EXCLUSIVE: JJ Valaya on maximal fashion, common mistakes brides make with trousseaus, latest collection & more

Updated on Oct 07, 2021 12:43 PM IST  |  63.5K
   
EXCLUSIVE: JJ Valaya on minimal fashion, common mistakes brides make with trousseaus, latest collection & more
EXCLUSIVE: JJ Valaya on maximal fashion, common mistakes brides make with trousseaus, latest collection & more
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When JJ Valaya founded his label, little did he know how his brand would catch on and become one of the first few luxury fashion houses in the country. Known for his maximal fashion, the designer has since come a long way with a pret line, home and ready-to-wear labels. He showcased his latest collection Rumeli at the FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week. In a tete-a-tete, JJ Valaya talks about maximalism, couture and everything fashion.

First things first, tell us about your new collection, the inspirations, process and what went behind it
Rumeli is a continuing journey tracking what the Ottoman empire was up to. We've always been known as the Royal Nomads and that's something we wear proudly. And in that spirit, we now discover another facet of the Ottoman Empire which was called Rumelia. It is an interesting juxtaposition of Europe meets Asia. The process for this collection like every collection first involves research. And a lot of time tightening it, then sketching and developments. Experiment a lot with new mediums and materials. The inspiration is all new and excitement is buoyant as always.

As one of the designers who has set the base for couture, what's something you haven't worked with so far, in terms of materials, patterns or silhouettes that you'd like to work with in the future?
I've always believed in core competence. I've tried a lot of things that were different from my core which moved away from couture. Some I succeeded in, some I didn't and then I came to the conclusion that one has to focus on what one does best. And that's what we are attempting to do. We have a 30-year-old legacy and a wonderful history of our own that we keep going back to. What I want to do is, be a part of peoples celebrations. Whether it is weddings or any occasion where they want to feel and look special. Something I'm looking forward to is creating things that are an intrinsic part of people's travels

How has couture changed from then to now? And what has remained constant?
Couture is a wonderful beast and a consistent one. While the core DNA never changes, it's meant to be luxurious, timeless, special, expensive and create a lot of joy in the wearer. There are always tweaks that happen with time which comes with the modernisation of it. So today we're dealing with a woman or man who is better travelled, much better exposed to the world courtesy the internet. The new language of couture is to never lose the soul of where you are or where you come from but interestingly modernise it so it doesn't lose its timelessness but also remains relevant today.

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What's the key to staying relevant in a field that's constantly changing?
Be true to yourself, is something a lot of creative people slip up with. I've learnt it and now over several years that it's impossible to please everyone. know that you're good at something. Focus on it, take it to the next level, give more joy to your customer base, define your audience and cater to them with everything you've got, it's a sure-fire way to success.

What according to you is one mistake most brides make with their trousseau?
brides are smarter today and more aware. one thing they forget is the need to balance the whole look. While weddings are a grand affair, it's the art of putting yourself together, the perfect look that you're going to be revisiting for the rest of your life. I think, get a stylist for you or be well-versed with the fundamentals of true style and everything else will fall into place.

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As a designer who is known for his Maximalism, what are your thoughts on the "minimalism" trend?
We are maximalists at heart and very proud to be wearing that crown. We come from a country that's maximalist at heart - be it our festivals, food architecture or weddings, there is nothing minimal about India. Having said that, I think minimalism is a beautiful sort of expression. Japan excelled in it and a lot of countries are experimenting with it. It is a trend that will co-exist with maximalism and may it grow along with maximalism

From the top of your head: what are 5 must-haves in every woman's wardrobe?
1. A collection of beautiful drapes and shawls, something you can carry with simple garments as well.
2. Every woman should possess a mix of white shirts and blue denim, it's very trendy to wear the two together and if you accessorise it well, it's a classic which never fails
3. A collection of closed-toe shoes. They're trendy and stylish
4. A lot of black, which includes sarees, Indian outfits, jackets and pants. Black never lets you down
5. Same goes for ivory, another palette which is highly versatile

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What were your thoughts on JJ Valaya's latest collection? Do you agree with the designer? Comment below and let us know.

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