The future of fashion is here. ‘Bloni’ by Central Saint Martins alumnus Akshat Bansal makes sure of it. Having showcased the house’s tech driven collection ‘Preamble’ at the recently concluded Lakmé Fashion Week in partnership with FDCI, the experimental amalgamation of material exploration fused with wearability was a sight to behold.
Rooted in gender agnosticism and new-age thinking, the fashion presentation shed light on the strategic usage of body heat, crochet, tie-dye, handwoven denim & regeneration of textiles done right.
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The trinity of visuals & sound effects alongside the performative arc of the show, made Bloni the highlight of this very season. We caught up with the Nexa Presents The Spotlight winner post the show & had a chat on all things creative.
ELLE: In a short span of five years, you’ve managed to build a brand that has not only received international recognition but also a strong foundation back home. How has the journey been for you?
Akshat Bansal (AB): The journey has been really interesting. It’s manifestation that I sort of do, to put the right foot forward and that has been happening and has undoubtedly been really rewarding. It’s nice that my work is being seen and people are liking it and I am able to sort of put a point of view about what fashion should be and I think it’s great.
ELLE: Experimental textiles and technologies are the two major elements of your brand. So what was the starting point of this discovery and how did it become Bloni’s USP?
AB: Well, after my first collection, which was for Gen Next, I took a break and went to the hills to sort of take some time off. While coming back, I saw water clogged rivers and water clogged dams and was wondering about what’s happening and how all I could see was plastic. So, I just typed things and looked at what the state of plastic was and this is 2017 I’m talking about. I love my planet so much, so I kind of wanted to figure out how I can help and give back a little bit.
This discovery of marine plastic waste textiles happened from there and so, I strongly feel like technology is something that needs to be incorporated and tied in with historical textiles & the craft, sort of merged together. That is what I have been doing.
ELLE: Bloni is known for its eccentric and unusual pieces. So, how do you manage to make the clothes wearable?
AB: That is the trick I think. The idea is to make them balanced. It is very important, especially when your material is so technologically driven. You have to understand the field, do a lot of R&D, make a couple of swatches to understand how the fabric falls and how one can refrain from making them gimmicky and rather more wearable.
So, the art and technique was learnt during my time at Saville Row, & thereby, entails a sense of tailoring to it, alongside a classiness whilst being super experimental. And I think this balance is something that people love about the brand.
ELLE: 2 trends you think will be major for this season and one piece from the collection that nails those very trends.
AB: I don’t believe in trends to be honest. But what really stands out from this collection is the colour changing element in my designs. I feel that’s fun and since it’s covering my body, it’s proper clothing.
So that one and also, the reflective textiles. A model was wearing a mesh product which is so lightweight but also voluminous and is made from a recycled metal. Hence it has a lot to tell, alongside being gender fluid & future tech. Which I hope work well in the future.
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