Designer Ashish Soni was recently in Kolkata for the 16th edition of Blenders Pride Glassware Fashion Tour and News18 caught up with him for an exclusive interview where he gave us an insight into current fashion trends among many things. Soni, who was the curator-in-chief of the show, powered by the Fashion Design Council of India, kickstarted the tour with the Kolkata Chapter, which was based on ‘Pride in Bringing Twists and Traditions.’ Designers Shantnu and Nikhil presented their collection for this leg of the tour along with the captain of the Indian Women’s National Cricket Team Harmanpreet Kaur and Bollywood actors Rajkummar Rao and Patralekhaa Paul, who acted as the showstoppers for the evening.
Shantnu and Nikhil unveiled their collection called ‘Shantnu Nikhil Cricket Club’ (SNCC) from their bridge-to-luxury brand ‘S&N by Shantnu Nikhil’ which captured the spirit of cricket. Soni talked about the idea behind the show and also explained the theme of the Kolkata chapter. Besides these, he also shared who he thinks are the most stylish Gen Z actresses.
Excerpts from the interview:
Tell us about the Fashion Tour.
The idea of this fashion tour was to add a whole bunch of new things which are relevant to the young Indians. The keywords were cooler, younger, and hipper. Talking about young Indians, there were key elements in terms of themes that we thought we should put together which are relevant to them. Therefore we had ideas like cricket, music, sustainability, and inclusivity. Those are thoughts that matter and these are not just spoken about, a lot of people, especially the young, are walking that road.
Those themes were then given to each designer. In the space of fashion, we have seen brands collaborating with a rapper or say a street artist collaborating with a sneaker company. So we thought what about bringing those collaborations? We thought of trying something exciting. Therefore, we chose four very established people from different genres of lifestyle. Till now the Blenders Pride Glassware Fashion Tour was only exclusive to fashion so we have broken that barrier and moved to other aspects of lifestyles. Similarly what’s happening tonight is we are celebrating cricket and Shantnu and Nikhil are launching a brand extension called the ‘SNCC’ which is modern cricketing clothing you can wear off the pitch but still look the part.
The Kolkata chapter is titled Pride in Bringing Twists in Traditions. Please elaborate.
Cricket used to be a men’s game. Then it was confined by strict rules as well. Fast forward to today, where traditions have been twisted in a very good way. Look at the number of women who are playing cricket now. We also have the Women’s T20 Cup. Not only that, but look at their of-screen fashion. Earlier cricketers were not equal to Bollywood stars but that’s changing as well. So there is so much twist in tradition and that’s coming alive in the show as well.
What is the most popular fashion trend in the industry right now?
Two big things happened during the pandemic. One, less started getting more appreciated and the second is beyond whoever you are, the first thing that came to your mind was comfort before anything else. That’s how we thought of the exhibition as well. The one thing you wore the most was a t-shirt, whether it’s with your shorts, yoga pants or your track pants. That’s what we all lived in for two years. Therefore the whole concept was, there is nothing more fashionable than that. The most important thing has been comfort.
What about changing wedding trends?
That again something that has happened over the last two years and evolved through the pandemic. People have smaller weddings and they were happier inviting 50 people. The brides and grooms could also experiment with whatever they wanted rather than having the pressure of 400 people looking at them.
Who is the most stylish and fashionable Gen Z actress?
Well, there are quite a few. The younger ones are super edgy whether it is Janhvi Kapoor, Ananya Panday or Sara Ali Khan. Everyone is wearing cool fashion and looking good in that. So all of them. Ananya Panday, perhaps, leads the brigade.
Actress from the previous generation?
I would say the fashion was very different back then but Madhuri Dixit for me is a personal favourite.
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