"If there's one celebrity I've always yearned to dress, it would undoubtedly be Julia Roberts. Her timeless grace and effortless style make her an ideal muse." - Rocky S
By Arushi Sakhuja
A Mumbai-based retail and fashion entrepreneur, and now a global sensation Rocky S has been making waves not only in the Indian fashion scene but also on the global stage. Over his three decades as a designer, he has made a mark in the fashion world and dressed some of the biggest celebrities like Beyonce, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Carrie Underwood, Danielle Campbell, Kangana Ranaut, Nora Fatehi, among many others. His SS/23 show at Milan Fashion Week garnered raving reviews, establishing his brand as a force to be reckoned with in the international fashion circuit.
Renowned for championing the concept of a design sensibility that is luxurious in aesthetic yet simplistic in style, each of his creations are influenced by traces from the Baroque time period and gothic traces. Creating a neo-Victorian era, Rocky Star celebrates the grandeur of the past in the present with glamorous and edgy designs. Old-world charm comes to life with new-age magic in dramatic silhouettes, decorative prints and intricate embroideries. Think regal couture with splashes of glamour and infused with drama, the couture is crafted to make a statement. Rocky's ambition, eccentric creative arch, and, most of all, his vision have been the driving forces behind the brand's stupendous global success.
Being part of the London Fashion Week this season, Rocky S unveiled his mesmerizing SS 2024 collection, "DAMNED SOUL ~An Eruption" on September, 16. The event was attended by prominent fashion industry personalities, celebrities, and fashion enthusiasts from around the world. It was a testament to the global appeal of Indian fashion and Rocky Star's ability to resonate with a diverse audience."I've always viewed clothes as a tool of self-representation, a means for individuals to express their unique style and personality. 'DAMNED SOUL ~An Eruption' is a manifestation of that philosophy," shared the designer. He went on to say, "The 'DAMNED SOUL ~An Eruption' collection is an intrinsically modern collection that is a big nod to the hybrid glam-comfort styles that luxury customers crave on a global stage. It's a reinterpretation of couture for a new era, where glamour, aberration and comfort converge seamlessly creating an irresistible fashion synchronicity."
The Spring/Summer collection boasts an array of contemporary silhouettes infused with Indian sensibilities. Championing the concept of a design sensibility that is luxurious in aesthetic yet simplistic in style, each of his creations are influenced by traces from the Baroque time period. Each of his creations evokes and celebrates the magnificence of the past in contemporary designs. Intricate hand embroidery, drapes, gathers and sequins form the essence of Rocky Star’s collection in versatile and effortless fusion wear. On the runway, The "Damned Soul ~An Eruption" showcases avant-garde and wearable pieces, each embodying a blend of timelessness and opulence. Utilizing a colour palette of ivory, black, burgundy, grey, and gold, the collection symbolizes the human experience of inner turmoil and liberation from it. From sequin embroidery to metallic fabric textures, and Rocky Star's signature Baroque print, seamlessly woven into each piece, the merges classic aesthetics with modern design. Drawing the show to a close was the celebrity showstopper, Manushi Chhillar.
The Style List spoke to Rocky Star post his London Fashion Week show to know about his inspiration, new collection and the future of the brands.
What was the experience like showcasing at London Fashion Week this time?
Presenting my collection at London Fashion Week was a surreal experience. The excitement building up to the event, the nights devoted to perfecting every single detail, and witnessing the models confidently striding down the runway adorned in my designs, all of these moments are etched in my memory forever. The atmosphere backstage was charged with energy and seeing my creations come alive on the catwalk was incredibly fulfilling. The positive feedback and recognition received from the fashion industry served as a validation of all the work and artistic expression poured into bringing my collection to life. It serves as a reminder of why I'm so deeply passionate, about being a fashion designer igniting an unwavering inspiration, for future collections.
Tell us about your new collections and some key techniques used.
This collection is inspired by the desire for mental serenity amidst the relentless pursuit of success in today's world. This collection embodies a fusion of avant-garde and timeless designs in hues of ivory, black, burgundy, grey, and gold, symbolizing the human experience of inner turmoil. It showcases a perfect blend of contemporary style and exquisite craftsmanship, featuring elements like sequin embroidery, metallic fabric textures, signature Baroque print, and innovative techniques such as patchwork embroidery and boning to create exaggerated shoulders. All of these design elements draw inspiration from the Baroque art movement.
