Vijay Balhara is a New Delhi based Fashion Designer. From being a successful model to being a stylist and then a designer, Vijay Balhara has donned multiple hats and has been wowing everyone with his talent and trendy designs. As a model, he has walked the ramp at the Lakme Fashion Week for seven years and worked for names like Ermenegildo Zegna, Hugo Boss, Tarun Tahiliani and Ashish Soni. And as a stylist he has done some amazing work for TV Shows like Gizmo Freak and Director’s cut and even styled Kunal Khemu for his movie Superstar.
2010 marked the runway debut for Vijay Balhara at India Fashion Week followed by Elle Style Award for the Best Design Debut in 2010. Vijay Balhara has since then been showcasing regularly at India Fashion Week and the collections have been featured in various Fashion Editorials and cover shoots for Elle, Grazia, Vogue, GQ, and Femina.
We caught up with him for an exclusive chat and asked him everything you wanted to know! Here are snippets from the interview:
1. What is it that inspired you to become a fashion designer? How has your journey been till date? We would love to know it all!
A desire to express myself using art as a medium. To me, Fashion is an extremely effective form of art that transcends all boundaries.
I started sketching fashion illustrations when I was 18 and then it was just sketching for more than a decade while I was working full time as a Runway Model. My career as a model gave me opportunities to work with a lot of designers which gave me an insider’s view into Fashion Industry and it defined my desire to be a Fashion designer in more ways than one.
Academically, I am a science graduate and then I went on to study Law. So I never went to a Design School. After walking the Runway for more than 500 shows I finally decided it was high time I launched my own label. In March 2010, I launched my first collection at India Fashion week which was an Instant hit both with buyers and Fashion critics. It won me the Elle Style Award for best Design debut for 2010.
So it has been a wonderful journey so far and I have loved every single moment of it.
2. How would you describe your style and design philosophy? What do you think makes your designs unique?
My style is Modern, Progressive and Youthful. I always attempt to re-interpret the traditional Indian silhouettes in my own way. I am obsessed with fantasy and Romance. These elements always find their way in all my collections. Fashion has to be unique just like every woman is unique. Every woman adopts a fashion statement as per her individual style. It is always the woman inside that dress, who has the ability to make it a Fashion Moment.
For me as a designer it is a constant challenge to match up with the beauty and charisma of women who wear my designs. When a designer is able to justify the style and personality of the women with his design, that’s when the true fashion moment is created.
I guess my ability to make fantasy wearable is what makes my designs unique.
3. Please tell us about your favorite creation. When and how did you come up with the idea for that?
My favorite creation is the Cobra Print Silk Coat.
It is a part of the first season of my series “Black Narcissus”. I wanted to create a Coat which every woman would want in her wardrobe. It conveys strength and boldness. Its very modern and progressive. It is a very versatile piece of clothing which could be used to style any look. Just this one coat is enough to create a high fashion look and its very wearable. Its a free size coat which is perfect for any body type.
4. Tell us about your most memorable moment as a Fashion Designer
Most memorable moment as fashion Designer was my first show. When the first Model walked down the runway, I felt yes its all real and its all happening finally.That feeling is incomparable!
5. Who, according to you, are some of the best dressed people in India and internationally?
Dimple Kapadia and Tilda Swinton
6. Who is the ideal muse of “Vijay Balhara”?
A woman who can inspire me to create. Most of the times, its my Wife.
7. What is your style tip for this Fall?
Animal Prints clashed with Ethnic Motifs and Tribal Waves, Textured Fabrics and a Lot of Red.
8. What trends are you looking forward to in 2016? And tell us a bit about your next collection?
2016 would see arts inspired from elements of nature, digital glows, lots of prints, innovative embroidery techniques, great Infusion of Colors Blue, Ochre, Luxe Browns, Emerald, Crimson, Autumn Mustard, Blueberry, checks and stripes clashing with floral & tropical prints, and uniquely styled looks combining interesting separates. In terms of fabric there would be satin blends, tweeds, cashmere blends, cutwork, denims and corduroy with interesting treatments for a new twist.
My 2016 collections would be showcased in a four part series of:
1) Fifth Density Season 2 (for Spring Summer 2016) which would comprise mostly of short dresses, skirts and blouses in printed satins inspired from the vibrancy of earth in Fifth Dimension. Lot of original arts created using floral prints and landscapes which are mostly the pictures I have clicked on my camera during my travels this year.
2) To Lucasta Season 2 (Resort 2016) which is already selling in the stores, is the neo-traditional style of Contemporary Indian Woman. Vibrant colors, simple embroidery and interesting separates is the hallmark of this collection mostly fabricated in cottons, silk organza and raw silks
3) Borala Season 2 ( The Indian Collection) Borala is a collection of Anarkali Ensembles, Maxi Dresses and Salwar Kameez inspired from the Rural Aristocrats of India. I would be focusing on Indian Prints and embroideries on my favorite fabric for Indian wear, that is Chanderi.
4) Black Narcissus Season 3 My favorite series! This collection would be the most elaborate collection of 2016 for my label. I am designing all the prints myself. This collection will see a big clash of prints and infusion of colors and interesting embroidery. It is a pretty big range comprising of formal evening wear, winter outer wear, cocktail dresses, evening gowns and Printed Silk coats.
– As told by Vijay Balhara