Vaishali S’ goal has always been crystal clear – reintroducing hand weaving, a lost art form, into the world of mainstream design. She is also of the opinion that nature and the human civilisation are intrinsically related and that there’s no separation between the two. Her collections take it up a notch by conveying her stance sartorially, as seen in her 2024 couture presentation at Paris.
Titled ‘I am Nature,’ the ensembles builds on the conceptual resonance of her previous collection ‘Abyss,’ by delving into the fundamental relationship between our inner selves and the outside environment. This collection is a powerful call to action for a shift in mindset and for taking personal responsibility with the usage of traditional handwoven fabrics. Here’s what Vaishali S had to say when quizzed about her Couture Week outing.
ELLE: Kindly take us through the inspiration for your collection ‘I am Nature’ that you just presented at Paris for Couture Week.
Vaishali S: Each Vaishali S collection is but a new step into my seamless journey of self-discovery through fashion. My last collection Abys was about diving deep into the scary darkness of the ocean (or the self) to discover the inner colours and beauties that lie beneath. This is the collection of the realisation that there is no distinction between us and nature, that we are nature and nature is us. And that is why she is my inspiration throughout the collection. That is why you will still see nice hand work and the flow of the ocean, but everything more in (primal) colours and less darkness.
This collection serves as a poignant call for self-empowerment into styling traditional handwoven textiles for the most irreverent and personal self-expression. In terms of themes, as usual I drive my inspiration anyway from nature in her whole.
ELLE: Please shed some light on the silhouettes, colour palettes and cuts in the collection.
Vaishali S: This collection reaches a new maturity and balance between our Indian heritage weaves and a more modern language of expression in the silhouettes: without any limitations to my creativity expression, these garments are generally easier to wear even in normal occasions, a bit more wrapping around the bodies and thus, I may say feminine. I use more primal colours as expression of clarity of thought.
ELLE: How has nature as an element inspired your creative journey from the start to now?
Vaishali S: It has been my fil rouge. Also, because the inspiration has not been merely pictorial, but rather in terms of feelings generated by flow of energy of the different expressions of nature. While each collection focuses on a specific element of nature, you will find both representations of it, but also interpretations of flows.
ELLE: What did the hair and beauty moodboard for the showcase look like?
Vaishali S: It has been a very collaborative experience as usual with the skilled Italian artists of Beautik. While I gave them some references, the day of the beauty test we really worked hard together. I always have a final idea in my mind, but at the same time it needs to be represented in a way that also minimises the impact on my already elaborated garments.
ELLE: If a yesteryear icon could wear your collection, who’d you want it to be and why?
Vaishali S: Oh no, I am always for the present, also because I consider my creations for a woman of our days, one that desires to stand out and affirm her own identity, out of social structures if needed. For this, I may like women like Deepika.
Also Read: DNA Of Indian Fashion: Vaishali S