What makes you draw inspiration from the Baroque and Gothic time periods? How do these styles convert into the type of clothes you design?
Drawing inspiration from the Baroque and Gothic time periods is like tapping into a rich tapestry of art, architecture, and history. The Baroque era's opulence and intricate details inspire me to create garments that embrace extravagance through ornate embroidery, lavish fabrics, and elaborate embellishments. In contrast, the Gothic period's romanticism and dark aesthetics influenced my designs with dramatic silhouettes, deep hues, and intricate lacework. These historical styles converge in my creations, resulting in clothing that balances the grandeur of Baroque with the mystique of Gothic, manifesting in unique pieces that exude a sense of timeless elegance with a touch of drama.
Silhouettes and trends to look forward to for SS 24?
Elements such as peplum, layering, asymmetry, ruffles, and vintage-inspired corsets in a harmonious blend of classic charm and contemporary edge. I reimagine peplums with unconventional fabrics and placements, explore textural diversity in layered ensembles, introduce captivating asymmetrical details to exude modernity, experiment with oversized ruffles and architectural designs, and infuse vintage-inspired corsets with sustainable materials and versatility. This fusion of timeless elegance and innovative twists promises to captivate fashion-forward individuals, creating silhouettes that inspire anticipation and excitement.
Why did you pick Manushi Chillar as your muse?
I chose Manushi Chhillar as the muse, for my collection because she embodies a captivating combination of timeless beauty and versatile modelling skills. Her elegance and grace perfectly enhanced the aesthetic and vision I wanted to express through my designs adding depth and significance to the show.
A few favourites from the collection?
Selecting favourites from my show proves to be quite challenging. Every piece in the collection represents the culmination of the hard work and dedication put in by both my team and me. I've put all my creativity and love into each design. I truly believe that every garment carries its story and adds to the overall story of the collection. What truly excites me is witnessing how different pieces strike a chord with individuals, in the audience as each person has their way of interpreting and connecting with the designs.
How do your collections differ between the Indian and international markets, if yes please tell us how.
My collection strikes a harmonious balance between the Indian and international markets. For the Indian audience, it showcases intricate craftsmanship through Sequin embroidery and metallic fabric textures, resonating with their love for opulence. Simultaneously, the collection offers avant-garde and wearable pieces with timeless shapes and a refined colour palette, appealing to global fashion sensibilities. Inspired by today's freedom, the collection's references to the baroque art movement add a touch of sophistication that transcends geographical boundaries, making it universally captivating.
How have you seen the fashion market evolve? What are some of the new and noteworthy changes in consumer purchasing behaviour?
While I'm primarily based in India, I've observed several changes in the London fashion market. One notable shift is a growing appreciation for timeless and minimalist fashion. London consumers are increasingly drawn to classic and versatile pieces that can endure beyond seasonal trends. This preference for enduring style over fast fashion has led to a resurgence in the popularity of heritage brands and a focus on quality craftsmanship. Additionally, the influence of streetwear culture continues to impact consumer choices, with comfort and self-expression playing a significant role in purchasing decisions. Despite being based in India, these trends underscore the importance of adapting to evolving consumer tastes in the global fashion arena.
Championing sparkle is the more aesthetic evergreen for Rocky S or do you plan to pivot towards a minimalistic line as well?
My creative journey is always ever-evolving, I strongly believe in embracing a range of aesthetics. I have certainly celebrated Championing sparkle and luxury in my collections, I am open to exploring different styles and fabrics in the future. Fashion is about innovation and adaptation and my designs will continue to reflect the artistic expressions that inspire me at any given moment. While nothing is certain in this process, I find beauty in the possibilities that the world of fashion offers. I am genuinely excited to discover where my artistic journey will take me next.
Some celebrities you love dressing, and some you would love to dress?
I've had the privilege of styling celebrities like Rajnikant sir, Hrithik Roshan, Raveena Tandon, Beyoncé, Paris Hilton and many more. each with its own distinctive fashion flair. However, if there's one celebrity I've always yearned to dress, it would undoubtedly be Julia Roberts. Her timeless grace and effortless style make her an ideal muse, and I would relish the opportunity to craft a truly exceptional ensemble that complements her radiant personality and beauty.