With a penchant for high octane bling and ample reverence for the days of yore, Siddartha Tytler is back with his newest collection titled Mehfil-e-Husn. Pandering to the maximalist, the quintessential Indian silhouettes are coupled with rustic glamour of the Mughal era, celebrating the alluring aesthetics of the period, and finding inspiration in the seductive courtesans who also served as muses to many.
We caught up with the designer to discuss all about the collection and it’s inspiration alongside his enduring love for Rekha and her character Umrao Jaan, and how she’s the ideal muse for Siddartha Tytler.
ELLE: Mehfil-e-Husn. Sounds like a grand name. Kindly tell us about your decision of going with this collection name.
Siddartha Tytler (ST): The meaning of ‘Husn’ in Urdu is beauty to allure, to seduce. This collection is inspired by the Mughal Era when the courtesans ruled the world, and were muses to a lot of men. And, Mehfil-e-Husn means a celebration of a gathering. So, that’s all I was going for.
ELLE: What’s the core inspiration behind your collection?
ST: This season, the art, the architecture, and the beautiful paintings of the Mughal Era were what inspired me the most. We literally visited monuments, clicked pictures and created a beautiful mood board deriving motifs from the Taj Mahal, which were just actually the most beautiful motifs. And, of course, it’s about women’s empowerment and how women were so strong in that period.
ELLE: If you could dress a yesteryear celebrity in this collection of yours, who would it be?
ST: Well, one of my most extensive researches happened with Rekha in Umrao Jaan. She is forever beautiful, and I would still dress her today. She is an absolute fashion maven. She is not of yesteryear, she is today.
ELLE: What are the cuts, colours, silhouettes and ornamentation techniques utilised in Mehfil-e-Husn?
ST: This season, we concentrated on layering, double dupattas, corsetry, and lehengas with jackets and blouses. The colours are primarily black and white with shades of blush, shades of blue, shades of grey and golds, and metallics with gunmetal. The techniques predominantly are aari embroidery, zardozi, lots of thread work, crystal application, and sequin splashes.
There’s a lot of use of flowers in this collection also. You’ll find a lot of patterns from Mughal architecture, prints which are derived from Mughal architecture, beautifully woven into pearls, zari work, crystals; there’s a lot of deconstruction, there is a lot of frill work. So, to bring the whole collection together, there’s a modern twist in the old world.
ELLE: If this collection of yours could be compared to a movie, which one would it be and why?
ST: Well, we did take inspiration from movies such as Umrao Jaan, Pakeezah, from that period. They are so beautiful, so grand. We’ve also taken inspiration from the movies of Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
ELLE: What’s next for brand Siddartha Tytler?
ST: My collections derive inspiration from the moment. To be honest, we don’t know what’s next. Only time will tell.