Couture misinterpreted in India: Designer Suneet Verma (Interview)September 22nd, 2008 - 1:58 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Sep 22 (IANS) Designer Sunnet Verma, who specialises in cocktail and bridal wear, feels that the term couture is broadly misinterpreted in India.”Couture means luxury but unfortunately in India, luxury in terms of apparel is only related to bridal wear. Marriages are the only time when people spend lavishly on their clothes.
“This is a false notion because even if you pick up an expensive lehnga and get it fitted according to your body size, it will still be prêt wear,” Verma, who was among the 11 designers who participated in the just-concluded HDIL India Couture Week, told IANS.
“Couture means ready to measure or order. You can say it is customised and is exclusively made for you. Measurements are taken and the costume is made according to your fit,” Verma said.
“Couture is exclusive and it cannot be your everyday wear. It is expensive as loads of hard work goes behind making the garment. It is completely handmade and this exclusivity comes with a price tag,” he added.
Verma plunged into the world of fashion after graduating from the London School of Fashion in 1986. This was followed by brief stints with couturiers like the iconic Yves Saint Laurent in Paris and Nikole Farhi in London.
During this remarkable journey spanning 22 years, the designer has staged shows in London, New York, Hong Kong, Davos, Bangkok and Jakarta. Apart from this, he also showcases his collection every year at the premier Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) in New Delhi.
With so much international exposure, Verma is able to minutely explain the difference between the international couture culture and its Indian counterpart.
“People in the West are more open to the idea of couture as they know it is all about getting the right fit.
“Other than getting the right fit, the designer also sits with a client and suggests the design, cut, fabric and the colours to bring out the exclusivity of the product,” he said.
Verma explained that making a luxury item is a two way process: you know what you want but the designer knows whether that will look good on you or not.
“The client has to trust his designer completely and know that whatever suggestion he gives will be the best for him or her,” he said.
In India, barring a few exceptions, clients merely choose from what couturiers have to offer.
Given that he is a specialist in cocktail dresses, what is his take on the new phenomenon of ‘cocktail saris’ that is sweeping the party circuit?
“Cocktail saris make for plunging necklines and nothing else,” he replied with a smile.
The designer also has a prêt line Le Spice that he launched in 2003 and which retails from more than 25 stores across the country. His range starts from Rs.60,000 and goes up to a few hundred thousand rupees.
Talking about the HDIL Indian Couture Week, the latest initiative of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), Verma said: “This initiative is a great platform for designers like me that believe in living for the artistic and creative freedom of couture.”
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Tags: false notion, india fashion week, indian counterpart, lehnga, london school of fashion, remarkable journey, shows in london, wills lifestyle india fashion week, world of fashion, yves saint laurent