July 31, 2023 FDCI

Elegance in motion

Even though nothing is for ‘Eternity”, in this ephemeral human world, except change, whether it is love or integrity, Tarun Tahiliani proves, it can be, with an unmatched ode to elegance, in his distinct style, urging us to “love and relove” at ICW 2023.

 By Asmita Aggarwal

If there is anyone who understands luxury and has the innate power to amalgamate various elements from it in his burgeoning modern repertoire, it is none other than couturier Tarun Tahiliani. From restoring an old cantonment home in Bengaluru, to begin his retail, or the Mumbai’s Ballard Estate, boasting of Edwardian neoclassical style, a stone’s throw away from where he grew up, the king of drapes, will never disappoint his brides where motifs, patterns or craft is concerned.

Wharton taught him finance, and FIT, New York, the finer aspects of design, and Doon School how to navigate the tough road to finding independence. Maybe that’s why his son Jahan is now handling the reins of the TT homes vertical giving it a third dimension. Milan in 2002, 30 years of creating stupendous gravity defying drapes, at 60 years, the veteran’s romance with history is established—-seen extensively in the motifs, patterns, concepts, as well as age-old techniques Sujini, ajrak, kalamkari, and the humble Chikankari.

This year he continues his long-standing relationship with kasheedakari. “I never abandon techniques, switching my allegiance to new ones, I only build on them further discovering fresh facets every time I work,” he admits.

He dresses the Ambanis, and has a clientele that extends beyond the predictable borders, and there is a lehenga designed by him in the exhibition for the Partition Museum in Amritsar, Tarun worked extensively in Bhuj, but always kept his ear to the ground—reflecting what the socio-political atmosphere dictated.

“Weightless” is now his mantra, timelessness his vocabulary, even though it is an often-misused word, he uses the arsenal of brocade, kundan, metallics, Bandhini and tulle, as well as Persian influences in studied measure. Recently, he dressed Tollywood giant, Mahesh Babu’s rising star daughter, Sitara, but what he has managed to do is combine corsetry, fluting, sheer silks, and crinkles.

“There is no machine or computer in couture, just fine work. My thought process is a combination of East and West.  We are known for providing solutions to our audience,” said Tarun at his ICW 2023 showcase. And as the screen at his ICW 2023 told us the sun is going to rest for sometime, Tarun put a spell on us…..

The sharara came brimming with translucence and there was a quiet sheen surrounding his offerings, as men wore dhotis with ease in ivory accompanied by exaggerated, pearl studded cummerbunds. Corsets were teamed with flower shaped edges of lehengas, ultra glam semi-precious stone studded bags told us never to not love shine. The key was in separates, you could wear mini capes with your shift dress and a pair of vintage jeans too. Tarun did not let us forget ruby reds, in this flaming chase of admiring only pastels, his crimson palette came armed with imposing larger-than-life embroidered flowers blooming.  And the final bow was with his team, without whom he says, “I am incomplete”.

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Fashion Design Council of India