After a three-year hiatus, JJ Valaya returns to the Indian fashion scene with his Fall-Winter collection ‘Tabriz, which is inspired by Persian msyticism and reflects the designer's own journeys, both geographical and personal, and evolution. Valaya is also unveiling a photo exhibition, 'The Royal Nomad 2019'.
"This show is very special too me because it's after a significant gap of three years. I took a sabbatical for various reasons, one of them being working on an international project as a creative director. But this self-imposed exile, if I could call it that, has been a great period of discovery, it gave me a perspective and direction," said the designer.
Valaya is known for his couture creations and has been chosen by many celebrities and renowned personalities to design their trousseaus. With 'Tabriz', he insists, he is going to make a lot of brides and grooms happy. "It's a completely new definition of couture, in terms of the whole experience and the quality of craftsmanship. We are a brand primarily catering to occasion wear and weddings. With 'Tabriz', the journey of choosing an outfit for your big day will be unparalleled; it'll be by appointment only and the experience will go beyond exclusive. There will be no walk-in customers, we want to revive the entire atelier experience," he said.
With most brands now launching collections online without shows and focusing on social media marketing and paid partnerships, is this the best way forward? "Most brides and grooms are young and know what they want. It is naïve to say that social media does not impact us. It is a new language and a very important part of the fashion scene. As for paid partnerships, that is not something we are looking at at the moment. We have created beautiful clothes and an even better experience, we can only hope that people find merit in that," said Valaya.
Though he does not dismiss the importance of the social media, Valaya finds the presence of Bollywood overwhelming on the Indian fashion scene. He insists that the induction of Bollywood on the runway has really taken away from fashion. Having worked internationally as well he says, "There the focus is on the clothes, while here it's the celebrity who hog the limelight," he rued.