From working with the best of Bollywood, right from Tara Sutaria to Jacqueline Fernandez and Madhuri Dixit to Janhvi Kapoor, Punit Balana in his six years in the fashion industry has stood out for his ethnic classics, with a blend of contemporary. He talks to indianexpress.com on his inspiration, personal style, who he wants to style and more.
You mainly specialise in ethnic; do you plan to foray into western wear as well?
Our collections are usually a mix of both ethnic and contemporary with few western silhouettes in block print. The response we received for it has been amazing, hence we are planning a capsule western collection soon.
How do you think ethnic wear has evolved over the years?
With different cuts, comfortable silhouettes, ethnic wear has found its place in everyday wear and special occasions. Straight kurtas, comfortable cotton saris have made their way to airport looks as well. It is not restricted to special occasions or weddings anymore.
What do you think of mirror work and what draws you to it in your designs?
When I first started using mirror work, the idea was to revive this form of embroidery in a very contemporary way. The technique we use is very unique and looks great with block-printed fabric.
You have styled so many celebrities from Bollywood. Who has been easy to work with and who not so easy?
It has been a pleasure working with all of them and touch wood, I have been very lucky and not faced any issues with anyone. But if I had to name someone who has been easy to work with, it would be Shilpa Shetty Kundra.
What is your personal style?
My personal style is very athleisure. I like to opt for monochromatic schemes and prints in different silhouettes.
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Tara Sutaria (@tarasutaria) walks the walk as she unveils our latest collection, #TheRoyalBagh – and oh she looks so stunning as she adds grace to the collection, and our show at the Lakme Fashion Week (@lakmefashionwk)… Jewellery by @shreejewellersofficial Styled by @tanghavri Photos by @mohitvaru #PunitBalanaAtLakmeFashionWeek #ThePunitBalanaWoman #TheRoyalBagh #TheRoyalBaghAtLFW
What are five must-have Indian pieces in male and female wardrobes?
For women, I would say a white chikankari kurti with a well-fitted churidaar, a Benarasi sari and printed sari in cotton. Then, a flared mul Anarkali and lastly, a kurta with straight-cut pants or a pair of palazzos.
As far as men are concerned, a crisp kurta with a churidaar and a hand-block printed Nehru jacket will be good investments. Then, a sturdy pair of Kolhapuris along with a black bandhgala.
What serves as inspiration for your designs?
I create a design language which always evolves and yet remains rooted in principles of comfort and wearability. All my collections take inspiration from the rich culture and heritage of Rajasthan. I try to capture the beauty of its monuments, baghs, forts in the collections I design.
Who do you think sets the trend for ethnic wear in Bollywood and why?
Kareena Kapoor Khan. Whatever she wears, and the way she carries the ensemble, it becomes a trend.
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The thing about grace is that it’s a lot about simplicity and sophistication, of course with a lot of elegance. How else would you describe Madhuri Dixit Nene (@madhuridixitnene) who stands tall in an outfit from our latest collection… Styled by @shaleenanathani and @disha_punjabi
Which is one actor you would love to work with?
I would love to style Deepika Padukone in a Punit Balana collection.
When do you plan on launching your next collection?
I have been working from home with my design team on a new all-white and buttercup collection. The design and prints are all ready. We will put it under production once things settle down in India and will launch the collection soon, once everything is operational.
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