Reflective garments, colours that change as they touch the body, Akshat Bansal, is looking at making Bloni, a brand for the future, as he works with chainmail and recycled mesh this season
By Asmita Aggarwal
Paris Fashion Week 2023 was a momentous achievement for Akshat Bansal the boy from Hisar whose father was in the retail and manufacturing of saris. He not only broke geographical boundaries, but also technological demarcations by declaring that craft and computers can be soulmates. Maybe it was his training at Central Saint Martins or Savile Row, but his vision was always clear, thus in just five years he has been able to cross the proverbial choppy waters of the fashion world and achieve his goal—go international.
Gender agnostic, fluidity, material explorations ranging from recycled fishing nets, econyl, regenerated nylon, carpet flooring, scarps, industrial waste, parachutes, the repertoire has been limitless. And it was this love for exploring the unknown that took him to Cyber Fashion Week, where he collaborated with a Paris-based studio Scotomalab, to create 3 D versions of his garments. “In Indian designer making gender neutral clothing, with a universal aesthetic was a bit of a surprise for the audience,” says Akshat about his Paris show. The 6-8 looks that he showcased at ‘Flying Solo’, when he got selected, was both an achievement and struggle. “We are self-funded, but we decided to take the leap of faith,” he admits.
For the FDCIxLFW show he has included reflective materials, metal mesh, recycled like the pet bottles, along with metal fabric crafted out of chain mail sourced from Hong Kong, Switzerland and China, which is heat sensitive, so the colour changes when it touches the body is his value addition — black becomes nude. “We are solely moving towards a digital world, and for Bloni research is the basis of all collections,” he adds.
Akshat kept his patience, he wanted to make clothes with a purpose, kept calm and moved forward, Paris gave him exposure to the world stage. “Preamble” or the beginning, name of his collection, offers “dress it like you love it” philosophy, so a dress can be worn as a skirt, overalls can be styled with almost anything, remove or add sleeves, plus there are no sizes, small to extra-large. “I would call this a future-friendly line which will also work in the format of Metaverse,” he concludes.