An aesthete who is in sync with the Gen-Z fashion trends, designer Varun Bahl, shares his ‘travels shape design’ adage.
Excerpts from the interview with Varun Bahl:
T+L India: Which has been a travel destination that has inspired you the most? Why?
Varun Bahl: Every country, city, and culture is different, and I tend to find inspiration and creativity beyond what meets the eye at most places. Kashmir is my absolute favourite though. I have always been in awe of the nature and landscapes there. The flowers and the region’s delicate offerings naturally become a part of collections I create in some way or the other. Additionally, the local crafts, intricate artistry, and colourful embroidery has also always drawn my attention. For my last Pret collection ‘Dolce Vita’, I was drawn to the mid-summer breeze and splashes of colour that capture the essence of my vacations at places like Italy.
Actor Shilpa Shetty in a creation by Bahl
T+L India: What are some of the travel accessories that are a staple in your luggage?
Varun Bahl: I’m usually not a very efficient packer and tend to take everything along with me. But essentially, I prefer packing my day-to-day necessities, and comfortable yet aesthetically pleasing pieces from my wardrobe, that can be worn during a day exploration or even a night out in the city.
T+L India: Which cities in India do you find the most inspiring as a couturier?
Varun Bahl: I would say locations and places that showcase the richness and artistry of our Indian heritage. Such places have piqued my interest over the years. The intricate and beautiful designs of our Indian architecture and culture have always inspired me. And of course, Kashmir’s landscapes and natural beauty are close to my heart and have always inspired me.
T+L India: What has been your most luxurious vacation in India?
Varun Bahl: Luxury for me lies in the history and culture of the place I visit, and the memories and teachings you imbibe along the way. I find true luxury in the solace of nature. Locations in India, each different from the other, yet all being culturally rich have been the greatest luxury to visit.
T+L India: At T+L India & SA we believe people make places. Is there any place where you really felt connected to the people?
Varun Bahl: I would say Kashmir, as I’ve always had the closest sense of appreciation for the locals and I connect with them. The considerable talent and artistry of the people of Kashmir have been of prolific meaning to my life. Apart from that, I’ve spent a lot of time in Italy in the initial years of my career and have also worked a lot there, so I feel really connected to the people there as well.
T+L India: What’s on your travel bucket list?
Delicacies of New Zealand.
Varun Bahl: The countries I want to explore are New Zealand and Australia. I would love to devour their well-known cuisines and cherish their relationship with nature. Define the Varun Bahl bride. When it comes to defining my ideal bride, I feel quirkiness and elegance go hand in hand. I, myself like to play around with bright, eccentric colours with heavy work on them. I want my brides to be able to breathe, eat, and sleep in my couture. A Varun Bahl bride is fun-loving in a traditional way with plenty of youthful charm.
T+L India: What should a sustainable bride keep in mind before choosing her ensemble?
Varun Bahl: I suggest investing in a bridal ensemble that you can reuse and rewear to adopt a more sustainable and environmental-friendly lifestyle. Now, more brides are opting for contemporary bridal ensembles with a hint of traditional style. They are looking for outfits that are not only experimental and reusable but also make for iconic collectibles in their wardrobes. Even with my new collection, ‘New Leaf’, I have aimed to create outfits that oscillate between Indian wedding wear and red carpet looks, with a more global appeal; catering to the younger generation.
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