All You Need To Know About Designer Sonaakshi Raaj’s IIFA 2017 Show
With several awards, accreditations and a well-deserved ‘sari-gown specialist’ title bestowed upon her by a leading fashion publication, luxury couturiere Sonaakshi Raaj no longer needs an introduction. Her eponymous label is now reckoned with glitz and glamour. And frankly when you have names like Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor and Alia Bhatt on your client list, you can’t expect anything less than gorgeous from the label, right? Well, the young designer is now all set to take New York by storm with her new, and equally lavish, collection, The Empress, which Sonakshi will be showcasing at the IIFA Awards 2017. Yes, she is the first designer to enjoy an association with IIFA.
For all the obvious reasons, we, at MFG, couldn’t resist the urge to find out all about this collaboration and the said collection. Fortunately, for us, the designer did spare a few minutes, despite her excruciatingly busy schedule to satiate our curiosity and give out all the deets on this new, seemingly mind-blowing collection. Excerpts from our conversation with Sonaakshi…
Please tell us a bit about Sonaakshi Raaj, the brand.
So my brand is a luxury women’s brand that caters to women from all walks of life; young women. By young, I don’t mean their age, I mean their mindset; women who have no inhibitions to experiment or stand out in the crowd. Because that’s how every Sonaakshi Raaj ensemble is, it’s exquisite and not very typical. Our pieces stand out in terms of their design, their cut, their silhouette, their embroideries and also in terms of the elements used.
Your brand is synonymous with glamour. How much of your design aesthetic is a reflection of you?
It’s a complete reflection of me; it’s only me. As a designer, I don’t believe in showcasing or portraying a canvas of my work that I don’t believe in, or something that I would not wear. Each and every piece from my collection is something that I would desire to wear. The pieces in my collection have always been inspired by the women that I have grown up with. You’ll always see a similar undercurrent in all my pieces which is a reflection of this very inspiration. So yes, it’s completely synonymous to glamour and femininity and luxury and sexiness; that’s what my label is all about.
You are going to present your new collection at IIFA 2017. Please tell us more about this association.
Well, it’s a very exciting association. This is the first time that I’m showcasing my collection at IIFA, this is the first time I’ll be showcasing my collection in New York and I’m really thrilled about it. It’s a very interesting concept where we’re going to be blocking a section of the Times Square and presenting with live music (live orchestra) and full-on energy. The costumes I’ve designed have also been curated keeping the vibe in mind. It’s a very glamorous collection which I’ve titled, ‘The Empress.’ OS yeah, I’m excited about the whole thing.
Will there be a celebrity muse? And who?
Well, of course, there is and you’ll find out about it on the day I unveil the collection; not taking any names right now. But well, what you can know is that there are two celebrity muses; someone exciting starting the show and someone exciting ending the show.
This is the first time IIFA is hosting a fashion show and you are part of it, how does it feel to be associated with such a prestigious award event?
It feels great. The minute I got the opportunity, I jumped with excitement because, of course, it’s IIFA and it’s such a prestigious platform. I feel it will be a good exposure and a wonderful experience to be working with them.
What’s your design inspiration or theme for this collection?
My collection for this show, like I said before, is called The Empress. As it would logically follow, it’s all about glamour, it’s all about grandeur and it’s all about royalty in motion. With each piece, you’ll see how regal a woman feels with each stride. The collection includes a lot of intricate detailing, a lot of bright colours and many elements that I haven’t worked with before and will be using for the first time. Simply put, it’s a grand collection.
What different from your usual style can we expect from this collection?
Well, I have a lot of red carpet gowns, a lot of couture pieces, a lot of drapes and a lot of designs that I have never used before. So that’s something which sets this collection apart from my previous work, though the design aesthetic continues to be the same.
What does your colour palette look like?
I’ve used a wide spectrum of bright colours.So you’ll get to see a lot of metallic golds and silvers, a lot of fun pop colours, a lot of bold reds and charcoal blacks and nice, bright rose pinks.
What textiles and techniques dominate this collection?
There are a lot of interesting drapes in the silhouettes I’ve designed this time so naturally, the fabrics that were picked were flowy enough to highlight these drapes. There’s ample use of detailed, metallic fabrics that I’ve never used in the past and then there is a lot of embroidery and texture detailing and several elements that I’m working with for the very first time.
Could you name a few celebs who, you think, could pull off every look from your collection?
I have a lot of celebs in mind, honestly, given that this collection is predominantly for the red carpet. So hopefully, you’ll soon see some celebs donning the pieces. The collection is very glamorous and modern; it’s very Deepika (Padukone) and very Sonam (Kapoor).
Could you tell us how do you go about the whole designing process for a garment?
For me designing is very instinctive; whatever clicks goes on the canvas. Something just needs to strike me or interest me for me to work around it. It could be any element in my surroundings or maybe an idea that’s just popped in my head. I could just wake up with an idea and start translating it on the canvas or I might just be inspired by something while I’m travelling and exploring. My travels do play an important part in my designing.
#BehindTheScenes Here Is The Sneak Peek Before We Reveal My New Collection ‘The Empress’ – Unveiling Tonight At The IIFA Awards #iifastomp At Times Square, NYC !! 💃 @iifa #StayTuned #SonaakshiRaaj #TheEmpress #NewCollection #Launch #13July #FashionShow #TimesSquare #NewYork #IIFA2017 Pics- @rahuljhangiani Model-@rehasukheja , Sehej-@damanchoudharry15 HMU- @makeupbylekha #DreamTeam 💕
How long does it take to construct one garment?
Well, my pieces are all couture, so it does take time. From the conceptualising to the embroidery techniques to the silhouettes to the fabric to the fabric manipulations, it takes about a week to complete one garment.