Written by Somya Suresh
Edited by Vaidehi Mirashi
Menswear from the Kanika Goyal Label | Picture Courtesy: kanikagoyallabel.com
Picture the perfect balance of structure with flowy fabrics, gowns fused with sharp cuts and geometric patterns. An ensemble that doesn’t take much but certainly gives a lot in return. Kanika Goyal’s label is all about provocative minimalism; the perfect concoction of sexy and no-skin-show.
At times you sense androgyny, but then you see Alia Bhatt wearing her “As If” tee with a skirt so sporty chic that you’re instantly swayed away from that thought. In a market that’s flooded with choices, a new designer often gets swallowed up like your favourite dress in a closet full of clothes. But Kanika Goyal is hard to miss, a Parsons and NIFT alumna; a breath of fresh air in the already overstuffed designer jumble. I’ve seen her label grow right from the day I stumbled upon her Instagram account and somehow, I knew she was going to be an entrant worth watching.
Alia Bhatt at the AIB knockout in Kanika Goyal Label Picture Courtesy: 3.bp.blogspot.com
Goyal has interned under prestigious labels such as Marchesa, Bibhu and Prada and is the best advertisement for her brand. We discussed fashion from a perspective that’s generally never spoken of, from fabrics and prints to menswear and the future of design. An interview with her was a no-fuss process and my conversation was casual, chatty, filled with what I like to call #fashiongk.
Her first big stepping stone to success was her diffusion line, now available at Jabong.com. The collection is called ‘Traveller of Life’ and has contrasting prints and fabrics, combining florals with stripes and denim.
Picture Courtesy: kanikagoyallabel.com
Goyal, in fact, is one of those few who has aced menswear in terms of design. Clean cuts, suave yet dapper; her designs have underpinnings of ‘COOL’ from the 90s, but work really well for current seasons. She’s mixed marsala with velvet, paisley prints with colour blocking. She confesses that men in India aren’t as brave or inclined to experiment with fashion as men are abroad: “Most men want to take the same beaten down route, play safe, and not risqué or suave at all.”
Her clothes have the luxury of designer wear, but will stand out on every high street window display. It’s these contrasting elements of her ideology that make her truly stand out. As a Gen Next designer at the Lakme Fashion Week, Goyal says “The whole experience of doing so many things at once is overwhelming, but it’s exciting and challenging!”
Her collection is called ‘The Creatures of the Night’, which she explains, “is about how every human being looks forward to a new day, a new hope. When they let go off everything and want to start afresh after the night has exhausted them. That’s what I’m going to show.” While it certainly sounds impressive, when I asked her what I’m going to see on the runway, an enthusiastic Goyal responded almost gleefully, “beiges, blacks, whites, dark purple, and prints of shattered glass, and boxy silhouettes, slogan tees like what you saw before – she pauses for a breath before continuing – I have only eight looks to show and I don’t know how all this is going to happen.”
Kanika Goyal herself
Picture courtesy: Twitter
My next obvious question that should have followed is ‘What’s been your inspiration?’, but it wasn’t. I was curious about her life in America, the country which has been one of the driving forces behind this billion dollar industry. She talks about getting inspired by Andy Warhol, the culture at Studio 54, moving forward to Mc Queen, Kate Moss and Marc Jacobs building their empires. She loves the era, keeps going back to it and reignites the fire into what can be called some of the most influential decades in art.
Goyal connects human emotions in her design vocabulary, making her creations speak louder than the appearances they make.
She comes across as a young but extremely strong creative influence to many like her.
When I asked her to tell me the one celebrity whom she wants to see in her clothes,pat came the answer, “I am going to go ahead and say Beyonce; I know I’m stretching it, but yes, that’s who I’d like to see.”
Her only piece of advice to every other designer is “Believe in yourself and your work, and never let your passion be affected by the roadblocks you face!”