Not often do we come across a fashion film that transports you back to a time that’s long forgotten. And this year at Lakmé Fashion Week, Sanjay Garg of Raw Mango gifted us with one. Set in Rajasthan, a place close to his heart, the festive collection titled Moomal exuded an aesthetic that felt like flipping through a ‘90s wedding album.
Glass bangles, chanderi lehengas and traditional rituals captured in undertone imagery was a vibe we didn’t know we missed. And to be personal, it reminded us of the time when we spent five days of our summer vacation at an intimate family wedding in our parents’ hometown.
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We asked the founder and designer about his inspiration behind this stunning masterpiece, future fashion trends and more. Here’s what he had to say:
ELLE: Tell us a little about your collection at LFW 2020.
SANJAY GARG: Rajasthan captures the hearts of many, at times a visual synonym for India. Its soul however, resides with those native and its lesser known customs and callings. The collection drew inspiration from Rajasthan while evolving over the years and perhaps owing to the month’s past, it has beckoned with its fond memory and solace. It draws from a continued lens of questioning on the perceptions of classic and folk.
The traditional aesthetics of folk meet with Marwari clothing as a newfound harmony within textiles, silhouettes, colours. Newly introduced techniques include bandhej and the region’s metallic gota. Bold in both colour and combination, Rajasthan’s multiplicity of layers lives across colours, textiles and motifs, explored on gathered lehengas, jackets and cholis. The peacock, a central motif, dances amidst graphic lines of textile and embroidery. Interpreted from folk, its form and layout draw from oral traditions, representing the importance of this language, one unstudied yet significant.
ELLE: What was it like presenting for a digital show? Were there any challenges you faced while preparing for it?
SG: We have presented a majority of our campaigns digitally, so the format is not new to us. However, working digitally through the pandemic has been very unusual for me and there is a new and different learning every day. I am of course missing the tactility of physical shows and the immersive experiences, including buying tons of jasmine and flowers.
ELLE: What do you think will be the future fashion trends post-pandemic?
SG: Fewer “trends” hopefully – overall there is a shift toward more conscious consumption on a mass level. Being able to answer ‘why/how/where’ are basics and it’s important to continue to share that local crafts and heritage are important to preserve, as many livelihoods depend on it. Choosing brands and designers that stand with, support and respect the craft traditions of India will help strengthen and safeguard our local economy and cultural identity.
ELLE: Do you see fashion films becoming permanent in the Indian fashion industry?
SG: Films have always been an important part of our storytelling narrative and I have always tried to explore and evolve through different mediums of expression – be it film, music or photography – each is important in its own way.
ELLE: Your favourite piece in your collection.
SG: It’s a blue kurta look – the colour, it’s bold and graphic. It exudes all the things I love about Rajasthan.