Known for his modern constructions, sculptural fit and grandeur, Siddartha Tytler once again made a strike in India’s fashion scape when he debuted his new collection, Mehfil e’ Husn, under his eponymous fashion label in Amaara Farm, New Delhi on July 21. Taking inspiration from the opulence and beauty of the courtesans and harem culture of the Mughal era, the theme was reflected throughout the evening, both on and off the ramp.
Encapsulating the sensuality of the Mughal era effortlessly, the collection uses luxurious fabrics that included staple cotton velvets, silk, organza, tulle, tussar, crystal mesh, lamé, and crochet, all skillfully blended to add depth and dimension against a monochromatic canvas with hints of gold, gunmetal, blush, cerulean blue and purple. Aditi Rao Hydari closed the show in a black and white Taj Mahal-inspired lehenga with zari, pearls and crystals, that was paired with double dupattas and a spider web motif velvet blouse, as she walked down the ramp.
Give us a glimpse into your collection.
This season, I’ve done the collection very differently, with colour, a lot of texturing, a lot of surfacing, and layering, which we’ve never done in couture collections before.
What is the inspiration behind your latest collection?
The collection, called Mehfil-e-Husn, is inspired by the power of women in the Mughal era vis-a-vis the courtesans of that period. They were the most powerful people at that time and they played muses to many. This collection is literally a homage to the power of women.
Elaborate on the kind of techniques and colour palette used in the collection.
There is a lot of surfacing as part of the collection. We have a print story inspired by Mughal architecture. We have thread work, aari work, our crystals and pearls, sequin splashes, and applique. The beauty of this collection is that it plays with colour. We’ve incorporated floral elements, for instance, we have embroidered mogra flowers into our pieces.
What do the Siddartha Tyler bride and groom look like this season?
This season, our bride will be beautiful and grand much like during the Mughal period. Think double dupattas and corsets as the key elements. The groom, men don’t experiment that much, but yes, our grooms will be playing with double dupattas, heavily embellished sherwanis, and of course, colour.
Tell us about one piece we should look out for and which one you enjoyed creating the most.
There is no specific piece as such. Our Mogra collection, which was absolutely stunning, has harnesses and tops and sarees and capes made of Mogra flowers and pearls which are breathtaking.
Yes, actually, I can say there is one piece which caught my eye completely, which was a harness made of mogras and pearls for men.
What is the biggest change that the couture industry has faced in the recent past?
I just feel that the couture market has become a little more commercial, which is something I don’t go towards because couture is about a fantasy. I’m a child of the 90s. So effectively, I like the way couture used to be. It’s all about the grandness, the grandeur, the drama, the madness.
Describe your aesthetic in a few words.
I’m completely a maximalist designer. I love to layer, and add all kinds of different textures, colours, and techniques in one garment. Minimalism is very boring to me. So that’s it. I love to play with drama.
The biggest challenge you faced while designing the couture collection?
The biggest challenge I can comfortably say and speak for all designers is time management. This collection was a herculean task. We had 145 looks. We had a tight schedule and at the end of the day, we do pull it out of the box but it’s stressful.
How do you stay relevant in the ever-evolving world of fashion?
The only way one can stay relevant in this industry is to learn how to adapt to change, move with the times and listen to what people say around you. Of course, you must maintain your own DNA but learn to evolve keeping your aesthetic intact.
How would you compare the landscape of Indian fashion with global fashion?
Indian fashion to me is very, very strong, I mean the designers here are very strong and have a point of view. I think all of us in the couture game have a strong point of view. We are getting noticed on a global scale now, thanks to Dhruv Kapoor and Rahul Mishra making waves abroad. And it’s good to see a Gaurav Gupta, but we have a long way to go.
Nowadays, there seems to be a shift towards couture being more casual looking. Is it something you are planning to explore?
For me, couture is couture. I don’t think right now in my life I want to explore going more casual. That will become a trend. For me, couture is about the drama. It’s about the grandeur.