There is no policing around this young designer who comes from a family of cops, as Priyam Narayan likes to woo the Middle East with his easy kaftan styles rendered in environment-friendly hand woven jute
By Asmita Aggarwal
You would never expect someone who’s entire paternal family are cops to venture into fashion, so Priyam Narayan had absolutely no exposure to the so called big, bad world of glamour as he was safely tucked away in Sherwood college, Naintal, which is known to have ex-students like Amitabh Bachchan.
Living away from home, in a boarding for 12 years taught him to explore the things that he likes, find friends for a lifetime, look for his strengths, and be independent from a nubile age. So when he did launch his label, in 2013 making decisions was never a problem.
The Lucknow-born, Priyam studied fashion design from Amity though it was in school that his love for fine arts and oil painting was nurtured by his principal, who was more of a mentor. “School was where I found myself through the medium of colours and canvas and my principal Mr Mountford was always boosting my morale, he was more of a father figure and a mentor, someone you could trust,” he admits.
Receiving enormous encouragement from his father, who along with his three other siblings and homemaker mom, supported his decision of becoming a designer despite there being no connection whatsoever with this trade, gave Priyam the will to survive and excel. “My dad is very disciplined and an honest cop, so I had very little to work with in terms of investment. Many times I thought about quitting as being a young designer it can get frustrating as it is a competitive market and price and quality is what distinguishes you. Somehow I found the courage to stay afloat and my big break came when last year, a Middle-East buyer at Amazon, where I had a stall, gave me bulk orders, repeatedly,” he smiles.
The first timer at Amazon Fashion Week, aut-winter 2018, Priyam always knew that loose bohemian, kaftan style was more his style than body constricting shapes. So with Middle East his biggest buyers he has stuck to that form and this time he has used the Japanese ideology of Wabi-Sabi as his leitmotif. Finding succour in the fact that there is distinct beauty in imperfection, Priyam embarked on a moodboard with earthy shades. Using handloom cotton and handwoven fabrics especially jute that he got woven in Beneras, it will be the centre piece of his ten garment showcase.
“Jute has loose threads so it is tough to work with and craft and you need to be careful while selecting the silhouette. Though as surface ornamentation I have used shredding (being is a fan of Rimzim Dadu), as an alternative to give that rich texture and layers. Though the main reason to work with jute is that it keeps you cool in hot months and is also eco-friendly,” he confirms.
Everything in his line is below Rs 10,000 and he will tell you that now the tide has changed and the new stars are not actresses on the red carpet, who were known to be experimental, but women above 40. “They have this youthful energy, are well kept, their kids have flown away, so they want to try new things and they are our biggest customers now,” he concludes.