Bangalore-based fashion designer Aditi Lal started out when she was just 22, now she is 24 and she (and her brand Aditi Lal Couture) has already etched a name for herself in the fashion circuit. With seven exhibits till date (the first one which she showcased at home), she brings something different to the table. Her works are not your usual run-of-the-mill kind—they exude class, are edgy, they catch the eye, and yet minimalistic, and are affordable too. If you are aware of her designs you know exactly what we are talking about.
Further, we don’t know where she gets the eye for detail from—her mother (who is also a designer), the things she gets inspired by, or it’s just talent, we have no answer, but we are glad that she’s here and here to stay.
We catch up with Lal, who tells us more about her latest collect Cloudy Iridescence, her inspirations, her creative process, and more.
Could you tell us a little about your new collection—themes and ideas that went into crafting the anthology? What all does the collection comprise of?
Cloudy Iridescence, our latest collection is inspired by a dreamy sunset that casts shades of pastels with a hint of mustard across the horizon. This collection consists of minimal embroidery that is used to bring out the iridescence of silk fabrics. Sophisticated and simplistic, the silhouettes are flowy and easy to wear, perfect for this festive season.
Your works mostly lean towards wedding couture and are strongly influenced by Indian design. Any reason why?
I remember visiting New Delhi in 2014 in search for a beautiful lehenga for my sister’s wedding; I was disappointed to see that there was nothing extraordinary and unique. Being a designer, I realized I shouldn’t be looking for something but creating it instead. This is when I started crafting Indian wear as a challenge since it was something completely out of my comfort zone. Global Concepts, my collection in college, represented this challenge.
I decided to use gold, whites and blacks to set my collection aside from the others. In order to create something distinctive and not completely Indian, I incorporated Western prints to my designs to give it a modern twist. The common prints like stripes, polka dots, houndstooth and chevron were taken as inspiration and converted into exaggerated and bold prints. Exceptional looks that are globally acceptable was what my collection sought to be. It was made for every woman who is a dramatic minimalist.
Global Concepts received a lot of positive reviews; people loved the idea and how different it was from the usual Indian collections we see. It gave me the confidence and strength to believe in myself as a designer.
Cliché as it may be, fashion for me is about creating something exceptionally beautiful that brings out your personal signature and style. Inspired by the 50s, I believe in simplistic cuts that compliment a woman’s curves. Experimenting with bold colours and loud prints drove me to create unique silhouettes.
You are in your early twenties and you have already made a name for yourself. What are the things (you think) that helped you reach where you are now? Any fond recollections of your childhood that you would like to share?
Having a designer for a mother has definitely played an important role in steering me towards the career of fashion. My mum has always been conscious about what she wore. As a child, I always enjoyed watching her dress up for parties; the way she accessorised, the colours she would choose, the bags and shoes she would pick to compliment her outfits. I always watched her with unblinking attention. My family and friends have always supported me in every way possible to help me get to where I am. I would definitely give a special shout out to my mum though, she is my rock! (smiles)
The good and not so good things of being a fashion designer/entrepreneur in India?
The good: Being in the creative field, creating your own garments and collections from scratch and sharing it with the world gives me great happiness and receiving positive responses from my clients gives me greater joy. In India, people mostly go to Mumbai and Delhi to seek designer clothes, starting my label in Bangalore has given me a chance to create my own brand name without being coloured by the likes of other big designers.
The not so good: while starting out in Bangalore may be an advantage, competition still exists.
If you weren’t a fashion designer, what profession would you have chosen? Why?
If I wasn’t a designer, I would’ve definitely been a chef, I love food! ‘Food is bae’, as they say, right? The forever kind, that too (laughs). I’ve always loved cooking and baking and being experimental with dinners at home. When I’m stressed, nothing like soul food to lift up my spirits.
I also do love photography, I try my hand at it now and then, when I need to shoot a collection or when I travel, nothing makes me happier than capturing the beauty of the places, faces and food.
Tell us a little about your creative process—the start and finish of a design at Aditi Lal Couture?
In a year, I work on (mainly) two collections, Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. I’m someone who seems to take a lot of inspiration from nature. It all starts there for me—a rainy day and then a beautiful sunset inspired me to create Cloudy Iridescence.
I start with sketches, lots and lots of sketches, do research on fabrics and see how they fit in with particular styles and drapes. Along with my team of masters and tailors, we make muslin samples on selected styles and then finalise on the final outfits for the collection. Alongside a lot of embroidery sampling and dying sampling is done. Once we have a clear idea of how the entire collection needs to be in terms of drapes, embroidery, colours and styles it’s smooth sailing from there. It’s more like a storm and then a calm I would say.
What are the three things you want to achieve in this lifetime?
One, I hope my label get recognised first in India, and then worldwide.
Two, I believe we all come into this world for a reason, to make a change, to make a difference. I want to reach a stage in my life where I can dedicate my time to help out a social cause, something close to my heart.
Three, I want to be someone who wears many hats, that of a chef, a photographer, a traveller and let’s see what else comes along the way, you never know (winks).
Picture credits: Roma Ganesh
Price 3,500 to 25,000
Follow her on her Facebook page here.
Follow her on her Instagram page here.