Kaushik Velendra: from molding candles to shoulders

Fresh off London Fashion Week and feted for his armour-like tailoring, Kaushik Velendra will not be about to neglect his humble beginnings

Fresh off London Fashion Week and feted for his armour-like tailoring, Kaushik Velendra will not be about to neglect his humble beginnings

Kaushik Velendra, 31, may be very open in regards to the tradition shock he confronted when he landed within the UK as a scholar on the prestigious Central Saint Martins. “It nearly broke me,” he says on a video name one afternoon, referring to how overwhelmed he had felt when he needed to transition to a complete new nation. The processes and programs are completely totally different, he shares. “You’re already here for a short period of time, say two years, of which a few months go into just adapting to the food, the environment and the everyday life. This is distracting; it makes you lose time, sets you back when your competition is already so high, and breaks your confidence. This is often a reason why a lot of people don’t succeed coming in from countries India.”

This was the primary motive Velendra had his Hoxton Square atelier — as soon as occupied by Alexander McQueen — open through the pandemic. “It was a creative, safe space for older students who came in from India, Pakistan, Iran, Sri Lanka and all the countries that generally face a lot of culture shock issues,” the menswear designer explains. “We kept it open and allowed people to come in and use the space during weekends, off hours when the curfew wasn’t tight, to feel mentally strong and to have a space to go to.” This is in step with the designer’s imaginative and prescient — to carry India to the world, not within the “Bollywood” sense, however by showcasing craftsmanship and thru the spirit of hospitality.

Kaushik Velendra's Mayfair store

Kaushik Velendra’s Mayfair retailer | Photo Credit: Tim P Whitby

Global model, Indian at coronary heart

Having simply offered his Autumn Winter ’22 assortment at London Fashion Week, and relocating to Brook Street, Mayfair, Velendra prefers to take a extra introspective strategy to vogue. “A lot of people have a stereotype,” he provides, “where if you’re Indian, you’re going to bring in a lot of Indian fabrics, beadings traditional and colours. It never resonated with me.” He talks about wanting to create “a brand that can be worn all over the world”, one that’s Indian at coronary heart, with the “surprise of the garment’s construction and our service”.

Designs from the Autumn Winter '22 collection presented at London Fashion Week

Designs from the Autumn Winter ’22 assortment offered at London Fashion Week | Photo Credit: Special association

Featuring luxurious neutrals – whites, wealthy blacks, velvety browns, muted golds and olives – and swish materials which can be introduced along with sharp, sculptural tailoring, Velendra’s bodily present was in the primary schedule at LFW. He had forged fashions throughout 30 totally different nationalities to focus on the flexibility and fluidity of his clothes. Among the standout items was a short-sleeved, embellished gold high with highly effective, rounded, armour-like shoulders that are actually his signature design; cream trousers that begin structured and soften into fluid chiffon (a silhouette, Velendra admits, was impressed by the motion of dhotis); and a sleeveless ivory French brocade jacket. It’s no marvel that actor Ranveer Singh, identified for his larger-than-life strategy to vogue, has already been noticed in Velendra’s designs.

Ranveer Singh in a Kaushik Velendra outfit

Ranveer Singh in a Kaushik Velendra outfit | Photo Credit: @ranveersingh

The bubble that’s Bollywood

Does he keep watch over Indian vogue? His rapid reply is sure, after which he turns into thoughtful. “We dress a lot of personalities who represent Bollywood,” he says. Besides Ranveer Singh, his jackets have been seen on Priyanka Chopra and the likes of Billy Porter and Kelly Rutherford. “We do follow India as a whole, different industry, but it’s a bubble of its own and it’s very Bollywood-centric,” he goes on to clarify. There are two methods you may go about this, he continues. “You undergo Bollywood after which go worldwide, otherwise you go worldwide and are available again to Bollywood. For me, going worldwide, succeeding and coming again has a stronger influence.”

At London Fashion Week

At London Fashion Week | Photo Credit: Special association

Lights, digicam, vogue

Velendra’s rise to success as the primary Indian-born designer who graduated from the menswear design course at Central Saint Martins earlier than occurring to turn out to be an LVMH Prize semi-finalist, started in Bengaluru. It was the place he molded candles for a residing. “And I think this is one of my greatest skills that [links] the past to today,” he shares, adding, “I mold shoulders and body types and garments like nobody else!”

Velendra relocated to Chennai at the age of 17, where he worked as a light technician, then an assistant costumer on the sets of Bollywood and Tamil films, including Mani Ratnam’s Guru, He worked his way up to costume designer to the likes of Kamal Haasan. “There was something that drove me to say, ‘what can I do next?'” he says about this journey. After multiple attempts (16, he recounts) at applying to Central Saint Martins, he got in. “Many would’ve given up after the first two rounds of rejection. It wasn’t an easy process.”

The Mayfair HQ

The Mayfair HQ | Photo Credit: Tim P Whitby

Finding Mayfair

During the pandemic, when vogue was compelled to maneuver on-line, Velendra did too. His largest concern was create his form of clothes with out fittings. Fittings, says Velendra, was one of many largest ache factors through the pandemic, as a result of though individuals weren’t leaving their properties, they have been nonetheless shopping for. “So, we created a new magic pattern,” he reveals. “It’s become one of our biggest strengths today. We don’t take measurements anymore, but work with neutral, anatomy-based tailoring and a structure for the spectrum of body types.” This magic sample, he continues, has additionally allowed him to translate from menswear to womenswear.

At the Mayfairstore

At the Mayfairstore | Photo Credit: Tim P Whitby

Another post-pandemic achievement is the Mayfair retailer, as he recollects strolling across the unique space as a scholar, and by no means discovering an Indian vogue home there — despite the fact that “half the buildings in Mayfair were owned by Indians”. That grew to become his benchmark. As we wind up, the inevitable query about seasonless clothes vs developments comes up, and the designer is fast together with his response. “I do not just like the phrase ‘developments’, to be trustworthy,” he says, then laughs about how “on this world we stay in, it is extra about are we alive tomorrow or not?”

On his e-commerce website, Kaushik Velendra’s collections begin at £400

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