Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2016 is all set to kick-start from 29th March. Naturally then, the excitement at the curtain raiser for the event was almost palpable. On the special occasion, Purnima Lamba, Head of Innovation at Lakmé said, “For Lakmé’s fashion forecast in summer 2016, avant-garde designer Rohit Bal will craft stunning runway interpretations of the Illuminate look at the LFW Grand Finale. This year marks one of the biggest launches for us at LFW, as we are not only introducing an ‘Illuminating’ make up range but also bringing forth the revamped classic Lakmé Perfect Radiance. At this grand do, BeBeautiful had the chance of a rendezvous with none of than Rohit Bal himself who promises to showcase an enthralling show for the finale. Excerpts from the interview….
rohit bal on grand finale show at lfw this season 600x400 piccontent

Be Beautiful: You did a spectacular Grand Finale at Lakmé Fashion Week back in 2012. What are your biggest learnings from last time?

Rohit Bal: I think it’s to keep doing what I really want to do and never give in to what anyone else wants to do. I love following my instincts. I believe in being focused and taking risks because you know what they say; no pain, no gain!

BB: Lakmé is launching the theme ‘Illuminate’ this year. What does it mean to you?

RB: I guess it means let there be light! But honestly, it really means go and shine and that’s exactly what I plan to do!

BB: A lot of international designers played it daring this year and didn’t shy away from adding some bling on the runway. Did they serve as an inspiration?

RB: Unfortunately, international fashion means nothing for me. It doesn’t excite me. I’m such a traditionalist. I just feel that there’s so much to take from our own country; I really don’t need to look anywhere else. I’m anyway not the kind of person who does trendy clothes or follows fashion rules. I know it’s not a very sensible thing to do because it isolates a certain section of people but then again, I don’t even cater to that market. I know my India and my India knows me.

BB: How will the theme Illuminate reflect in your collection?

RB: It’s really about the fact that I’m not a very illuminate designer. So that’s the challenge here. I don’t do shiny stuff. We will do gold and I’m sure gold can be done in a very subtle and understated way. But yes, the lights and the ambience about the entire evening will all be all about illuminate. We’ve got some spectacular lighting effects which haven’t been done in any other fashion show before. That, in itself, will be quite an experience. It will basically be a balance between very understated clothing and a an illuminated venue.

BB: Also, how will the theme be interpreted in terms of makeup?

RB: You know, the makeup in most of my shows is never really glitzy. Lakmé doesn’t really want me to do anything glitzy. But yes, whatever we use will have a bit of sheen in it. That’s all I can tell you for now.

BB: Traditionally speaking, summer is a rather subdued season. So how does the illuminate theme fit into the summer space?

RB: The thing is a Finale can’t be seasonal. A Finale needs to have a sense of drama and it needs to cross barriers. People come to see the spectacle, how dramatic the show is! They actually come to see a fantasy world sort of situation. So the season really doesn’t matter.

BB: Who is the kind of girl your collection is targeted  at and what sets her apart from the rest?

RB: Oh she’s got to be brave and she’s got to have an incredible sense of identity! My clothes are very dramatic and I don’t want them to take over her personality. I want her personality to take over her clothes. She has to be free spirited and adventurous. Even though she’s traditional, she has to have an open-mindedness and modernity to herself. That’s my girl!

BB: What’s the most challenging part of being a Finale designer?

RB: It has to be the fact that I’ve done so many finales and each one needs to be better than the last. There are too many expectations riding on me. You know people expect to see horses flying around! So it’s tough to keep up. But that’s my passion, I love this excitement. So I take the pressure as it comes and use it to my advantage.

BB: The one thing that’s on your mind before the show begins…

RB: Hope it goes well!

BB: The one international model you want walking your ramp… 

RB: Well, it would be a boy and not a girl. It has to be Marlon Teixeira! Oh and there’s also Sean O'Pry. If you google him, you won’t get sleep tonight. I promise you that!

BB: The 5 people we’ll see sitting on the front row of your show are…

RB: You know something, who really cares? That’s the least of my problems right now.

BB: One person living or dead you would want to design for…

RB: There are two – Audrey Hepburn and Marlon Brando!

BB: What are the three big lessons you’ve learnt in your career spanning 26 years?

RB: Be yourself, be yourself and be yourself.