In high summer, Edward Abbey‘s excerpt from Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast “The weather here is windy, balmy, sometimes wet. Desert springtime, with flowers popping up all over the place, trees leafing out, streams gushing down from the mountains. Great time of year for hiking, camping, exploring, sleeping under the new moon and the old stars ” reminded the fashion aficionado in me of a subtle play with opaque and translucent fabrics. Herein, Sahil Kochhar‘s Chanderi and Organza in pristine ivory, champagne rose and cashmere blue have scalloped hems. Ethereally ornamented with silk floss embroidery they are neatly finished with a serrated edging; making way for an apparition to come alive.
His previous two seasons easily managed to transport one from the Bugyals of Uttarakhand to the exotic Jungles of India with a signature technique Shola pith craft from West Bengal – 3D applique work.
Graduated from National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi in 2006 he won the Most Creative Collection Award and the Best Academic Performance for the program, too. Thereafter at Rohit Bal‘s he assisted in designing for about 6 years. Eventually in 2013 he launched his own namesake label. Two years later, in 2015, was encouraged on receiving the Grazia Young Fashion Award, Elle Graduate Award and nominated by Stardust Awards for the Best Costume Design category. This winning spree continued when the talent moved a notch higher in 2016, nominated from India for the regional round of the International Woolmark Prize 2016.
Acknowledged by the Indian fashion industry beginning this year, he was announced the winner of the AZA Fashion’s Next 2018 Business Program at the Amazon Fashion Week. It offers him the much needed mentorship in retail business for a year with immense exposure at a nascent stage of his career. Rewinding his last six years we’ve seen different appliques, fabrics, designs and thread embroideries being re-fashioned. So, I thought it best to ask Sahil few pertinent questions.
MD: What inspired you to create ‘Rooh’ SS18 collection?
SK: It was actually a jungle wallpaper that inspired us to create this line. Since everybody is aware of the exotic Indian jungle stories we decided to do our own take on them.
MD: Sahil Kochhar is for the ladies with a Japanese aesthetics. Right?
SK: Yes! Our silhouettes have always had a distinct Japanese influence with anti-fit jackets, drop shoulder tops, kimono sleeves and of course the play of sheer and opaque… which we love!
MD: Then what makes your line essentially Indian?
SK: It’s the techniques and processes….they are derived from our culture, traditions, arts and crafts, and further augmented with the help of our unparalleled craftsmanship.
MD: Having showcased at an international fashion trade show Who’sNext in Paris what do you think Indian fashion industry should adopt in a big way?
SK: Indians need to stop aping the West. We should take pride in our strengths and strive for unique and original creations. We are surely capable of setting global trends to lead the world.