It is very rare that you watch a fashion show and end up liking every look that the designer presents. That’s what happened at JJ Valaya’s show at the FDCI India Couture Week 2022, which celebrated the couturier’s 30 years in fashion. The audience cheered and hooted as models brought out the best of what the Valaya brand has offered to its patrons in the past three decades.
The show began with an anecdote about how the designer went from being Jagsharanjit Singh Ahluwalia to JJ Valaya – a NIFT student who started his own brand after graduation. The collection was a new one with signature elements from Valaya’s work of the past 30 years subtly included. Every look was essentially Indian, with a hint of the Spanish, and unapologetically glamorous. The outfits and jewels shone under the arclights, evoking awe and wonder from the audience.
Live music accompanied the models, a magical mixture of the piano, sitar, sarangi and multiple forms of percussion. The Spanish influence was evident in the music as well.
The designer, in his description of the collection, said, “Every year, for the past 30 years, my inspirational journeys start somewhere deep in my soul and are triggered by something visual that was arresting… this is where I start my research, dwelling on the visual treasures I chance upon either in books or through travel. It would be accurate to state that my intrigue for global cultures, (especially the ones connected with the Spice and Silk routes in one way or another) is my perennial love.
The history of this season’s inspiration, Spain, goes back to over a million years ago and this is not the first time that I’ve been inspired by this magical country. But how can one fully and creatively explore any things that has such a vibrant past in just one collection! Therefore, I present to you ALMA (Meaning ‘Soul’ in Spanish), my all-new collection for the Couture seasons of 2022-23. My three constant expressions (Royale~Nomade~ArtDeco) find their soulmates in three diverse yet well-known facets of Spain, namely:
1. The costumes of the Matadors (Matador de Toros)
2. The motifs on the Manton shawl (Manton de Manila)
3. The patterns of the Hand Fan (Pericon)
“Luxurious fabrics, elegant details, inspired prints and of course, our timeless and much loved embroideries define this season’s Couture collection in all its glory as it transcends its journey blending our ethos with that of Spain. This show also marks the completion of 30 years of JJ Valaya, a journey we have thoroughly enjoyed,” he added.
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