There has been a lot of buzz around the much coveted international event- the New York Fashion Week.  Over the years, more and more Indian designers have been showcasing their creations on the global stage and wowing fashion critics and enthusiasts alike. This year has particularly been very special at NYFW because India has gone beyond fashion at the prestigious event. Spearheading this movement has been the supremely talented and an exceptional designer Archana Kochhar!

I’ve had the privilege of meeting her and witnessing her beautiful collection a couple of times and each time she has wowed me with her creations!

This time around, designer Archana Kochhar brought in an element of Indian beauty to the ramp as well with Sunny Leone and acid attack survivor Reshma Qureshi. She showcased the rural art of India in New York City as part of NYFW, with her collection, “A Tale of Two Travels“. The collection had rich, buoyant colors depicting the magnificence of our cultural heritage.  Archana is not only a great designer, but a beautiful soul inside-out! After coming back from NYFW, I got the opportunity to interview her about the collection, theme, her support for the Bring Beauty Back initiative and much more. Here are the excerpts from the interview:

Q: How does it feel to have showcased your collection on such a huge platform?

A: It was a surreal experience. This is arguably, the largest fashion platform in the world. It is a great honor to be one of the few Indians to have showcased at New York Fashion week.

Q: Your collection is called “A Tale of Two Travels”. What was the inspiration behind it?

A: “A Tale of Two Travels” is a thoughtful collection that imparts royal individuality of the surreal Taj and gleams in the colorful essence of Banjara. The first inspiration of the collection is by the nomadic tribe of India called Banjara, known for the craft of the vibrant mesmerizing colors and rustic mirror work in India. The color pallet of this collection is ivory offset with colorful digitally printed motifs, which is further highlighted with multi-color thread work and mirror work. The second inspiration of the collection is by the magnificent Taj Mahal. Depicting a dreamy vision, the collection is an exclusive range of colorful intricate digital prints depicting the vibrant symbolic motifs of the amazing Taj Mahal, the beautiful lotus flower, the mighty royal elephants balanced with geometric motifs.

Q: Could you please throw some light on your support for the “Bring Beauty Back” initiative?

A: The initiative of “Bring Beauty Back” is about inclusion of all forms of beauty. I believe beauty is not external, but rather what comes from within. Fashion weeks are platforms, which are considered as benchmarks for beauty. Hence it is imperative to promote the “Inclusion of all forms of beauty” concept on such platforms to change the stereotypical thinking. Beauty should not be affirmed by a certain height, color or size, it is beyond that. It should be an all-inclusive concept. We need such acceptance in society and I think such endeavors of mine will increase sensitivity towards this concept in our society.

Q: How did Reshma become your choice to open the show?

A: Reshma was the perfect choice as she in her own way has been working extensively for a similar cause of supporting the survivors of acid attack victims considering she is a survivor herself.

Q: Sunny Leone walked the ramp showcasing your collection. How was the experience working with her?

A: Sunny is the first Bollywood actress to have ever walked the ramp at NYFW. She is an absolute joy to work with; so full of life and yet so humble. I invited her to walk the ramp for me and she was excited to be on board. She  looked resplendent as the showstopper in an ivory gown inspired by the vibrant and mesmerizing Banjara art.

The collection comprised of cold shoulder crop tops, caplets, flared bellbottoms, flared skirts, pencil skirts, high waist shorts, paper bag skirts, dhoti pants, structured gowns, key hole gowns, flowy drapes and jumpsuits.

Below are some pictures of Archana Kochhar’s collection showcased at NYFW.

Simran xx

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Archana Kochhar’s website: