The Blinding Beauty of the Beloved…

Balancing light and darkness, like its name ‘Barq’ by using the glistening shimmer of sequins and geometry to create striking pieces of understated opulence and timelessness.

As you walk through light and shade the geometry of lightning strikes….

The zig zag of life’s unfolds as you take a dazzling turn…

The pinnacle of the lightning form converging and diverging, following the female form…

Barq is the blinding beauty of the beloved….

Photography: Shivamm Pathak

The collection takes root from the geometric shapes seen in architecture from the Art Deco period of the 1920’s.

Art Deco, derived its name from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925, where the style was first exhibited.  Art Deco design represented modernism turned into fashion and art. Its intention was to create a sleek and anti-traditional elegance that symbolized wealth and sophistication with distinguishing features of the style that are embodied in simple, clean shapes, often with a “streamlined” look; ornament that is geometric or stylized from representational forms; the characteristic features of the style reflected admiration for the modernity era the of the machine and the relative simplicity, planarity, symmetry it represented.

Photography: Shivamm Pathak

The Poetry of Design

All art of a certain period all over the world was influenced by Art Deco. Originating in Paris it travelled all over Europe then across the colonial world through architecture and products. From highly functional to extremely decorative, Art Deco had come to stay with American design grammar, setting trends. Corporate patrons commissioned timeless edifices to this unique way of life that created a transition from war to peace.  America was the hidden persuader to induct an optimism in consumerism through Automobiles and Hollywood.

In India, it came with the colonial mercantile culture which faded off with the Maharajahs. Today Art Deco is part of our nostalgic design throwback. It has an individualistic approach and application. It must emerge from deep within to be authentic and evolutionary.

Photography: Shivamm Pathak

“Barq is lightning.
Being Illuminated.

Of light striking a form and becoming poetry draped in the geometry of light.
The bouncing of light in sharp rays to dazzle the senses.

This becomes the metaphor when writing with light and containing it on the movement of human form. You bathe this form in rays of light as it dances on rhythmic sound.

BARQ is a new body language. A bridge between the east and the west, between engineering and art. Embroidery with nimble fingers becomes the building elements of these linear textures. It is dream to imagination, as words and sounds to poetry.

Being clothed in BARQ is being draped in light… Becoming the light…

The imagination…
The poetry….”

 

Muzaffar Ali

An Inspirational Sketch for Barq by Muzaffar Ali. View more on Instagram

“Thunder and lightning have fascinated people of all ages. Some have even been scared by these phenomena. Others were enchanted or even captivated. I found myself almost bewitched by the intriguing patterns created by lightning. While some of my peers would take refuge under tables during storms in my childhood, I found them arousing my curiosity more than instilling fear. The silver shafts of light piercing the dark skies, sometimes as dark as black and at other times, varying hues of grey, followed by a momentary glow coupled with the deafening sound of thunder elevated my senses. Little did I know that these impressions which stayed dormant for years would one day inspire me to create a collection based on it – ‘Barq’, Lightening.

Muzaffar’s recent sketches of jagged lines on silhouettes awakened my childhood memories of these impressions. Interpreting them into embroidery became an exciting journey. Light and shade juxtaposed on contrasting colours; monochromatic glitter creating an intriguing story; Pearl white textures on colours of the sky – my imagination ran wild. The flow of the fabric as the embroideries clung to it as if intertwined into its warp and weft, created a sensuous feel on my body as I tried on these ensembles. They seemed perfect for any occasion.”

 

Meera Ali

Photography: Shivamm Pathak

From weaving to embroidery, from cottons to wool and silks, from wood to metal craft, Art Deco finds its identity, romance, and uniqueness in the handmade. India is fortunate to have one of the largest handicraft traditions of the world which manifests in design in different mediums. It is a rare situation when we are able to offer a new sensitivity to a way of design which contains unlimited possibilities of permutations and combinations with particularly the Islamic design idiom that came from Iran and stills holds it charm on Indian soil. It lends itself to many Indian silhouettes like shawls, saris and Chogas with a one of its kind look. It also lends itself to weaving techniques like Ikkat and in carpets. Art Deco also warns you of a danger of becoming commonplace and cliched.  It has to re-enter its erstwhile domain with artistry and dignity.

This collection embodies the term effortlessly elegant. Comfortable and chic silhouettes, appropriate for a variety or occasions and moods. The geometric embroidery lends itself to a timeless quality that makes these pieces a great investment into one’s wardrobe for seasons to come. The pearl and sequin embroideries lend itself to diamond and pearl encrusted jewels, worn minimally.

Photography: Karan Sidhu

I designed the silhouettes keeping a minimalist approach in mind. I wanted the wearer to be augmented by the silhouettes, not drown in them. I wanted them to be comfortable and timeless, something you can wear without worrying about how bloated you are feeling, or even how much you don’t feel like being uncomfortable for fashion but still want to be glamourous, embodying the idea of being effortlessly elegant.

I’m extremely excited to share this beautiful collection of timeless outfits from the House of Kotwara!

Beautiful embroideries created by my parents, I always marvel at their unique take on fashion, geometric, clean, and sophisticated.

Sama Ali

Creative Director

House of Kotwara

 

References & Suggested Reading
  • Klein, D., Mcclelland, N.A. and Haslam, M. (1986). In the deco style. New York: Rizzoli. [Link]
  • Bayer, P. (2008). Art deco interiors: decoration and design classics of the 1920s and 1930s. New York: Thames and Hudson. [Link]
  • Wood, G. (2003). Essential art deco. London: V & A. [Link]
  • Wolf, N. and Hall, C. (2013). Art deco. Munich: Prestel. [Link]

Featured Outfits

Georgette Art Deco Kurta Set

Georgette Art Deco Saree Set

Georgette Art Deco Choga Set