Using khaadi, block prints and artisanal force, Vineet Bahl creates patterns depicting the paradox of human choice
By Asmita Aggarwal
For a boy who grew up in Kolkata, to a father who was into steel, Vineet Bahl has come a long way. From turning an absolute “no”, when he mentioned studying fashion to going to Nottingham Trent, UK and finishing his degree in design, Bahl believes fashion must be aspirational in thought, but practical in the wardrobe. Raised to handle the family business, he was given an ultimatum, a year to make or break it. That’s when Pearl Academy came to his rescue and he moved to the capital chaos from the artistic, right side of the Howrah!
That’s why his ideology vacillates from denims last year to a new found love for traditional block printing, sensing the need for moving back to our roots with hectic digitisation. “Everything you see is computer generated, from emotions to design, human intervention is really on the brink of going instinct in the future,” he says.
His work-holiday to Kutch exposed him to traditional stencil, hand and screen printing away from machines and their perfect finishes. So he delved into the unknown, six months ago, as a conscious move away from the polyester, plastic, synthetic world to a more organic way of living. Titled “Safari Soiree”, a desert vibe, but more night-time feel, the line abandons the repetitive mirror work and Kutchi embroidery, rather he used an ancient techniques of blended fabrics—wool, linen, cotton and gave it an unfinished feel to sync the aesthetics.
“The world is moving towards easier cuts and no-fuss, slip on kind of things that get you up and ready in minutes. That’s what we have attempted, jackets, blouses, with a focus on hand finishing and layering,” explains Vineet. The beauty of Bahl’s clothing is he brings out the individuality of the fabric, and moves away from the “smooth as buttery fall” to a more engineered classic.
The wool has been washed and maker coarser, the motifs updated and some elements subtracted in a palette that works with ivories, pinks, rusts to bottle greens has given the line a three-dimensional appeal.