Shantanu Goenka on his latest collection

Shantanu Goenka’s Fleur de Jardin looks as pretty as a picture. Given the times we are in, the idea was to make something eternal, beautiful and enduring. The Telegraph spoke to Shantanu, who has been designing for more than two decades, on the collection and why his design perspective has shifted towards the classic.

Fleur de Jardin looks lovely. The pastels are dreamy and the mood laid-back. What was on your mind?

Fleur de Jardin, in French, means garden of flowers. I haven’t kept it for the spring-summer season though. Keeping the circumstances in mind, it can be worn during the winter or summer. I do mostly florals.

What kind of a mindspace were you in while making this range?

When we came out of the lockdown and people started going out shopping for weddings, I wanted to do a collection they could relate to… for intimate weddings and not over the top. It had to be sustainable, focusing a lot on embroidery and detailing. Timeless, classic, but fuss-free and relaxed.

We started doing this collection last year and it was supposed to be released last spring, but sampling got delayed because of the pandemic shutting everything down. We just thought that it was something universal and we relaunched it this summer and freshly made it this year. Our clients told us that they felt happy when they saw the collection. After a dark cloud, it was a ray of sunshine.

Tell us about the beautiful embellishments…

Everything is hand-done. The idea was to create something lace-like as if you have got fabric from Lyon or Paris, like those Chantilly laces. There are a lot of three-dimensional hand-cut flowers, embellished with tonal shimmer like miyuki beads and Japanese sequins. Everything is sparkly but subtle. No gold, no silver. It is very tone-on-tone and understated.

You do have a red, but you have also experimented with pastels. What kind of brides do you have in mind?

We have done it (red) for the bride or for someone who likes a pop of colour or maybe someone who is picking up our collection from within the collection. We will move to greens and blues for the winters from the same collection, but for summers, we have kept it to blushes, vanilla and lavenders.

Every bride has her own mindset. She has her own picture of her wedding that she has painted and she just needs to choose the right outfit, colour or designer. We have brides coming in for golds, reds and darker colours. So, we have done a collective mix of colours.

What would be your top tip for a pandemic bride?

I would tell her not to compromise on her wedding day with her look. Most of the brides don’t care if there are 50 or 500 guests, they want to look their best. Those are for the albums. Obviously, don’t go over the top and act responsibly during these times.

As a designer, what are your eternal wedding faves?

Red will always be my favourite, the rouge, the Chanel red, the lipstick red. In a lot of colour schemes they call it the Valentino red. I also love soft pinks. We also have these colours in our collections.

Tell us about the most beautiful wedding you have been a part of?

I was in Doha for a wedding which was beautiful. It was more family and friends, by the beach. We had a great time.

Your favourite celebrity bride would be?

Among the celebrities who got married in recent times, I have loved Anushka’s (Sharma) look the best. The colours, the Italian countryside… everything went well with her look. She was glowing and you could see that happiness on her face.

Finally, you shot this collection remotely. Tell us about the experience.

This was the first time, but Lakshmi (Rana) put together the whole shoot for me. Ayesha Nigam was styling the shoot and Anubhav Sood shot it. Anu Kaushik did the hair and make-up. So, the team was great. Of course I would have loved to be there and when I see a picture of a shoot I am not a part of, I always think I could have done this, added a personal touch. I would have flown down to Delhi because I am very passionate about what I do, but I couldn’t take the risk.

You were saying, you have moved into the timeless genre. Did the pandemic give it a boost?

It has taught us a big lesson of getting one with the family again and value relationships. It took me back to the past when there were not too many gadgets. The pandemic might have brought about a little shift in how I design now, but I had already changed my approach to fashion. I was getting into the mood of doing a lot of saris. It is slowly getting extinct. We are trying to push the sari into revival. People won’t regret buying a classic.

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