Presenting his first virtual show at FDCI’s India Couture Week 2020, JJ Valaya’s collection is rich, plush, and larger than life
By: Prateeksha Guruji
Posted on: September 21, 2020
Acclaimed Indian fashion designer JJ Valaya unveiled his spectacular new collection at the first-ever digital edition of the FDCI India Couture Week on September 20, 2020. And it was an engrossing show. The glorious winter collection, inspired by the Ottomans, was launched as a one-of-a-kind virtual presentation, where Mr. Valaya pointed that “nobody has to fight for seats anymore. You are all my special guests.”
"In our legacy of many endearing firsts over nearly three decades, we once again look forward to being a part of yet another first in India, the FDCI Virtual India Couture Week," he said while introducing his collection.
Titled ‘Bursa’, the collection is named after the Turkish city and founding capital of the Ottoman empire from 14th to the 17th century. Drawing nuances from the royal nomads during the Ottoman era, this year's collection includes famed Ottoman silks, which were among the most characteristic and artistic products of the empire, besides the nomadic kilims of the period.
The artfully crafted 48 pieces for men and women comprise the Lehenga, the Sherwani and the Sari, which are the three key silhouettes for Indian weddings and celebrations, along with the label's latest addition - the IKA jacket. The diverse color palette for the outfits runs the gamut from red, maroon, orange, black to muted hues like blush pink and blue-grey. Embellished with Swarovski crystals, silk threads, beads, pearls and age old Zardozi, the delicate and intricate Valaya craftsmanship is evident in every piece.
The burnished metallics and gold lend an antique aesthetic while other details like quills in Turkish armour and Turkish flora and fauna further enrich this collection. Women’s blouses have puffed sleeves which end with fitted, regal, embellished rings. The chevron print makes an appearance on elegant, contemporary sarees.
The belted sarees and lehengas are the signature of the brand’s styling while the fine silks, velvets and turbans worn by men are redolent of Ottoman royalty.
Motifs like the Ottoman miniatures, known as ‘Taswir', which are painted to illustrate manuscripts or used in dedicated albums, and the art of ‘Tezhip’, (meaning ornamenting with gold), a non-figurative painted or drawn decorative art in books or on a sheet, have pervaded very deeply into the collection.
The setting of the visual presentation was perfectly attuned to the theme of the Ottoman saga. Floral decorations in pinks, purples, contrasted by white candles, are juxtaposed against a magnificent Ottoman painting facing the carpeted runway where the models walk in. The predominantly maroon room boasts opulent decorations from velvet curtains to numerous, glittering chandeliers festooned throughout the room. The two exotic style tall plants and antique furniture pieces that flank the runway passage add to the elements that are reminiscent of a 17th Century royal Turkish tent.
The videography in itself was unique where it wasn’t a simple runway show. Instead the camera zoned into details and provided fleeting glances of flowing fabrics before showing the entire ensemble. It was a captivating presentation.
The Jewelry Partner for this year's couture collection is Archana Aggarwal from Timeless Jewels. Crafting luxury jewellery with refined sophistication, her association with couturier JJ Valaya brings out a unique expression of her traditional jewelry. The imperial ‘Topkapi Jewels’ of the Topkapi Palace, which are counted amongst the largest such treasuries in the Islamic world, are a part of this season’s discoveries for the label. Ms. Aggarwal worked meticulously on an assortment of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings and hair and hand accessories, that complement the collection and also embody the Turkish essence.
Mr. Valaya is known to have a penchant for Turkish insipration in his designs. It’s not the first time he has chosen this theme for his collection. Bursa, however, ascended a higher pedestal in many ways, owing to fine details which amalgamated oriental refrences with Indian craftsmanship.
The collection is out now on the label’s official website Valaya.com.