A dimly lit staircase with framed photographs of yesteryear models on the walls leads to his room. Dressed in a white collared shirt and blue pants, his red socks adding a dash of colour, designer Ashish N Soni sits in a corner, sipping green tea. A sense of calm pervades the room. And this comes as a surprise. After all, one does not expect the finale designer of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week’s (WIFW) Spring-Summer 2014 edition to be so composed. There is no madness in the workshop, no soaring tempers, no frantic phone calls and no sound of hurried footsteps. “I function best in calm. Practice has taught me that some people work in madness. Young designers feed off that energy and so did I at one point of time,” says Soni.
In fact, such is his level of meticulousness that Soni’s collection titled “La Dolce Vita”, to be presented on October 13 at Pragati Maidan, is ready, and tomorrow onwards, he will only be “clinically” looking at each piece — every buttonhole, stitch and sleeve. Inspired by the glamour of Hollywood in the ’50s, Soni, who is best-known for his sharp tailoring, brings to the ramp both menswear and womenswear.
From style statements made by Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn, to fashionably forward classics such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the 40-something designer aims to recreate that era. “I feel that after the ’50s, across the world, we forgot about shringar. There is no time to look glamorous and that’s why we look for occasions — black ties, red carpets and even weddings. I refer to this block of clothing as ‘ceremonia’,” says Soni.
Even as he discusses a skirt pattern with his masterji, a few members of his team work on the guest list, while others cut fabric for another ensemble. Soni is patient, taking one step at a time, just the way he has done in his 20-year-long career. He personifies simplicity and his shows ride high on his creations only. But this range, it seems, is a bit different. The fabrics are opulent — French Chantilly lace, astrakhan (fake Russian fur), taffeta, satin and pure silk —