Breaking stereotypes with his designs - Vijay Balhara

It's just stereotypes. We all are prone to them. When we hear the word "supermodel" we think of a vain, vapid clotheshorse who probably doesn't spell "Modesty". All stereotypes, I tell you. Fortunately, on closer inspection, they fall flat on their faces. Which is what all stereotypes deserve. I knew that Vijay Balhara had once ruled the ramp, and when, years ago, I first called him for his inputs on Men's Wedding Fashion , I was apprehensive. This was a supermodel turned designer I was talking to. The voice at the other end was controlled, and yet friendly. He knew what he was talking about, and yet spoke slowly, so I could take notes, and explained whatever I didn't quite understand. 

Since that first conversation, we have known each other, and I have followed his work for years now. Every year, he surprises, with innovation, with new thoughts and ideas that reflect his global exposure and his Indian roots. He has constantly added to his design language, and has grown into a refreshing voice that looks inward, rather than constantly look at others for approval. And through it all, he has kept his shy gaze, his humility, and his warmth. 
I have tried to study the designers I like on a personal level. I do believe that apart from the trend forecasts and the "colors of the year", and all that financial and social jazz around the business of fashion, what designers bring to the board is their personality. The rebels, the traditionalists, the purists, the non-conformists, the individualists... look closely, and you will start seeing a pattern emerge, season after season, design after design. 

And in VJ's case, I think I know what propels his ideas. He loves women. He adores the infinite grace that is his mother, the fluid elegance of his sister, the exuberance of his wife, the boldness of his muse, and all the feminine aspects of the women all around him. And he wants to define those ethereal qualities in fabrics and textures and woven stories. 

For now, I leave you to feast your eyes on some of his creations. Do tell me what you see. What I see is a designer who creates for the love of his craft, for the love of life itself. 

1 comment:

  1. Those black and white striped tights ROCK!!! SOOOOO cool and badass!
    xoThe Beckerman Girls



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