Want to remind people there is still hope and beauty: Bal on Kashmir being his constant inspiration

MUMBAI: There is something special in the way Rohit Bal captures Kashmir as he believes its beauty is a constant despite the agony surrounding the place.

As someone who was born and brought up in the Valley, Kashmir has been a major source of inspiration for the designer and he makes sure to incorporate elements from the region in his every collection.

“I want to share the beauty of the place I grew up in with as many people as possible. I want to keep reminding people that there is a ray of hope amid all the darkness. Within that misery and agony, the beauty of the Valley is still constant. The people of Kashmir have been suffering for the longest time, but there is hope,” Bal told PTI in an interview here.

“I strongly believe there is always a silver lining in every cloud. I am trying to focus on that silver lining. I want to remind the world that it may have become a war zone but there is still beauty and nature, where we can find solace,” he added.

Bal says he is drawn to the flora of the Valley as flowers best suit his sensibilities as a designer.

“The Valley offers so much inspiration and I have always picked up something from the flora which is very exclusive to Kashmir. There are so many beautiful landscapes and mountains. But a lot depends on the medium you are expressing your feelings through.

“If I were a painter, I would have focused on the streams and waterfalls, probably. But I believe as a designer, flowers compliment my work the best,” Bal said while talking on the sidelines of Lakme Fashion Week Summer/ Resort 2019.

The designer is showcasing his latest collection “Guldastah” on Wednesday.

The collection, created in collaboration with the sustainable fashion label Usha Silai, is an ode to the flowers of Kashmir. “Guldastah” has been created by rural women of Usha Silai Kashmir under the mentorship of Bal.

It recreates the allure of flowers through different techniques, including thread embroidery and zardozi, while giving it an imaginative yet realistic interpretation.

“Every bit of Kashmir has become a part of me. The beautiful Valley, I grew up in is still with me. Every collection I do, I pick some portion of Kashmir. It is a paradise and it is impossible to do justice to its beauty with just one collection so I always try to bring some inspiration from the region.

“In the last two decades that Kashmir has come out in bits and pieces in my designs and with ‘Guldastah’ I have tried to go all out about my love for the region,” he said.

The range is both sensitive and ornate with an underlying sense of luxury interwoven in its many layers. It makes use of organic fabrics, cotton silk blends, Chanderi, silk organza, silks and velvets.

Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2019 will take place at JioGarden, Bandra-Kurla Complex till February 3. PTI

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