Rohit Bal, is profiled as `India`s Master of fabric and fantasy,` by the Time magazine. He has graduated from New Delhi`s St. Stephen`s College with a first class (Hons.) degree in History. Later, this compulsive designer worked for a few years with his brother`s export company. In 1990 he created his first line, as a traditional designer wear for men. Since then, the regard he commands among the top echelons of Indian fashion is endorsed by a discerning, high profile clientele, that includes some of India`s biggest names in the media, film, fashion and corporate world. Intensely concerned with design as an art form, he creates his masterpieces, which retail for up to 15,000 USD.
Rohit Bal introduced his wicked, dangerous and sexy creation at the event. This men`s wear collection, a hedonistic mix of leather, sweater-knits, and PVC coated fabrics was embellished with hand-painted roses and chrysanthemums, the angelic face of David and English floral sprigs, besides some very creative and defined quilting. Black, cobalt blue and ivory were the colours used. The silhouette was fitted and consisted of jackets, t-shirts, pants and intermittently shocking little briefs and shorts. Accessorized with traditional antique silver bell anklets worn on the forehead and tied around the legs, the look for men, as presented by Rohit Bal was unlike any other.
Rohit is known for his unique talent to beautifully blend traditional Indian devices into western silhouettes and fuse traditional and contemporary India. And that was the highlight of this show also. In this collection Rohit has plundered not only India`s heritage treasure trove, but the nomadic folk art cultures of Asia from the Bosphorus to Mount Fujiyama. The show started with a range of lungis in simple neutral khadis with little embellishment. These gave way to trousers teamed with short, slim western jackets, although there was an occasional traditional Indian style to be spotted. The jackets in particular were handpainted in the Madhubani style, embellished with seashells, mother of pearl buttons, mirrorwork and multi coloured tassles. The finale was a flourish of vibrant red and gold brocade jackets in western and Indian silhouettes which smacked of India`s regally grand past.
Rohit Bal showcased a spectacular men`s wear collection `Balance`. He began with pure white cable-knitted full-length jackets, skirts and pants, and moved onto the black dhoti inspired wrap-flap pants and elaborately embroidered jackets in brown and burnished red. Magnificent capes and ponchos, and crocheted wraps were used as accessories. Outstanding was the of use bird motifs as embellishment- with soaring Navajo eagles and hens predominating, in form of embroideries and prints on almost all the ensembles. Other jackets, equally imposing included those made of richly coloured pink, orange, blue and multi-hued quilted silk brocades, embroidered to princely perfection with fine silver and gold threads, as well as Christian priest-like cassocks in jet black; tribal red and black pants and jackets; and Kutchi embroidered and mirror-worked bombers. A multitude of long leather straps and silver buckles appeared regularly, creating a sense of bondage and authoritarianism. The jackets were teamed with massive crinkled skirts.
All in whites to symbolize purity of thoughts, Rohit Bal went back to his Kashmiri roots and "Wark Ka Kaam" a gold and silver leaf printing technique from Kashmir was revived for his collection. The silhouettes were Vintage Bal- Empire line long tops, jackets with Nehru style collars and full ghera skirts.
Wills Lifestyle IFW 2006
An Indian technique of tie-dye and a Japanese technique of Shibori, block print & digital print inspired the clothes. The embellishments were minimal. However there was an extensive use of sequin work. Fabrics ranged from silk velvet to georgette, chiffon and fine silk woven in Varanasi, Calcutta and Bhagalpur etc. The color palette was very somber with colors like tabac, indigo, grey, teal, dark grey etc. The look was layered and feminine. There was also the use of exquisite woven brocade, which had been used extensively throughout the collection.