The muses, the art and the artist trace the journey to India modern

20 November,2023 03:05 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

Tarun Tahiliani mounts a parade showcasing his journey of three decades, as he launches his first book

Journey to India Modern


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What started as a conversation in 1987 with his partner Sailaja, came full circle today as Tahiliani launched his first book ‘Tarun Tahiliani - Journey to India Modern'.
Detailing his fashion journey as a rebellion against centuries-old sartorial norms and creating a brand that challenged the status quo, the book covers 30 years of his journey as he fell in love with his country, and found inspiration in its every corner.

An ode to the muses he discovered while travelling the country early in his career, Tarun Tahilaini unveiled the book through a procession tableau of folk artists, and performers from these regions juxtaposed with models in Tarun Tahiliani ensembles. He showcased the progression of the brand through the years from as early as the Milan Fashion Week 2003 contemporary Chikan collection and collaborative collections with artists like the Singh Twins to the now signature styles featuring innovative drapes, silhouettes and modern interpretations of traditional techniques like Kasheeda, Brocade and Pichwai More than 30 artists including Kathiawadi dancers, Kathakali dancers, stilt walkers, life-sized puppets, Chau dancers and dhol artists, flanked the 55 ensembles their cultures inspired and brought to life the vision behind the brand journey- to highlight and preserve tradition & culture by giving it a contemporary form.

Speaking about the parade, Tahiliani elucidates, "For me, a muse is someone who has a unique sense of self and an unconscious innate style. I have seen that in the way women drape their saree dif erently across the country as they go about their daily chores, men in Kutch and how they pair polyester t-shirts with their draped dhoti as if holding on to the past yet peeking into the future and Sadhus at the Kumbh mela in their mystic flow. I have also seen this inherent style in women like Minal Modi and Isabella Blow who wore their personalities like a badge and were unafraid to express themselves through clothing. This parade showcases their culture, art forms and self-expression, alongside mine." The procession was followed by the official launch of the book over a short tete-a-tete and aperitifs.

Unveiled and launched at the opening of the premier Art Mumbai, Tarun Tahiliani's first book, ‘Tarun Tahiliani- Journey to India Modern' has been co-authored by Alia Allana and published and distributed by Roli Books in India and Thames & Hudson internationally and marks more than three decades of his journey in the industry. The book features exclusively commissioned photography and spans the quantum of the designer's life from his early years, the launch of the iconic Ensemble in 1987, creating a fashion ecosystem with the first movers, to the eventual culmination of the legacy he has created with his eponymous label and brand since 1995. A 300-page deep dive into Tarun's love for fashion, history, culture, craft and the pursuit of a dream called ‘India Modern' , the book juxtaposes the making of his legacy against a historical context of the renaissance of fashion.

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