaboration withKalanidhi Dance which will bring a ravishing visual element to the ballets that accompany this opera’s captivating melodies and elaborate ensembles. The production is directed byBernard Deletré, with lighting by Colin K. Bills
” While Lalla Roukh’s burgundy and gold costume is a predictable one, given the assumption of finery for a princess, the garments worn by the Kuchipudi dancers display Bhagat’s design dexterity. The arresting colour palette and beautifully proportionate embroidery and appliqué used with thoughtful restraint breathe authenticity—both of the designer’s own signature and of the slice of history she translates” – Mint Lounge and WSJ
Image credit: Louis Forget
Taika by Poonam Bhagat
Abstract Expressionistic Art
In the first seven decades of the 20th century , American Art came of age with a native style called Abstract Expressionism, a revolutionary approach that put the U.S. for the very first time in the vanguard of art and New York City at the center of the western art world , a role formerly filled by Paris. It was a genre of Modern Art that used improvised techniques to generate highly abstract forms. This is the seed from which the Autumn Winter 2010 collection from Taika by Poonam Bhagat took root.
Teal , aubergine , emerald and coffee combined with the quintessential black to form web like graphic patterns laboriously appliquéd on egg white. Hot pinks and burnt oranges flowed seamlessly into wood , as did aqua , on a black tapestry that transformed into cocoons , tulips and sheaths .
Fluid abstract patch worked designs formed the backdrop for rope like mesh of threads entwined in organza , winding their way in a drunken fashion across the board. An electrifying blue burst out of a grid like design defying jersey strips that tried very hard to contain the splash of color . In others , a hot pink remained , quietly but effectively dormant peeping through black jersey lines that criss-crossed on a coffee and milk base like electrical wires on a circuit board. Silks and linens flirted with jersey to create lines that are edgy and dramatic . The look is purely western and playful with exaggerated collars , winged shoulders , asymmetrical necklines , cowls and hoods. Not a single garment is printed or painted.