Kallol Datta Fall-Winter 2012

Kallol was given a well deserved ‘finale’ show at Lakme Fashion Week, Mumbai in August. Not following the normal cycles of a season in advance, Lakme chooses to showcase ‘festive’ in second half of the year for the festivities that are to be followed in the months after the week. And during summers, they show ‘Resort’ collections for the span of winters-preceding-spring and spring-summer season. 

Back to Kallol. He has found a growing fan in me. The clothes are conceptual and original in design. They have a place in global fashion and can be (and is) worn by women all over. As easy his dresses are to slip into, it has a niche fan base. And I imagine it to be intentionally designed like that. Prints of snails humping each other, penises with angry faces drawn on them and bird droppings,  straitjackets, elephant skin effect (just the effect. no elephants used) oversized clutches. His collection narrated a story of difficulty – whether in mating, stitching, seeing beauty in an otherwise not so exotic animal skin, Suko singing about killing her lover’s new lover suffering from that heart trauma.. Garments could be confused from front with back, but never uneasy to wear. With beautiful, almost unnatural drapes and folds on the fabric, this is the most comfortable a designer ready to wear could get. 

I always struggle to define his collections in words. He is a hidden thinker and would like us to believe that design is kid’s play and he barely spends time making collections. If it was so easy, then we wouldn’t have this much unwearable and unpleasing designs as done by many of his peers. No?

Previous posts on Kallol Datta 1955:


Last week I was blessed to a trip to the southern state of India – Kerala. Its been a place I love, without having even visited it (ocean, greens, elephants, coconuts – whats not to love?). It was an impromptu trip (translation: no planning ~ no worries ) and I left all the responsibilities in hands of my cousin, who asked me to join her and her friend Pat, on the trip.  

We stayed at Kovalam at a hotel besides the beach housing an Ayurvedic spa. Yes, I got spa-d. I may have had issues with strangers’ hands and fingers poking at me before, but that’s obviously because I never got an Ayurvedic massage before. I selected the Shirodhara which said to help cool mind and cure insomnia (well me writing this at 3AM doesnt help my endorsement of Ayurvedic therapy right now). Also went for a house-boat trip in the backwaters, elephant day-care at a rehabilitation centre and numerous hotel buffet food raiding. 

Few pictures from the trip:
View from the hotel. Literally on the Arabian Sea.
the first time I swam in an infinity pool. Little bummed to know that its edge is not really joining the sea.
Art of Kalaripayattu. The men were almost dancing in air than fighting each other. Most cultural activities here are quite rigorous for the body.

The view from the house boat in Kollam backwaters. I could get used to this life. 

Captain of the boat wore a mundu. So did every other man. not complaining 🙂

The house boat literally has bed rooms, bathrooms with shower, kitchen, dining table and living room! Were served traditional Malayali food. 

random tile shot. A fan of Chettinand tiles, I couldn’t resist a click. You will see more of these in other travels as well
Most memorable moment- giving a scrub to the elephants. These are elephants who are rescued and given a second chance to life
Elephant are fed huge balls of rice and raagi. Yup, thats his one bite.

young and old are both rehabilitated here. This guy is 88 years old. His care taker: 72. Do not ride elephants on roadsides or mela as those are the ones cruelly treated to make money kept in unnatural conditions. This is a place run by the government for rehabilitation of elephants and your money is used to better their lives so they can go back to living in forest. 

Elephants are cleaned proper for at least 45 minutes using plastic brushes and coconut husks. Its quite an exercise and these men had proper 6-packs from doing so. The elephants skin is course and hair feel like plastic brush follicles. 

There are public beaches as well in Kovalam and of course like any other public beaches -crowded and dirtied by us. 

Shillong Fashion Week

Lovestruckcow is the official blogger for the first ever Shillong Fashion Week. This is the second time for us to travel to Shillong for covering a fashion event. With many more sponsors, designers, people working on it, the hopes are high. I know the Shillong people will be excited to see more famous Indian designers show live in their city. Rohit Bal, David Abharam and Rakesh Thakore are said to be attending the do as well. The Elle India team will be covering the Fashion Week in their publication. We will be covering the happening of the 2-day fashion festival here and here. Do let us know if you are in Shillong and we’d love to meet you and talk fashion with you! 

Schedule for Shillong Fashion Week (19th and 20th October)

19th October 2012
DAY 1  
6pm Opening show by Rakesh Agarwal 
7pm Bung By Bung 
       Senti Jamir Nongrum 
       Heritage Mizoram 
       Magic N 
8pm Chandrani Singh Flora 
       Sophia M Sangma 
       Jenjum Gadi 

20th October 2012
DAY 2   
6pm Urvashi Kaur 
       Anand Bhushan 
       Elizabeth Marbaning 
8pm The Grand Finale by Gaurav & Ritika and Nachiket Barve

Official Shillong Fashion Week accounts on Twitter: @SFWshillong and Facebook: Shillong Fashion Week. 

Related posts- 

Play Saris

Play Clan has come out with saris. Their range of T-shirts were already a huge hit and you can see here why so. Sari’s was unexpected and was not sure if the playful side would transcend well onto this traditional piece of garment. Looking at their shoot pictures, looks like a fun garment to own while maintaining comfort!

Q&A with Play Clan founder and designer Himanshu Dogra:

  • How did the idea to make saris come about?

The Sari gives us a canvas to tell a story. Paired with interesting accessories, it is a strong graphic statement, in a playful whimsical way.
  • Do you want to introduce the younger audience to the idea of wearing six yards? 

Yes, we feel that this may push the boundary to a younger audience, wiling to experiment and express a viewpoint.

  • Will these be available at the Play Clan stores for purchase?

In two months time. (Priced at Rs 14, 995)

Shot by Tarun Khiwal and styled by Gautam Kalra


It’s hard not to talk about two of my favorite Indian design brands when they join hands and create a one of a kind collection. Jewelery brand Amrapali has consistently been giving us heritage yet contemporary jewelery. Remember all the lovely ornaments in Brad Pitt starring Troy? – All Amrapali. Their products look like they worked in the 19th century and they will work in 2013. This collection especially had the modern appeal of Manish Arora and the traditional learnings of Amrapali. Pastel colors onto gold temple jewelry. Meenakari setting of stone and crystals updated with shapes of lion head and punk studs. The indian traditional maximalistic jewelery style was paired with Manish Arora’s futuristic silhouette’s and formed a new identity. See below few more images of Amrapali jewels from Manish Arora Spring Summer 2013 show in Paris.