At designer Amit Aggarwal’s atelier, creativity births ground-breaking ideas. From turning recycled waste into graceful couture, using cutting-edge design technology like 3D embroideries, and polymer ribbing to crafting pieces that are a study in biology, art, architecture and sculpture — Amit embodies a kinetic force of creative energy. But what happens when the flow of creativity stops? How to spark creativity once again? Amit started this year with the same feeling — not feeling very excited unlike he usually used to; and as a creative individual, this was very new to him. “I have always found myself inspired by the small things that surround us, with almost childlike excitement. However, this time, there were no extreme feelings, just a state of absolute calm and nothingness,” he opens up, revealing the state of mind that shaped his latest collection Flow Couture 2023.
“I couldn’t help but notice that this state was exactly like air — you can’t see it, you can’t even put a finger on it, it feels like nothing yet impacts every element it touches and shapeshifts to keep flowing. As a result, this collection is my ode to trusting the process and starting exactly at the point where I am now and learning to embrace the unique experiences on the journey and flow forward. This flow of creative energy and the freedom to express was a breath of fresh air that culminated into this very personal collection where I turned my nothingness into everything. It showed me that the possibilities are always endless.”
Being in the ‘flow’The result is a 30-piece collection comprising 16 womens-wear ensembles like gowns, draped saris and lehengas and 14 menswear dresses that vary from flowy to structural pieces in the label’s signature shades of ivory, storm grey, plum and charcoal. The collection focuses on lightweight couture pieces in a range of pastel and soft hues. It harkens on techniques like pleating, weaving and embossing of wave patterns on chiffon and liquid mesh. His signature polymers and hand corded elements are used to mould the structural pieces so they can suit myriad body types. The Delhi-based designer has also used hand cording, embroidery and metal fixtures on fabric to accentuate the elegant appeal. These interesting techniques and subtle colour palettes encapsulate the imagery of sand dunes and airwaves on ensembles.
Amit describes to us how they are an insignia of the flow of energy, “I wanted the colour scheme to be reflective of what one would imagine as the colour of flowing air and it interacting with other elements around it to be. Hence, we started from gentle ivory, cloud pink, salmon, beryl, lilac and mint shades to deeper tones of storm grey, moss and emerald. In the end, a mélange of all the colours sparked hope and joy.” The collection’s pieces are suited for the new-age bride who wants ensembles to reflect her personality, energy and tenacity. “My aim is to let the brides celebrate themselves with authenticity. Henceforth, the ensembles become an extension of their own personalities,” he adds.
Desert as destinationImagine ensembles that capture the idea of motion — a stream of water, current of light, tide of sea waves and all the forces of nature that sway you with their fleeting flux. One can see them in the intricate details of the ensembles — a purple anemone gown with a hand-embroidered bodice adorned with beads and corset detailing flows gracefully, featuring embossed air wave patterns, a multicolour lehenga skirt paired with a metallic blouse and a motif representing the wind beneath the winged blouse, a jellyfish sari with a flowy tentacle palla and more. Complimenting the beauty of flow is Suryagarh where the campaign was shot.
The place located in the desert city of Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer is popular for ritzy destination weddings in India and is a bastion for luxury hotels. Amit tells us how the surreal location came to his mind for the shoot, “To me, a desert is a place that represents a world of endless possibilities. The fact that eons of years ago there were flowing oceans where there are now sand dunes and one can still find certain remains in the depths of the sand is a testament to that. Suryagarh played the perfect canvas for us to paint our story of the collection. The way air flows through a desert is beautiful. The dunes keep changing their form, shape and location on a daily basis where the wind blows and I think that truly appealed to me. That beauty shall always exist. All you need to do is go with the flow and surrender.”
The poetic designer
While enchanting destinations elevate the storytelling element, Amit doesn’t stop there. His out-of-the-box thinking replaces collection notes with poetry. Be it scribbling words about man and nature in his edit Symbiosis, on the cosmic connection in Pedesis couture or Flow — each of them touches on the subliminal thoughts about life. Conveying his love for poetry, he says, “Since I was a child, I always thought in pictures. No thoughtlessly strung words (poems) and sentences could do justice to the beauty I saw in my head. However, when I read the poem Daffodils by William Wordsworth, that’s when I realised how a bouquet of beautiful words held together could translate these pictures in my head. They moved me. Later, Japanese writer Haruki Murakami further strengthened the love for poetry. Hence, I started relying on the beauty of poetry to translate the inspiration, design and craft I have dedicated my life to.”
In the newsApart from awe-inspiring us with the ephemeral quality of his collections, the designer has been in the news for a lot of reasons. He recently dressed internet sensation Ruhee Dosani for her Cannes appearance. She dazzled the red carpet flaunting a hand-embroidered 3D structured corded and plisse detailing jacket. The statement jacket was paired with the label’s signature plisse yoke shirt and wide-legged trousers. Telling us about the ensemble, Amit shares, “Ruhee has exuberance about her and is fearless in her approach. The 3D detailing and embroideries were crafted to compliment her bold charisma.” The designer has also opened a store at DLF Emporio which marks his third store in the capital. His vision was to craft a space that feels like a moment in time — one that enables visitors into the label’s experience and is yet reflective of their own interpretations.
Telling us about the store, he shares, “It is designed as a take on the deep sea, which on its surface feels familiar but within its deep layers, there’s a whole world to explore that is entirely open to your imagination. With its juxtaposition of deep thought and serenity, the space is a blank canvas for you to walk into and make your own where the possibilities are truly endless. Visitors can find Western luxury occasion wear as well as luxury prêt, menswear and couture.” On an ending note, the designer reflects on the idea of quiet luxury entrenched in making the wearer feel special. “I am a believer in being true to yourself and investing in pieces that are timeless and celebrate you, whatever they may be.”