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MEHRAAB

— JASMEEN DUGAL

The word "magnificent" is hackneyed in Fashion but 'Mehraab' — couture that seamlessly translates from Indian to western, formalwear to intricately handworked separates — genuinely is just that. I'm talking about the label by John Marya and Arun Ahuja that's slated to rock the Capital with a star-truffled by-invite show at Gentlemen's Club, The Lodhi.

 

A Hotel Management graduate from Les Roches Crans-Montana, Switzerland, Arun Ahuja joined his family business of construction which has to its credit Akshardham Cultural Complex, luxury hotels, embassies and high-end housing. What made him shift tracks from construction to couture, I ask my closest friend, fashion designer Arun Ahuja? ''I grew up amid construction and am still involved there; however, on a personal level, I'm artistically inclined towards different forms of art and Fashion. It has been a deep-seated desire as far back as I can remember to someday pursue Fashion design but due to personal circumstances and family commitments, I put my dreams on hold. Today, I'm wholeheartedly involved in my luxury fashion label. 'Mehraab' which literally translates as 'the side which you face to pray' and 'radiant like the sun'. This title just felt soothing to the heart as its core is deeply personal.''

 

His partner, my friend and fashion designer John Marya is entrenched in the business of Fashion. He is a NIFT graduate and a leading model! When I asked where his passion lies, he sighs, ''I've always been inclined towards Fashion, be it designing or modelling. I had a focussed vision that I would one day carve a niche, be it on catwalk or behind it! So, I enrolled myself for a course in Fashion Design at NIFT and simultaneously walked for leading designers including Ashish Soni, Samant Chauhan, Mayyur Girotra and Dev R Nil astride overseas modeling assignments. Steeped in invaluable exposure to fashion mechanisms, my style sensibilities and creative side spurred me on to pour my ideas into a dream project — my luxury fashion label 'Mehraab'. I'm really looking forward to this journey which I'm sure will inspire the fashion-conscious set to Indulge, to Experiment, to Rediscover themselves.''

 

What is the genesis of their collection, I ask the designers, even as I feel like Alice falling down the proverbial rabbit hole when holding up each garment, which must have taken master craftsmen several months to traverse from the drawing board to the rack. After all, it was clear the sharply cut silhouettes crafted from hand-embroidered textiles had a global design aesthetic. Versatile in its appeal, I could visualise Javed Akhtar in one of the intricately handworked kurta pyjamas or Ranbir Singh sporting a handworked shawl over a pair of Levis! ''Our collection is artistically designed to appeal to all age groups. It has a combination of old world charm and contemporary sensibilities, and takes inspiration from the Victorian era. The Nehru jackets, the kurta pyjamas, the ornate waistcoats and the all-weather fine shawls have been painstakingly woven, textured and embellished with hand embroideries and Gota — yet it's subtly toned down'' explains Arun.

 

Shutting my laptop, I strongly feel this luxury label's rise will be meteoric—thanks in part to their creativity and their will to push the design envelope with the most luxurious handwoven fabrics and classic embellishments. What's more, these young men themselves project an elegance and sureness of vision that make them, still, the best image with which to market their label. I, for one, can't wait to see this luxury label unveil on the catwalk. I don't need to guess how it'll be received by critics, buyers and editors; after all, there are fashion houses already vying for the debut collection!

 

MEHRAAB BY JOHN MARYA AND ARUN AHUJA
Fashion Designers John Marya [right] and Arun Ahuja [left]
 
Mehraab by John Marya and Arun Ahuja
 
30-AUGUST-2017
 
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