Designer Ritu Kumar on her fashion concepts, ideas-Interview

New Delhi, Oct 7, 2010 (Calcutta Tube) Designer diva Ritu Kumar, whose brand ‘Label‘ is now being sported by Hollywood celebrities like Mischa Barton and Mel B, says the simple recipe she follows is to move forward in fashion. She now intends to expand with accessories like bags and shoes.

‘I understand that one has to grow with fashion and not get stagnated with what you like doing. The idea is to present things in a modern and contemporary way. A kurta is no longer a kurta…you can do so many innovations with it to make it appealing,’ Kumar told IANS in an interview.

‘One has to make the collection peppy and young, keeping in mind the younger generation. But at the same time, one shouldn’t forget people who have a taste for elegance,’ she said.

Kumar has been designing under the label ‘Ritu Kumar’, which comprises traditional Indian attire. In April 2002, she launched her new sub-brand ‘Label’, which reflects contemporary trends.

‘While I continue to design for my line, ‘Label’ is mostly taken care of by my son Amrish. Hence you will see we have managed to have a balance in our line,’ Kumar explained.

‘So even though ‘Label’ is very much for the younger generation with easy shapes, young styles, well-fitted dresses and interesting tops, yet it touches upon the crafts as well,’ she added.

Hollywood celebrities like Bai Ling, Mischa Barton and Mel B have been spotted wearing the ‘Label’ line and Kumar says blending has worked well for the brand.

‘Our ‘Label’ brand has an urban, chic image that goes well with western dressing sensibilities.’

The 65-year-old designer has been credited with crafting Indian pret-a-porter or ready-to-wear clothes from traditional fabrics and using indigenous techniques for haute couture. She has also designed for the late Princess Diana, as also for Jemima Khan, Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai and almost all the winners of the Miss India titles.

Of late, Kumar has not shown collections under her brand ‘Ritu Kumar’, but the designer is super-busy these days with her mega-solo fashion show.

‘Wait till Oct 31 and you will see my solo show titled ‘Falakhnaama’. It takes time and effort to come up with an authentic Indian line with intricate and detailed art of craftsmanship,’ said Kumar.

Apart from apparel, ‘Label’ is also expanding its accessory line with a colourful collection of bags, wallets, clutches and footwear as well.

‘We are trying to expand our brand…we had tried footwear line a few years back, but now we have launched it in full-force,’ said Kumar.

‘All these accessories have their element of craft and it is always fun to update your wardrobe with something different from the rest.’

The accessory line displays a versatile range, covering a variety of looks from casual chic to formal cocktail wear.

Apart from designing, Kumar has now started painting again and says the hobby keeps her busy and engaged.

‘I love painting but couldn’t do it delicately because of work engagements. Now I am back to it and enjoy it completely,’ she said.

(Shilpa Raina can be contacted at shilpa.r@ians.in)

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