Amit Aggarwal: Bringing Polymer to the Loom – The Hindu | Candle Made Easy

The designer is celebrating a decade at FDCI India Couture Week 2022, introducing a new textile and flirting with the idea of ​​his dresses becoming wall art and sculptures

The designer is celebrating a decade at FDCI India Couture Week 2022, introducing a new textile and flirting with the idea of ​​his dresses becoming wall art and sculptures

Made from recycled plastics and industrial materials, Amit Aggarwal’s dresses and lehengas at FDCI’s India Couture Week aren’t too far removed from sculpture. That, he admits after the show, was the plan all along. His 66-piece Pedesis collection was seeded in pre-pandemic Bali, the lush island of the gods known for its basketry, tie-dye and handcrafted jewelry. The Delhi-based designer had brought back two large portraits from this holiday, his “first charms”. “They are from this African tribesman. Perhaps because I’ve been looking at them every day for the past two years, I’ve been subconsciously drawn to the influence of the tribal culture, which was expressed in this collection with the colour, the body adornment and the ambiguity of form,” he says.

An outfit from the collection

An outfit from the collection

“Something new with a story”

Aggarwal, 42, spent the first few months of the pandemic sketching, tracking parrots from his window and finding solace in mundane chores like washing dishes. He “looks within”, he had told me at the time, and also tried to understand “how excess fabrics can help create something new and fresh, an interesting story for customers”. Well, he seems to have succeeded. Marking a decade of his eponymous couture label, this new collection has the molded structures and techniques like elastic cording and tubular pleats that we’ve come to expect from him. But it also debuts a bold new textile. “Technically, we’ve always woven polymer by hand, not on the handloom,” says the designer, referring to the excess strips of polymer left over from the casting process. “We have now converted this ‘yarn’ into a weft while the loom was laid out with organic cotton for the warp. And it became a hand-woven textile,” he explains. “Really beautiful, it looked like an excellent modern ikat.”

Amit Aggarwal with a Karigar

Amit Aggarwal with a Karigar

A time error

At his show at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium last week, intentionally maintaining the auditorium’s drab interiors, Aggarwal’s models presented tiered and fantastically tailored dresses, prismatic flowing skirts, fun jumpsuits and sharp, geometric menswear in the fabric. And they teased his favorite themes of beauty over function, timelessness and a lapse in time. He later expands on his error in the theory of time, saying, “We all know that time is the greatest narrator of our story, connecting you, creating moments. If there was a time error, multiple verses would meet and you could exist in multiple parallel universes at the same time.” His “visual narrative of time” gets its name from physics because pedesis (or Brownian motion, the random motion of particles in a fluid after collisions with other atoms or molecules) also represents his 10-year journey, says the designer.

Tiger burns bright

“Amit is creative as a designer but beautiful as a person. You can see that in his clothes. He gets a beautiful female form. The waist is always pinched, the bust is always accentuated. I like that about his style. I enjoyed the extravagance of the elaborately created dresses that were larger than life. But this look (pictured) summed it all up for me: Amit’s aesthetic, the craft, the innovative techniques used, and yet it’s extremely wearable. It’s almost like a tiger on the hunt, but in the style of Amit Aggarwal,” says celebrity stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania.

The adornments of his models included armor and haloes reminiscent of gods or goddesses. “It wasn’t the direct connection point, but I suppose it was subconscious,” Aggarwal admits. “As a kid, one of my first creative moments was doing the ganpati puja at home, making the little thermocol temples myself. What I really enjoyed was fixing the motorized chakra behind the deity! That said, I feel like the halo also speaks about the energy you radiate. The aura you carry of you.”

No business plans

Originally from the Mumbai suburb of Goregaon, Aggarwal is one of the few to push the envelope at the 15th edition of ICW 2022, an event that saw 13 designers showcase across the capital for nine days.

“My favorite look, almost like a tiger on the hunt, but in Amit’s style”: Anaita Shroff

He talks about creating pieces that can be archived even if the language of the polymer is changed, and admits he has no plans at this time that involve corporate investments. “For me, the journey is young. I need to understand how polymer reacts. The first piece we made is in the archive and has not aged. The shape holds, but it’s still foldable and washable,” he says when I ask him about the “higher purpose” of his clothes. “Owning something doesn’t always have to come down to covering or adorning one’s body on the traditional fashion scale. That could be the original purpose. Many of my pieces, if seen without the body form, would make beautiful sculptures for their living spaces.” Last Saturday, bowing on stage with the only color of his black ensemble being his red Cardi B x Reebok sneakers, Aggarwal proved it once again that for him the story has only just begun.

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