From the culture soaked bylanes of Old Delhi to the catwalks of the treacherous fashion world, Siddharth Bansal is an interesting conundrum of ideas.
By Asmita Aggarwal
Imagine the sights and sounds of Old Delhi buzzing in your psyche while growing up in a traditional family that enjoyed kite flying, daily din of street vendors, to the early morning azaan; all these experiences and more makes Siddharth Bansal, the creative genius that he is.
At 30, Bansal, who’s father worked at Canara Bank and homemaker mother, knows that commerce is as important as art and the two can’t be traded or given less importance. Therefore, wearability is key to his clothing and three years ago it was with this clarity that he began his label.
With no referral point, Bansal, fascinated by his mother’s paintings and his aunt who worked in an export house, joined NIFT (Mohali) hoping to explore the design space. “I saw everyone around me as hugely talented and most of them were adept at sketching unlike me. I struck an unlikely but long lasting friendship with the stationery shop owner at the college. He became my guiding light and told me to learn software in my summer vacations one such one was digital printing and that became by USP,” he confesses.
Bansal, unlike most young people is interested in making fashion conversational, so he explores various aspects that interest him from culture, crafts to mythology and says that he is a storyteller, only the medium is non-verbal. “I realised very quickly that when you are doing a job, you don’t really have freedom, my label attempts to dress not one particular age group but the world community. Just like all religions have different motifs to explain, but the essence remains the same,” he adds.
SS’19 for Bansal, a first timer, is all about texturing, that he creates with laser cutting, pleating and gathers, in crepes, rayon, silk and velvets as well as discharge printing to get unique hand feels. Dressing a free-spirited woman, Bansal pays homage to the paisley, this season, it is almost like a paisley picnic, with an infusion of fresh colours. For him, every detail in a garment is of brevity, whether it’s prints, texture or cut, as he believes all the ingredients must match up for a gourmet meal. “We have executed placement prints, mostly geometric, in a palette that swings from neon greens, to lively orange and even grey,” he explains. The play is on the sleeves with Victorian, raglan to balloon as well as panelled and box pleat skirts, however, he adds, “Summer is easy and light, so we have kept that as the focal point.”
Artistry runs in the family, as Bansal’s sister is a graduate from the Delhi College of Art, where she also learnt print making. Both believe that design has seeped into every part of their lives as it adds comfort and convenience to daily existence. “My childhood years spent in the bylanes of Old Delhi always serves as a heady metaphor, it was the starting point, whether it was my interest in Mughal history or watching documentaries about dilapidated havelis that have withstood the test of time,” he concludes.