Enigmatic, unusual and effervescent
He pushes the envelope with nonchalant pizzazz, creates non-traditional garments that showcase femininity to the fullest and offers us the chance to dream, imagine and then inhabit a world of his creation. Kallol Datta, in his six years in the world of fashion has already made a name for himself.
Perhaps what make Kallol’s designs so new, so fresh, are his varied experiences. He was born in the Middle East, having done his early schooling there. He studied Fashion Design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, India, after which he went to London, getting a degree in Womenswear from Central St. Martins. Kallol then spent a year soaking up London and its distinct sense of style after his degree before returning to India. Today his fashion is quintessentially Indian in its ethic.
His namesake label Kallol Datta 1955 is known for its deconstructed silhouettes, its intelligent, thoughtful print—like that of jail stripes, bar codes and cigarettes—as well as artistic colours that elevate clothing to art. To get a glimpse of his design sensibility, we asked him a few questions and got some really interesting insights.
You are known for your unusual silhouettes. What makes you design silhouettes like these in a day and age when fitting or bodycon is all the rage?
As odd as it may sound, trends are not taken into account when a collection is being made at Kallol Datta 1955. The silhouette and shape is the USP of the brand, which has a certain type. It comes naturally to the brand.
Are there specific drapes and patterns you use in your designs?
All garments are pattern cut and not draped. It is an added challenge which I enjoy when three dimensional, free-flowing drapes have to be created using pattern cutting and not draping techniques, creating a 3D object such as a garment from a 2D flat surface like paper.
What are the kinds of fabrics that you use?
Primarily cottons and silks. Wool and wool blends are used for Fall/Winter lines. Innovating fabric (coating silk) is also a recent entrant in our fabric mix.
We see a lot of greys, splashes of red and browns in your latest collection. Tell us about the colour palette and what made you choose it.
Well, the colour palette this time around was dictated by installations done at the art residency at KHOJ International Artists’ Association, New Delhi. Images of the exhibit were used to create the prints. Within each print, there was a lot of layering and assembling to create something unique.
Unusual prints are also your forte. Tell us how you conceive these and what they are meant to convey?
Print forms a visual relief to the shape and silhouette in my garment. It is a medium via which storytelling is conducted. The print motif and print treatment all come together to amplify the concept or the story behind the collection.
There you have it. Armed not only with an unusual perspective, Kallol Datta’s garments are also backed by expert workmanship. Challenging conventional views on beauty, his ruched, puffed and three-dimensionally patterned ensembles are as inspirational as they are striking.