Skip to main content

Cover Story

Returning the native with a drape, the Tarun Tahiliani way

Tarun Tahiliani

Young brides are wearing a simple garment

By Sukant Deepak

February 21, 2023 (IANSlifeHe is happy that the individual is coming back. That the young are no longer afraid to be themselves. That one does not feel the need to fit in. Standing out is no longer sacrilege. Fun, he says, is important. And therefore, simplicity is coming back with a vengeance.

Noted for combining traditional aesthetics with ultra-modern designs, veteran Delhi-based designer Tarun Tahiliani, known for his bridal wear, tells IANS, "Over the years, I have seen so many changes in the way women dress up for their big day. There was a period when they were obsessed with looking like someone, thus ending up being completely ridiculous. Now, so many young brides are wearing a simple garment with just a single necklace -- and ending up ruling the whole space.

"That is where confidence comes in. This generation is different. They are connected to the world. They do not feel guilty about having fun, are willing to go quirky, and do not follow any rules. This infuses a new rush in designers like us."

Tahiliani, who has always been interested in structured draping and layering, smiles that it is one of the reasons he goes to the Kumbh Mela.

"There are sadhus and regular people there, but just look at the way those coming from diverse parts drape themselves. It is almost exquisite. If you have an eye, you will notice a peculiar sense of style that is accentuated by a 'purpose'. What they wear are clothes. But not just clothes.." says this pass-out from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York.

For someone who has worked extensively with the blouse and reinvented it consistently, the designer, who was recently part of a session at the Jaipur Literature Festival, says, "I consider the choli as a work of art. It is lovely to see women wearing it with skirts, palazzos and pants. The sheer flexibility of the garment opens up so many possibilities."

Believing that fashion has always made a social statement and reflected on value systems, Tahiliani believes that it has always been the reflection of ideologies enveloping people in different eras.

"One can get apprehensive about political statements considering the looming danger of 'trial by mob'...

Talk to him about the army of fashion influencers at shows and on Instagram, and he asserts that they must be doing something right for people to follow them. "But sadly, many of them do not have a point of view."

The designer, who came back to India after studying Business Management at the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania and first joined the family business in oil-field equipment, later co-founding the multi-designer boutique, 'Ensemble' in 1987 and Tahiliani Design studio in 1990, says, "I grew up in an anglicised part of the country.

"We went to fancy schools. But when my journey into the world of fashion started, I started seeing so many new layers of this country. India made me change what I wanted to do as a designer. This journey manifested itself into beautiful Indian clothes."




(This article is website exclusive and cannot be reproduced without the permission of IANSlife)

IANSlife can be contacted at