Naina Jain is a renowned Indian designer who has made a name for herself in the traditional art of Bandhani. Her bridal collection has been a part of the Vogue Wedding Show for the past two years. Before the show, Fashgroupe got a chance to hear from her on her vision for Naina Jain and how she is so exceptional at what she does.
1. You are going to be a part of the Vogue Wedding Show 2018. What should we expect from your showcase this year?
The ‘Gulab Bai’ collection is inspired by its namesake (my grandmother), who was known for her penchant for cotton Kota doria saris woven with pure zari. A true connoisseur, she passed on her love for this craft to me. The collection’s roots lie in Kota, and it has been crafted using time-honoured techniques of the region. Each sari is a distinctive combination of bandhani and Kota weaving, using pure silver threads. Pastels like powder pink and lemon yellow have been contrasted by bold hues like crimson red and deep blue, to epitomize the vibrancy of the woman it has been created for. The idea is to break norms surrounding conventional bridal wear. The drapes encompass the simplicity and the grandeur of Rajasthani traditions. Through this collection we are breaking myths of Kota Doria to be limited to only casual dressing. It will be our attempt to make this a part of bridal dressing.
2. What are some of the biggest bridal trends this year?
When you think of Indian bridal wear, the first thing that comes to mind is a vibrant red saree lavished with embellishments. A true blue fashionista will swear by a traditional red saree and call it an evergreen classic that can weather many a fashion cycles and yet remain in style. Traditional is evergreen and always in vogue. Sarees and lehengas encompassing the beauty of the silk fabric in traditional colours and designs are always the classic choice of the Indian brides. Traditional Indian bridal wear is all about being proud of your roots and wearing them proudly on your sleeve. Sarees, lehengas and shararas in silk, georgette and brocade with ancient Indian crafts like zardozi, gota patti and zari work are timeless outfits to consider for they will be treasured by generations to come. Since our forte is traditional wear, we are continuing to explore more in this area through different weave techniques and bandhani. We strongly believe that handloom is here to stay. Handlooms of India are, and can further be a greater success story, provided as an industry we can focus on skill development of new weavers and other handloom production related skills like designing on computer, dyeing etc.
3. What is your fashion advice to stay in trend this summer?
Wear fabrics built for the heat. Cotton, linen, viscose – there are dozens of summer-friendly materials you can choose for your wardrobe. The best fabric to opt for when the temperature rises should be breathable and comfortable. Opting for lighter or pastel shades is also advisable as these are soothing to the eyes in the glaring heat. Wear what you feel comfortable in. For me that is fashion. And once you wear what you feel comfortable in, that makes a style statement. Don’t go by trends, they are fads. It’s hard to put into words that wonderful moment when you look in the mirror and feel nothing but pride, satisfaction and happiness as your often criticised twin stares back at you.
4. The ‘Naina Jain’ label is becoming synonymous with Bandhani, the traditional art of tie and dye. Where do you look for inspiration to continue experimenting with it?
We are deeply inspired by anything but India and we feel the soul of the country lies in its villages where traditional practices are still preserved. Villages are the mirror of one Nation’s virgin culture, social life and natural beauty. We, at Naina Jain, are proud that the beautiful and vibrant colours of the villages find life in our ensembles. A play of dyes and threads on soft fabrics like silk and benarasi can help you make a statement. We derive our inspirations from all things beautiful- the beauty of nature. In our busy lives it is easy to forget the natural beauty that surrounds us. Yet the greatest and most enduring art is so often inspired by nature. Moreover, the sheer genius of the Indian architecture, the numerous carvings that describe the life and times of the eras, like a window that one can peek through into the glorious past of India, are also a great source of encouragement for our creations. Indian miniature paintings which are known for their intricate and delicate brushwork, lending them a unique identity also acts as an inspirational catalyst. Last but not the least, Indian craft like inlay work of Rajasthan, popularly known as the mirror mosaic work also inspires our creative juices.
5. What is the philosophical foundation on which the ‘Naina Jain’ label is built?
India in particular is rich with traditional textiles, overflowing with ancient textiles, crafts and techniques that are unique to different parts of the country, incredibly advanced for their times, highly labour intensive, and just down right beautiful! We, at Naina Jain, strongly believe in preserving and promoting our tradition and turning it into a style statement. Our USP lies in intricate Bandhani that has been perfected over generations by master craftsmen in Kutch. We say stories through our designs, and bring life to them in colour combinations that are unique to us. We also work towards the upliftment of artisans, who are the back bone of the craft.
6. The traditional Indian wear such as saris and lehengas are coming with lots of twists lately in terms of stitching and draping. What is one style we can experiment with that is adventurous yet safe?
One should be experimental with fabrics and silhouettes by keeping our body type and shape in mind. More streamlined and body conscious silhouettes will lead to body-conscious clothing. Sarees compliment every girl, but picking out the right kind of saree for your body type is a sure shot way to dress like a winner. One should wear drapes that enhance ones curves.
7. Do you envision expanding your label internationally?
Definitely. We have a lot of clients from the USA; we think we could do extremely well there.
You can shop Naina Jain’s collection online or visit one of her boutiques in New Delhi and Kolkata. Registration for the 6th edition of the Vogue Wedding Show, where Naina Jain will be showcasing her collection, is open.
Date: 3-5th August 2018
Venue: Taj Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi.