With street-wear on the rise, the fact that a talent likePrithuBir Khatri is doubling down on tailoring is a bold move. However, the NIFT graduate isn’t serving up stuffy suiting but comfortable playful takes on the classic t-shirt- trouser combo. Part architectural, part avant-garde, hiswork blurs the boundary between comfort and style “When the entire world is following the idea of fast fashion, consciously or unconsciously, I have aspired to create garments that are so comfortable that you would never want to get rid of them. ” This results in strange yet captivating reinterpretations of classic garments.
1. What is your story behind studying fashion design ?
Though my interest in fashion sparked from within me from my childhood, I describe myself as an accidental designer.The only reason I even went to fashion school was because the girl I had a crush on made fun of my completely cobalt blue attire when I asked her out. Therefore, I like to think that I stumbled into the world of design and am very happy that I did find a path that I truly enjoy. I received my formal education as a fashion designer from NIFT, New Delhi.
2. Do fashion design studies feel as competitive as it seems?
Indeed, it is, from day one. Like I said, as a rookie,I never really realized that being a fashion designer meant being this multitasking machine of sorts. From the very first day of school, we had to manage our stationery, materials, classes and attending various events and exhibitions to stay in touch with everyday happenings. Four majors and four minor subjects, every semester, meant spending resources and countless hours in the labs. Saturdays were spent going around town looking for the perfect material at the most reasonable price. It was a cut throat competition; I personally enjoyed all the smiles and the tears because it made me feel alive.
3. How would you describe yourself as a designer? What inspires you to design?
I am a traditionalist by nature. I believe in peace, harmony and balance. For me,All things in this universe should be perfectly balancedand that shows in my designs. I strive to create a delicate balance of various shades of colors, the perfect blend of fabrics, trims and finishes to give you a garment that is in harmony making you feel comfortable while you wear it. I derive a lot of inspiration from the homeland; Nepali art, culture and people is a major source of inspiration for me but I also keep tabs on happenings around the me to produce relevant designs.
4. How would you describe your designs?
I think my designs are simple yet, with that little extra kick. Making avantgarde designs isn’t my forte. I believe that perfection is not attained when there is nothing more to add but, when there is nothing more to remove. Void of unnecessary fabrications, you end up with something beautiful and that is the core of my designs : simple, comfortable, and beautiful.
5. What kind of fabrics and techniques are used in your designs?
All of my fabrics are handmade or most manufactured parts is carefully made by hand. I work with a lots of weaving and dyeing techniques. I try to use as much of natural or traditional techniques as possible. For my latest collection,I have worked with weavers from Nepal to create a bend fabric of Pashmina wool and silk. The same fabric has gone through two softening processes to even improve on the hand of the fabric.
6. Is sustainable fashion something you think about?
I don’t think that this should even be a question. Most of us relate to sustainable as “Less Waste” but sustainability for me includes other important aspects like ethical business practices and socialresponsibility. The whole process should be sustainable and not just the final product. People associated with the business should all be thriving and moving forward, A design process is incomplete without the sustainability factor and if the designers are not going to think about it, nobody is.
7. How do you see your future as a designer?
I am super excited because people are finally starting to understand design and appreciate the hard work that goes into crafting garments. We are no longer viewed as simply tailors but as a serious hard-working professionals. I’m looking forward to be part of this blooming industry,where people are coming up with more and more original content, expressing their views more openly and are getting wide acceptance for their views and designs.
8. What is it that makes fashion industry so interesting to you?
Fashion provides a space for everyone to express themselves. Ideas and views that would generally be shunned are celebrated in the fashion world. What intrigued me, and eventually made me fall in love with this world is the beauty of creation, Fashion designers have the privilege to create art that is very intimate to a person. We have the power to make the wearer and the observer feel and express a wide range of emotions and I think that is what drives a lot of people, including me, towards fashion.