Posted on March 18 2015
With a total of 36 garments poised to walk the ramp for Raghavendra Rathore’s Summer/Resort 2015 show at the closing of Indian Handlooms and Textiles Day on March 19, the designer’s return to theLakme Fashion Week (LFW) runway promises to be an impressive one. More so because, instead of just another standard seasonal showing, Rathore will debut his ready-to-wear menswear label, The Imperial India Company, and present a capsule from Raghavendra Rathore Foundation, a sub-brand highlighting the label’s work with various craft clusters and NGOs. He will close the show with a regal segment featuring pieces from his bespoke line Raghavendra Rathore (RR). This composite brand vision projection is not only a first for Rathore himself, but also possibly for any Indian fashion week offering. “I was enthused because Indian Handlooms and Textiles Day is a Government of India-backed initiative. Also, textiles are at the core of everything we do. So, I thought it would be a good platform to talk about our brand ethos and celebrate the idea of giving back to the community,” he says. The Imperial India Company, which Rathore describes as “accessible designer wear, somewhere between diffusion and couture” will formally mark his brand’s entry into the online arena. It will go live on the day of the show and will be available for purchase on iicfashion.com. In the works are stores that will make the label further accessible to a wider and younger clientele. “It’s an Indo-western line where we will be doing tuxedos, kurta pajamas, shirts and variations of our trademark bandhgalas. It’s inspired by the British Raj and we have used lots of colour, setting it apart from the stately cuts and hues of our bespoke line,” he says.
In contrast, the Foundation collection will be a celebration of vivid colours and the finest silks while the Raghavendra Rathore bespoke line will utilise textiles sourced from weavers from Bangalore and Peeli Kothi, Varanasi. The two collections will mark the culmination of nearly two years of Rathore’s work with various NGOs and craftspeople. “The attempt is to demonstrate that even khadi can be cool and we can merge these textile fabrics with our lifestyles,” says Rathore, who has also developed prints for his bespoke line for the very first time.