"For the festive season, it's all about blending the classic with the contemporary. Everyone wants to adorn the Indian traditional silhouettes but with a twist and touch of modernity." By Arushi Sakhuja
Bhumika Sharma is a designer who is well known for her creative aesthetic, and her everlasting love for prints. Choosing Rakulpreet as her muse for the collection 'Retro Love' showcased at the recently concluded Lakmé Fashion Week 2023, the designer aptly captured the essence of autumn and winter. Drawing inspiration from within, Sharma's collection is a homage to her roots, where she revisits her foundation and finds inspiration from her own creative journey over the years – the journey of the brand, the passion within the brand and the beautiful history it has.
Speaking about her new collection, designer Bhumika Sharma added "In 'Retro Love,' we've rediscovered the soul of our brand, celebrating our journey and our passion. This collection is a testament to handcrafted artistry, where every meticulous stitch reflects our commitment to quality. It's about honouring our roots and the skilled artisans who bring these designs to life, ensuring that every piece remains a cherished classic." She further adds, "We have used this in a new print, which is very muted. The embroidery motifs of this collection comprise a range of geometrical patterns such as rhombus, lines borders, abstract geometric florals as well as conventional floral jars with medallion shape circles. There is plenty of paisley offset by abstract animal prints. The styles and cuts are all about shapely open jackets and wide-legged pants. Pantsuits, lehenga sets and traditional ‘kalidar’ jackets paired with skirts. There are draped sarees, six-yard sarees with capes and trending co-ord sets. Though the main highlight of the collection is the stunning red open jacket with a bow ‘anarkali’, it has the signature geometric pattern."
Retro Love takes us on a trip through the brand’s archives of textiles, surface embellishments, and the brand's signature embroideries interpreted with the brand's design aesthetic. Omnipresent in the collection are Indian sensibilities fused together with a Western outlook and a focus on the brand's signature style of using a lot of prints overlaid with embellishments and embroideries. From standout statement jackets to belted pre-draped saree, flowy length gowns with the season's hottest trend, pussybow neckties, and lehenga sets with intricate detailing, the collection can be adorned by those of all age groups. A truly inclusive collection for wedding guests and brides who are looking for something wearable over time. The use of elements like polka dots, backless blouses, and modern designs took to the forefront.
Femininity, romance and allure were common themes courtesy of the delicate silhouettes which made more feminine with an emphasis on trends and styles. The colour palette ranged from black to reds and ivories, with accents of earthy muted tones like sage, green blues and grays. Ahead we spoke to the designer to get a deeper insight.
We see a lot of tassels in your collection. Tell us about the different ways in which you’ve used tassels on clothing. Tassels have played a significant role in this collection. We've used them in various creative ways to add a playful and quirky touch to our designs. You'll find tassels adorning the edges of capes, lehengas, and even as borders on dupattas. They bring a sense of drama and oomph factor to the garments, which is perfect for the festive season.
Looking back at the brand story over the years, how has the brand evolved? Looking back at the brand's journey, it's been a remarkable evolution. We have stayed true to our roots and signature design aesthetics while constantly pushing the boundaries of creativity. Over the years, we've refined our craft and delved deeper into hand embroidery techniques. This collection, "Retro Love" is a reflection of this evolution, celebrating our brand's history and the passion that drives it. It's a celebration of the timeless charm of classic elements blended with a modern twist.
How did you come up with the name of the collection Retro Love and what was the inspiration? The name "Retro Love" encapsulates the essence of this collection. It's a homage to our roots, where we revisited our creative journey, rediscovered our brand's history, and celebrated our passion. The name signifies the love we have for our own evolution as a brand and our deep appreciation for our heritage. Over time, countless fabrics, ideas, and techniques have found their way into our archives, but they're never truly forgotten. It was during a sojourn of that self-discovery that I stumbled upon the essence of what I wanted to convey with this collection.
What are some of the other signature elements, techniques and silhouettes we can find?
In Retro Love, you’ll find prints overlaid with embellishments and embroideries, a signature of the brand. The embroideries feature a lot of French knots, pearls, mirrors, paisley patterns, floral jaals and a lot of geometric artwork. The beautiful clusters of tassels are a unique Bhumika Sharma element.
When did you discover your love for fashion design? My love for fashion design is something that has been with me since a very young age. I've always been drawn to the world of fashion and the creative expression it offers. After completing my B.Com degree, my strong inclination towards fashion led me to join a fashion school immediately after my graduation. This decision marked the beginning of my journey in the world of fashion. Are you planning to pivot towards the young generation if yes how? Absolutely, we're always open to engaging with the younger generation. The young generation is the future and their preferences and needs are at the forefront of our creative vision.
How have you seen the fashion world in India evolve and how have you catered to the changing demands? The fashion world in India has seen remarkable growth and change over the years. It's become more diverse, inclusive, and dynamic. To cater to the demands, we've adapted by embracing new techniques and design trends while staying rooted in our traditional craftsmanship. We've worked to strike a balance between classic and contemporary to meet the evolving preferences of our clientele. With the festive season around the share, share some fashion trends and tips for the upcoming festivities. For the festive season, it's all about blending the classic with the contemporary. Everyone wants to adorn the Indian traditional silhouettes but with a twist and touch of modernity.
What are some of the pieces you would love to wear this festive season from your new collection?
It is very hard to pick my favourites from the collection but I would say the stunning red open jacket with a bow 'anarkali' is something we have not done before. It features our signature geometric pattern embroidery and represents the perfect fusion of classic and contemporary design elements. We have a new abstract animal print in tones of black, beige and charcoal blue/charcoal gray which is different from the usual prints that we have done before, featuring structured jackets and capes with pants.