In a recent conversation with Pinkvilla, designer Raghavendra Rathore talked about his first design for Taimur Ali Khan, the thought process behind Saif Ali Khan’s look for Tandav and more.
There are certain designers in India who’ve carved their way through trends and generations together. Raghavendra Rathore is one such designer who has been in the industry for over a decade and still managed to stay relevant in his own way. The designer is now responsible for Saif Ali Khan’s look in the OTT series, Tandav. While he has been Saif’s favourite for a while now, he even managed to make Taimur’s first-ever bespoke outfit. Here’s all that we talked out:
1. Your designs are rooted with traditions, tell us something about that.
Our culture is about celebrating our lineage of hundreds of years of history, traditional wisdom and symbols of what we believe in, clothes make an integral part of that philosophy. Our inspiration comes from our past, contemporize in it through products that we create, the RR brand has become synonymous with relics such as the classic Bandhgala suit or the breeches riding pants. Steeped in culture, it becomes our mandate at the helm of the brand to create and celebrate heritage clothing whether it is for an individual or for the silver screen.
2. We’ve seen Saif Ali Khan wearing your designs for more than a decade now. How have your designs and his styles evolved since then?
It is a treat to work with clients such as Mr Saif Ali Khan who not only understand the nuance of heritage clothing but is also a voracious supporter of culture and our proud past. His understanding of fashion and insight into the kind of styles we, as a bespoke company, can offer through our Atelier, gives us the flexibility to work with his ideas and blend them with what we do best- it is almost like a scholarly dialogue to resurrect relic clothing from the past with a contemporary twist.
3. You’ve also provided the wardrobe for his role in Tandav. Can you tell us a little about that and how you designed outfits based on his role in particular?
The looks that were shortlisted by the stylist Subarna Ray were tweaked slightly to fit his personality and character, the beauty of the role is that most of the clothes are very much part of the collections that we offer at all our stores across India. The wardrobe progressively moves from light colours to dark colours as the plot in the series intensifies, what is also important to highlight is that the selected ‘looks’ appear to be a part of the wardrobe of a stylish modern man and has very little to do with the seasonality of fashion.
4. Not just Saif but even Kareena and Taimur have been a fan of your designs. How did you come about designing the first outfit for Tim? (a story of when you were approached for it will be a fun one)
On a chance conversation with the elegant parents, the designers at our bespoke Atelier had so much fun making a classic outdoor jacket and some other looks for young Taimur. Inculcating the values of heritage and exposing one at a young age to a classic aesthetic sense, I am sure that he would one day also propagate the message of classic heritage clothing.
5. You’ve made the switch to womenswear now. How has that been?
Even to begin with 25 years ago, our first collection had several classic tailored womenswear looks. While our focus principally is and will always be menswear, occasionally we will be flirting with a womenswear line but the ethos will always remain the same including designs of Bandhgalas that we come up with, for women season after season.
6. With the wedding season right around the corner, what are the few trends you think will be big this year?
This year will be very unique as most trends will germinate around the home, (at least in India) so an overall lounge feel will dominate what designers conjure up for the coming season with regards to the formal and the wedding market gold and salmon pink will rule the colour palette with very specialized embroidery and embellishments as the audience that designers cater to shrinks considerably but demands a higher level of customization. This of course will not only be limited to fashion but everything around the wedding season such as locations, venue arrangements and entertainment.
7. With so many years in the industry, how have you managed to stay relevant?
The beauty of the bespoke business is that it is not necessarily catering to the whims and fancies of the fashion cycle, I feel honoured to be working with the clientele that finds solace in customizing clothes for themselves and their wardrobes which are not based on fashion trends or seasons. It is always important to recognize that as one evolves their brand, the customer and the client base also evolves and therefore offers new ways to present classic looks is an integral part of this industry.
8. What are your thoughts on Diet Sabya?
Diet Sabya is a good example of how technology has the power to become an industry watchdog and a success story.
9. Your favourite Bollywood celebs who look the best in your creations?
Saif Ali Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan … Depending on where, what and when each of these superstars, given their own personality and a character being portrayed by them, for which we are delighted to dress them in a classic RR style.
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Also Read: Manish Malhotra on 30 years in the industry, iconic Bollywood looks, working with Karan Johar, Takht & more
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