Designer à la Mode - Rajat K. Tangri

A fashion graduate from Australia, Rajat K. Tangri returned to India only to set the ramp on fire with his scintillating designs. No matter who wears them, one can only look exquisite in his inimitable creations, which have always been a hit on the fashion circuit. With an inclination towards fine arts courtesy of his father, he forayed into fashion, demonstrating his formidable creative skills and intellectual aesthetics.

Among his numerous accolades, Rajat received great critical acclaim for styling Kangana Ranaut in Shootout at Wadala and Priyanka Chopra in Mary Kom. He has carved a niche for himself not only in the global fashion industry, but also as a popular choice among both Hollywood and Bollywood film fraternities and celebrities. This month, Rajat speaks to You & I about comfort, his style and future plans.

Styling and designing are two different aspects of fashion. Which comes more naturally to you?
I believe that for a designer it’s easier to become a stylist, because he has the technical know-how along with the aesthetics of putting things together and creating a look.

What inspires your creativity?
I seek inspiration from various things like travel, day-to-day life, etc. Basically, it is anything that appeals to me. It could be an era, something interesting about a country while I’m traveling, or any basic thing.

Which decade from history is your favourite, fashion-wise?
Well, I love the 1920’s and the whole flapper dress era. Also, the 1950’s are a major contributor to my inspiration – it’s the early Dior period.

Which celebrity is ideal to model your designs – either male or female?
I have worked with multiple international and Indian celebrities. Any body who can carry off something well-fitted or well-structured, with panache, could definitely carry off my clothes. I guess Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut fit the bill. For the male celebrity, somebody like Ranveer Singh can carry my styles really well, as I design more embroidered and glamorous clothes.

How challenging is retailing for you? Who are your target customers?
Retail is a very important aspect of the industry. I am presently retailing from over 10-15 stores nationwide and a couple of stores internationally. It is a very intriguing process that requires precision, considering the focus points like design, price and target markets. My clientele includes those who have a distinctive personality and are individualistic in life, apart from those who love being glamorous and are comfortable in their own skin.

What is your take on designs that are being replicated today?
It is very unfortunate that plagiarism is spreading like a disease in the industry. Our country doesn’t have stringent laws against this menace. I strongly feel that somebody needs to take action about this! Knockoffs are often sold at a very low price, although with poor quality. All designers face this challenge. It’s high time our industry wakes up and works towards curbing this issue.

Any tips on how our readers can be stylish this monsoon season?
To be stylish in the rainy season, wear cool, comfy, and breathable clothes. In terms of shoes, keep the season in mind and opt for something that is weatherproof. Also, pastels go well with the climatic conditions of this season.

What’s a common fashion mistake that people make?
I feel that people should be comfortable in their own skin; they should probably wear something that suits their body type rather than blindly following the trends or celebrities. This could result in a major faux pas. Also, I feel that over-accessorising is a big fashion mistake. Remember, less is more!

Define your designing style in three words.
Effortless. Chic. Elegant.

What next?
In the near future, I will be travelling around the globe for a couple of trunk shows. Apart from that, I intend to open my second flagship store in Mumbai, as the first one has been launched in Australia. I am also coming up with a very interesting and quirky prêt line for men.       --- as told to Sumana