New Delhi, Oct 16: Ace fashion designer Rajesh Pratap Singh, who recently collaborated with Kullu-based handloom weavers Bhuttico for a collection, says he is passionate about Merino wool and the Indian handloom industry, which is his source of inspiration.

Rajesh Pratap and Bhuttico’s fashionable affair was held in Kullu last week and highlighted the farm-to-fashion journey of Merino wool which is part of the Woolmark Company’s Grown In Australia, Made In India initiative.

Intricate design on Merino by Rajesh Pratap SIngh
Intricate design on Merino Shawl by Rajesh Pratap Singh

Earlier, this year, Woolmark had brought together renowned Indian and Pakistani fashion designers showcasing key looks for the season, inspired by luxurious, lightweight Merino wool fabrics, grown in Australia.

Including designers like Nachiket Barve, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Gaurav Jai Gupta and Pakistani designer Omar Farooq; a collection highlighting the versatility of the trans-seasonal fibre, was presented at the JW Marriott in Mumbai.

The Designer Collaboration Showcase also focused on the Make in India concept, highlighting the journey of Australian Merino wool to the weavers, manufacturers, brands and designers in India – a farm to fashion statement.

“The idea behind the designer collaboration showcase was to highlight the intrinsic yet not well-known aspects of wool – lightweight and trans-seasonal – and also present it in a very contemporary and stylish look,” said The Woolmark Company Country Manager for India, Arti Gudal.

Nachiket Barve presented Tulipmania – a collection inspired by the delicate flower with intricate detail on wool.

“Merino wool as a fibre has been inspiring my work over the last few seasons consistently… the versatile Cool Wool fabric has been re-imagined for eveningwear and occasion wear through this collection, in a way that’s glamorous yet sensual”.

A subtle style creation with Merino by Rajesh Pratap Singh
A subtle style creation with Merino by Rajesh Pratap Singh

Rajesh Pratap Singh, however went subdued with his simple collection highlighting the drapability and versatility of Merino wool.

“Oversized silhouettes are predominant in the collection and many garments are reflective of traditional Indian costumes but with a modern twist and relevance for today.

“I am extremely passionate about the handloom industry as it is the primary source of my inspiration.

“I love the versatility of Merino wool, especially since it’s so easy to work with and supports various techniques and blends,” Rajesh Pratap said in a statement.

The designer, who is known for using Indian textiles and for working with ikat, presented a menswear and womenswear collection. The special line focused on the handloom journey of Bhuttico and their rich legacy.

The collection was a juxtaposition of clean lines and colourful weaves, and highlighted Rajesh Pratap’s signature minimal aesthetics and intense construction.

The designer feels “the fashion fraternity has constantly been striving to highlight the textile and handloom industry in India.

“Owing to our country’s rich heritage each state adds another dimension of culture which is also captured beautifully by our weaves,” he said.

Mishka Anderson

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