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To enter Tarun Tahiliani's atelier is like walking into a parallel universe, one of infinite aesthetic perfection. The label has its feet firmly in the modern Indian aesthetic — steeped in Indian traditions and crafts, designed keeping in mind the global Indian. So it's no wonder his finale showing at FDCI India Couture Week is attracting a lot of attention. In conversation with the couturier in the run-up to his show.


In the run-up to the most anticipated showing, in what way is this platform significant to the Indian couturier today, I ask? ''I believe that the FDCI has consistently done a great job in putting together a platform like India Couture Week that brings us couturiers together annually and gives us an impetus to showcase our craft. The audience that we present our work to is equally keen to understand and absorb the thought behind each creation and that gives our work meaning. It is a platform that truly brings together a world of people who have the same goal — promote and highlight evolution in couture from India, not just within the country, but worldwide too.


Is technique important to the new generation of customers… what do they essentially look for in couture, I wonder? ''In my opinion, technique is the very basis of couture. Our customers are evolved; they have deep rooted traditions but are well educated, travelled and up to date with global fashion but one thing they do not compromise on is technique and attention to detail. With the digital medium being a touch away, the new generation is well aware of trends, but most importantly they are aware of what is true quality and how much thought and research goes behind perfecting each technique, motif and silhouette and that is what true couture is.''


When you are requested to design bridal couture, how integral is the client-couturier relationship to the framework? ''It is one of the most important days of a woman's life and for her to put all her faith in us is an extremely humbling moment. Designing bridal couture is an experience in itself given the emotions involved. We start with understanding her likes, dislikes and preferences and then design an ensemble that represents her traditions — but it has our own twist to it that adds a touch of panache. The couturier-client relation therefore becomes extremely important since the ensemble is an amalgamation of our expertise and technique and their vision of self.''


Tarun, when someone comes to you for bridal couture or festive wear, what is their expectation and how has it evolved, I ask before we wrap up the interview. ''Men and women who come to us have always had a clear expectation and that is of the finest quality, intricate technique and something that flatters their personal style and body type. That hasn't changed over time. What has changed though is that a new age bride and groom wants to adorn exquisite garments, however, with no compromise on functionality. They want to enjoy their own wedding and move around at ease without feeling weighed down. They want to maintain tradition but with a modern outlook, as I see it.''

Tarun Tahiliani
Tarun Tahiliani
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