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'Somehow, The Gora Hangover Continues To Colour Us'

J.J. Valaya, Fashion designer and couturier

'Somehow, The Gora Hangover Continues To Colour Us'
Photograph by Jitender Gupta
'Somehow, The Gora Hangover Continues To Colour Us'
  • To feel fulfilled is to see people in your creations.
  • Our lycra fetish needs a ­patriotic reality check.


My fundu rule is ‘KICK’, for knowledge, intuition, compassion and kindness. Together, they balance and enrich my life. No matter how successful you get, never rest on your laurels or you face downfall.

Satisfaction is to see people in your creations. When you get a personal note from a bride or groom, it’s touching. Lately, some old brides came back to me to have their outfits ref­itted for their daughter’s weddings. I realised how important the element of timelessness is for luxury clothing.

I have no love or hate for specific styles but I have a favourite colour—midnight blue, my brand colour, and red. Antique metallic is another go-to. I don’t work with psychedelic colours.

Sometimes i wonder if India is driving in reverse gear, style-wise. Once, even poverty was chic, but a cursory glance today reveals how style-­degenerative we have bec­ome. Except indophiles, fashionistas and style divas, the rest are lapping up lycra dresses that savour their generous proportions.

The gora hangover continues to colour us. Maybe we need an aesthetic dose of patriotic reality. What the tweed jacket is to Chanel, we are to the Alika jacket—not just a beautiful shirt-jacket from Rajasthan, but something ageless designers try to keep alive, forever.


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