— ROCKY S
Right at the onset of his career, RockyS rose to unparalleled heights with star-truffled shows, styling celebrities worldwide, designing for brands and much, much more! Albeit, as his star continues to rise, the designer remains humble and down to earth. In a real honest, insightful conversation with Rocky STAR on the eve of his much-awaited showcase at India Beach Fashion Week.
''I have showcased at India Beach Fashion Week before and thoroughly enjoyed the experience! I believe it is a great platform for any designer to showcase his or her work. About my show, it is an extremely glamorous, chic collection steeped in influences from the baroque and gothic era. Its heritage, old world charm calls for deeper scrutiny, to look between the cracks and opulence… and find beauty in its imperfection. Our attempt is to translate this emotion on the catwalk through a manifestation of old world charm in dramatic silhouettes with prints, lace and hand embroideries. Watch out for all garments as collectively they form a narrative… of a soul moving through time and places, to uncover and discover the true nature of beauty…'' he reveals.
In the years since he launched his label, Rocky S has become a force in advancing the hi-octane glamorous aesthetic. Where did it all begin, I wonder? ''Designing is something that I'm very passionate about. It's a craft that has spoken to me since I was very young and I knew this was something I wanted to pursue. I started out like any aspiring designer — graduated from college and worked in the industry for a couple of years. The defining moment in my career was the day I opened my very own store and had my brand name put out there. From zero, I have built my brand and come a long way... the journey has been spectacular and special'' he sighs. ''Everything I'm doing today is part of a creative process; it is challenging at times but that's what motivates me and encourages me to push my limits. Without challenges and difficulties it's possible to reach a point of stagnation and monotony. So it's essential to keep pushing yourself, testing your limits and pushing your boundaries creatively. One must step out of the comfort zone from time to time and explore opportunities!''
Rocky S' shows are always high on glamour. Is there something he keeps in mind when designing a collection — perhaps a balancing act between wearability and theatric, I ask him? ''When a designer creates something, it's a reflection of his thoughts or something he's inspired by. It's a realization of those thoughts into something concrete and wearable. Commercial appeal comes when people begin to understand and like the designer's aesthetic; a designer's creative force is staying true to his aesthetic and that cannot be compromised to gain commercial appeal. Both are equally important — two lines that run parallel to each other but never meet. Honestly, I like to focus on both aspects when I'm designing a collection. Wearability is of course key, but I do like my ensembles to have some drama and make a statement!! How do I keep it fresh season after season? My designs have always been a reflection and projection of my thoughts and my journey as a designer and as a person. I draw inspiration out of my own experiences and have a different story to tell a global audience each season. Today, the point we are in the world, it has become such a small place. We are exposed to so much and there is easy exchange and access to new and different ideas. Trends from other countries make their way here and I believe some of our trends are followed overseas as well. My designs see classic western silhouettes rooted in traditional Indian embroidery that appeal equally to both my audiences.''
What's the biggest misconception Indian women have about Fashion, I continue grilling. And he responds thoughtfully. ''I think the biggest misconception is that being fashionable means you have to wear skimpy, revealing clothes. Fashion is about comfort and acceptance of your body!! Wearing what looks good on you — that doesn't necessarily entail skin show! That said, the three must-have items in a Indian woman's closet is a sari, little black dress and well-fitted denims! Wear what suits your body and makes you feel happy. And, one thing all women SHOULD wear is confidence.''
Lastly... looking back at his career graph… is there something he wishes he had known when he first started out in the industry, I ask him? ''I knew the industry was a scary competitive place; what I didn't know was how accepting it is of new talent or a new voice. My advice to my younger self or any aspiring designer would be — while the fashion industry is accepting, it will also put you through moments of self-doubt; don't lose sense of your aesthetic and your voice in the midst of trying to fit in. You will fit in better when you stand out. Just keep going. It can only get better.'' Is it any wonder then they call him Rocky STAR?