October 11, 2014 Asmita Aggarwal

Survival of the Fittest

Tswana word ‘Kgala’ means thirst and that’s where Kalahari gets its name from; being a man who collects National Geographics, Nachiket Barve once again goes back to the rawness of the desert to celebrate the human spirit of survival despite odds

By Asmita Aggarwal

There is a lot that makes you think about Nachiket Barve, yes, the man better known to have dressed the first family of entertainment, the Bachchan clan. His passion for colour, no compromise on R & D and above all his constant need to explore various facets of human existence. From Maori tribes and fossils, Nachi has this SS 15 moved on to the stark Kalahari desert, Southern Africa, struggling with water paucity, scanty vegetation, but known for its survival despite all odds.

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Being a collector of National Geographic magazines, Nachi has been transfixed by different cultures and Africa remains under his lens, being the cradle of civilisation. What entranced him was despite the onslaught of hectic urbanisation, the motifs, textiles and weaving techniques of Arica remain unchanged for people living on the fringes and how beautifully they have adhered to their identity abandoning modernisation. This linearity of thought and ideas was the genesis of his line. “There are sand, sky and sun colours. And for the first time, I have undertaken this task of doing tone-on-tone embroidery, a lot of it. Each garment I am hoping will tell a story,” smiles Nachi.

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As a designer Nachi has learnt to be a curator, and has depicted Africa, which is a theme which has been played over and over again by many style gurus, in the literal sense with feathers and animal skins. Rather his is the more metaphorical translation. Therefore, the collection is more ‘now’ and ‘classic’ and hardest part for him was where to begin. ‘That’s why he soaked himself in the sights and aroma of Africa, in its music, costumes to get a feel of the sub-culture that existed away from big cities. “Coming from NID, where functionality was the name of the game rather than fantasy, the silhouettes are rather easy, with tunic safari dresses, shirt dresses and floor length jackets with wooden beading,” he adds.

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Nachi has also dabbled in accessories, which holds the look together, from laser cut acrylic cuffs to raw wood combined with jute footwear. “I’ve been known for always pushing the polished look and this time it was way different with a certain unrefined splendour that gave the line an unrehearsed appeal,” he concludes.

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