By Neehar Mishra
Photography: courtesy the designers
‘Quirky’ announces the season’s Lakme Fashion Week, with designers opting for out-of-the-box concepts, materials and techniques to create products that are unconventional and high on style.
Two such budding designers, Rohan Arora and Felix Bendish, who are receiving rave reviews, stretch the ‘creative streak’ to accessories – the sine qua non of haute couture.
Based in Kolkata, Rohan’s career in designing was completely unplanned. Without an academic background in design, his gut and passionate persistence gave him his first break at the LFW 2011, where his chic and quirky footwear designs led many veterans in the fashion industry to take notice.
His idiosyncratic style reflects in his choice of bright colours and unusual materials. Ask him about the quirkiest materials he has ever used, and he is quick to point out, “We have created hand-woven khadi shoes, which we showcased at last year’s LFW. We are also the first to use chicken-feet leather to make designer shoes.”
Considered “beyond imagination comfortable shoes”, his designs are in demand on the ramp, a hint of quintessential humour making an all new statement in footwear. This season Rohan aims to revive the real craft of shoe-making using obsolete techniques possible only by the human hand.
With his personal line of bags underway and his plans to venture into belts, the young designer is greatly inspired by the likes of Mark Baker, Cavalli, Manish Arora, Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi.
Felix Bendish was born with design ingrained in his DNA. His grand-uncle was the designer for the epic film, Mughal-e-Azam. Having launched his brand in 2001, creating beautiful clothing and styling for personal clientele, Bollywood movies, television, fashion shows and award functions, Felix soon began to dabble in designing accessories. It was his first big break at the Wills India Fashion Week 2010 that set the ball rolling.
“My philosophy is to dare, innovate and create design centric products,” says Felix, describing his style statement. “My forte in design lies in hand embroideries; hence all my products and accessories are embroidered in different techniques and mediums,” he further adds.
Felix loves to experiment with fabrics, even while designing jewellery. “Once, while twisting and turning a half metre fabric, I realised that it took the shape of a neckpiece. I added some crystals on it, and Voila!” he exclaims. His collection at this season’s LFW draws inspiration from the fluidity of the detailed palette and lines of French Artist, Henri Matisse’s goldfish paintings.
Celebrating a new era of fashion infused with luxurious dosage of graceful art, Felix has incorporated this idea into imaginative and exquisitely designed brooches and neckpieces. Titled ‘Flow’, the collection extends to hair accessories, cuffs as well as clutches, showcasing everything a fashionista could possibly dream of. Ranging from abstract to symmetry, to large statement pieces, which seem to break effortlessly into flowing designs, the colour palette is an intriguing mix – from neon bold colours such as orange and pink to more subdued, ethereal midnight blues. Amidst the stones, cleverly used sleek feathers and sequin work, help add a funky edge, while gold chords elevate the modern poised appeal of ‘Flow’.
Felix aspires to establish a fashion institute and impart quality education in design, in the near future.