Indian Designer Rimi Nayak’s label focusses on sensuous drapes, atypical surface details, hand dyeing and printing techniques, including the traditional Batik. Recently, she did a Fashion meets Art Installation Project titled ‘Colour Me Your Kind (CMYK)’ in Kolkata. We had the opportunity to speak with her on her latest collection and the challenges of being a woman professional in India.
1. Where do you find inspiration to create the beautiful designs in your collection?
My collections are typically inspired by my surroundings and experiences. What inspires me the most are the mundane objects of daily life, the various people around and their emotions. I love to share these experiences. I try to narrate stories through my work.
2. You recently did an art installation called ‘Colour Me Your Kind’ in Kolkata. Would you like to tell us more about that?
Art has played a major inspiration for my recent collection themed ‘Colour Me Your Kind’. The collection narrates a tale of an emotionally distressed woman, who is embarking on a journey of self-discovery. She has a spirited mindset, eager to explore newer horizons, like an empty canvas waiting to be painted into a masterpiece. The muse pleads her artist to give her a fresh new lease of life by dabbing herself in myriad hues and manifold shades.
Shruti Hasaan in a thumb impression printed blazer dress from Rimi Nayak’s latest collection, ‘Colour Me Your Kind’.
The collection comes alive as an artist’s canvas. We have experimented in creating interesting and painstakingly detailed textures with threads and fabric manipulation that resembles art techniques such as marbling and colour-play. These textures have been used on silhouettes and patterns to create unique pieces of wearable art. I tried to create an array of artistic display of these garments through installations. They are narrated with complimentary poetic verses that reflect the essence and mood of these pieces and the thematic approach towards the collection.
3. Why did you launch your collection with installations instead of showcasing it on a ramp?
Since my debut at the Lakme Fashion Week, Gen Next Platform in 2008, I have been doing shows every year. This year marks our 10th year in the fashion industry. I wanted to break the monotony and do something different. Giving the fashion week a miss, I decided to launch my collection in an unconventional way. Since the collection is art inspired, I chose an art gallery as the venue and launched the collection through installations. It was an amalgamation of art, fashion and poetry. I wanted my audience to have a different experience and I hoped they would connect with the entire concept.
Flight of Fantasy – Rimi Nayak Summer ’18 Collection.
4. Do you consider fashion a form of art?
Fashion within the sphere of fine art has long been a subject of debate. The main differences between fashion and art could be found in their utility and temporality. In my consideration, fashion and art share more of a symbiotic relationship. They are different means of an artist’s creative self-expression.
5. Being a woman professional, how do you balance work and home?
At times, it gets difficult for a woman professional to balance work and home because we still have unsaid expectations from the women in our society. I, however, have never felt pressurized to handle the daily chores at home.
I consider myself lucky to have a supportive family that understands my erratic work schedules and supports me unconditionally.
6. How have you evolved as a designer?
This year marks the 10th year of my journey in the fashion industry. As I reminisce on my journey from my debut show till today, I feel I have evolved over the years. I started completely hands-on with the job fresh out of college in 2008. It was a very steep and enriching learning curve. Somewhere along the way, I was fortunate enough to be selected for an esteemed entrepreneurship development scholarship program by Indian School of Business (ISB) and Goldman Sachs. Through that course, I picked up invaluable business and management lessons that helped me run my business once I returned from the program. These factors have shaped me as a designer and as an entrepreneur.
7. How would you benchmark Indian fashion industry globally?
Indian fashion industry has evolved over the years. Today it is slowly yet steadily making a strong mark in the global fashion market. Indian designers are actively participating in various global platforms and getting coveted recognitions for their work.
‘Rimi Nayak India’ retails in cities across India, along with an international presence in countries such as Mexico, UAE and Sri Lanka.