Art’s playful collaboration with fashion continues

Panaji, Oct 30 (IANS) The Indian runway is no stranger to creative collaborations between art and fashion. And the cocktail of the two was once again seen on the opening day of Gionee India Beach Fashion Week 2015 (GIBFW), courtesy designer James Ferreira.

The designer, who has been in the industry for over three decades, showcased Byzindiantynea collection — a line of Indo-western ensembles inspired by artist Paul Bhonsle’s Christian art. His show closed the first day of the gala at the Lalit Golf & Spa Resort Goa on Thursday.

While women were seen in ghagras, saris and kurtas co-ordinated with jackets, trousers and shirts in colours like green, blue, yellow and pink, the male models, mostly bare chested, donned black and white outfits consisting of unbuttoned shirts and bottoms of different lengths — but all in black and white.

Asked about the choice of colours for men, Ferreira told IANS: “I thought that black and white are classic.”

He was excited about working with the artist.

“This time I worked with Paul Bhonsle on prints. It’s his paintings which have inspired my prints,” he said.

He believes that all art forms are related.

“Fashion is kind of a commercial art form. So, you need to go back to other forms to get inspiration and to educate people. I learnt about digital prints and all that. It was fun doing that,” said the designer, who added a fun element to his show by dancing on stage rather than just walking with the final model and taking a bow towards the end.

Last year, ace designer Tarun Tahiliani had also presented a colourful and artistic ensemble in Delhi.

Inspired by the works of London-based artists Amrit and Rabindra – The Singh Twins, Tahiliani’s range reflected elements from their paintings. His clothes had lots of draping in blue and orange hue; red with yellow and more.

If London-based artists inspired Tahiliani, designer duo Gauri and Nainika Karan collaborated with American artist Travis Bruce Black, whose dreamy watercolours had strongly influenced the mood of the collection that was showcased on Delhi’s runway earlier this year.

“We found his work online. He made paintings for us and we used them in the collection,” said Nainika.

They used floral textures and dazzling renditions of zebras and giraffes to pay tribute to nature in their collection. The line had red one-shoulder pencil dress with pink bougainvillea textures and pearls, zebra-printed tulle and a neoprene cut-out flared midi dress and much more. Other inspirations from nature came in the form of a giraffe-printed backless halter gown and a purple-bird printed gown with a strapless body.

“We wanted this collection to be feminine, fresh and based on nature. It was time-consuming. Some of the dresses took us days to complete. The flowers are handmade. Even the pearls stitched on them were placed by us,” said Nainika, whose label — with her sister Gauri — Gauri & Nainika specialises in evening wear that ranges from cocktail dresses to elaborate bespoke gowns, with a design philosophy that is distinctly feminine and European.

It’s not just the Indian runways that has witnessed such playful collaborations between fashion designers and artists. In the West as well, ace designers have teamed up with artists for their collections.

One of late Italian designer Gianni Versace’s collections featured outfits printed with late American artist Andy Warhol’s brightly coloured, silk-screened portraits of Hollywood icons including Marilyn Monroe.

Similarly, even the late French designer Yves Saint Laurent designed shift dresses inspired by the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian.

(The writer’s trip is at the invitation of Gionee India Beach Fashion Week. Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at

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