Sunday, May 22, 2022

National Handloom Day: Meet Raghavendra Rathore, The Designer With A Royal Touch

On National Handloom Day, designer Raghavendra Rathore talks about the revival of weaves, digital fashion and how to be a mindful fashion advocate.

National Handloom Day: Meet Raghavendra Rathore, The Designer With A Royal Touch
Fashion designer Raghavendra Rathore

The dapper designer known for bringing spun in men’s wear fashion feels with the 'work from home' culture, ‘athleisure’ seems to be a fresh category of clothing to opt for. Excerpts from a chat with designer Raghavendra Rathore on fashion going digital, the revival of weaves, handloom day and how to be a mindful fashion advocate.

On style this year…

The 1970’s styling makes a comeback this season. The outdoor utility styling is being reinvented to emulate a sophisticated flair. The nautical influences add a touch of sporty chic. The return of the bomber jacket seems to be of prominence and it has been given a semi-formal twist. Extra wide-legged pants are trending in a big way. T-shirts and shirts with subtle branding insignias are quite the rage too. 

Now that most of us are working from home, what is it that we should wear to look good, yet comfortable during video calls?

Athleisure seems to be a fresh category of clothing to opt for, given the fact that everyone is working from home. The ease and comfort seem to be a vital aspect when it comes to everyday dressing and this semi-formal sporty inspired category seems to put that to rest. Knitwear fabrics are the need of hour apart from the fact that relaxed fit cotton shirts and tunics are also being preferred coupled with denim pants and baggy pants.

Work from home fashion seems to be very organic, versatile and interchangeable in its character. Easy smart dressing is the best way forward. Garment’s preferences need to be in the classic realm that can easily transition to reinventing it with a change in lower, accessory or upper. Dressing down has always been a successful and sustainable way to go about fashion and now even more so considering the reality we are currently living in.

Your ideas on sustainable fashion...

Sustainable fashion is all about creating products, be it apparel or accessories, in an environmentally and socio-economically viable manner. In practice, this implies continuous work to improve all stages of the product’s life cycle, from design, raw material production, manufacturing, transport, storage, marketing and final sale, to use, reuse, repair, remake and recycling of the product and its components. From an environmental perspective, the aim is to minimize any undesirable affliction towards the atmosphere by ensuring efficient and careful use of natural resources (water, energy, land, soil, animals, plants, biodiversity, ecosystems. Selecting renewable energy sources (wind, solar, etc) at every stage and maximizing repair, remake, reuse, and recycling of the product and its components.

How can we all be mindful fashion advocates and conscious consumers?

As individuals, one needs to be aware of their patterns of consumption and use. Demand shift in individual attitudes and outlook is key to mindful fashion. The recalibration of production, distribution, marketing practices and strategies assists in greater sustainability. Recycling textiles and manufacturing clothes with certified textiles according to environmental laws and fair trade is the essence of conscious consumption and sustainable fashion. 

Whose fashion have you been influenced by?

Designers that focus on local, handcrafted textiles by reinventing and innovating the traditional arts and crafts through the invaluable gifts of the precious artisans are the most influencing and ground-breaking trendsetters of our times.

If you were asked to bring some changes in the fashion industry, what would it be?

Make the industry more online friendly and versatile in its virtual offerings

On the revival of weaves...

Revival of weaves is the secret to creating signature design sensibilities that are unmatched within the domestic and global arena. The revival of weaves is symbolic of our history, culture, traditions and heritage, which truly makes us stand out from the rest and is an integral part of any design conception.

On fashion going digital...

I think while making products available digitally is a fantastic way of readapting to the current times, touch and feel are equally important when it comes to fashion. The impression of a silhouette when worn has a certain emotion and charm about it that is irreplaceable. However, there are innovative and technologically radical ways of presenting one’s ideas as envisioned, visually as well, without losing the magic.

On National Handloom Day...

National Handloom Day is a celebration of our freedom and also a reminder that on our busy calendars, it is this grass-root handloom ethos that got us our freedom from the British.

What is the lesson the fashion industry must learn from the pandemic?

To be cautious about fashion’s impact on the environment and to drastically reduce the excessiveness of the industry.