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Indian Designers
Rohit Bal

Rohit Bal's work provokes emotional reactions—Time magazine in its Special Report on India profiled him as 'India's Master of fabric and fantasy.' Theatricality is the name of Bal's game—from romantic, corseted silhouettes to regal sherwanis—but his grand gestures are always backed up by strict attention to detail. Last season, his audience was awestruck by the haunting beauty of both the couture and the staging—it's not every day the poolside at luxury hotel The Aman is transformed into a fashion fantasy with supermodels showcasing elaborate looks like hand-embroidered jackets with metallic appliqué flowers and taking their final bow alongside the deisgner—in the pool!

Bal completed his education before stoking his passion for design. Graduating from St. Stephen's with a first class in History, he worked for his brother's export firm before launching his debut menswear line in 1990. From villages where craftsmen weaved and handcrafted dreams, and factories and workshops, to the grandeur of boutiques... he has experienced fashion in all its hues. Is it a wonder then that he was awarded Designer Of The Year at IFA Fashion Awards, Best Designer Of The Year at Kingfisher Fashion Achievement Awards 2001 and was chosen by Khadi Gram Udyog to design for them?

However the marketing methodology that made Bal rich is collaborations—Hidesign, Oriflame, Mitsubishi Outlander and Windproof Zippo Lighter are just some of the names. "My signature style permeates the brands I collaborate with because these collaborations are not limited to me being a public face of the brand. It involves utilizing my ideas and imagination to create a certain look for the product," says Bal, explaining, "Zippo is carved with my signature lotus logo and the bag I designed for Oriflame is crafted by hand from quilted silk." On his personal life, the designer was hardly ever written about without the phrase "enfant terrible" following his name perhaps owing to his wild parties and lavish lifestyle. He is back in the designing game now after recovering from a massive heart attack. Amen.

— Jasmeen Dugal
Photographs — Press Kit

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