Saran Kohli: Fashion That RocksBy Lavina Melwani • Aug 31st, 2010 • Category: 24/7 Talk is Cheap - The Blog
Meet Saran Kohli….
He’s designed togs for Jay Sean, Fugitive, Mumzy Stranger, Juggy D, Ameet Chana, Bikram Singh and several other musicians and actors. Now he’s designing for the new film ‘London Town’ and soon the staff of Bloombury Hotel in London will be wearing uniforms styled by him. He’s into music, dance and choreography and actually has his own dance group which has performed in the UK and India.
Meet Saran Kohli, 24, a fashion designer from London who translates musicality into a fashion statement with an urban collection of menswear ranging from jackets to shoes. His slim English silhouettes, striking jackets, tapered trousers and in-your-face accessories were just launched in New York.
Saran is from a Sikh family and learned Hindi and Punjabi from his granddad, a retired colonel in New Delhi. He learned about fashion from his mother, Mani Kohli, a fashion designer, and studied at the London School of fashion.
He mixes East and West in his rock star styling, using luxurious Italian fabrics and Indian embroideries with a touch of London attitude to create clothes which call for attention. See Me! Wear Me! I am a star!
Yes, the surest way to feel like a celebrity is to dress like one!
A CHAT WITH SARAN KOHLI
Here in his own words, the world of Saran Kohli – a designer to watch.
1. The Saran Kohli line is edgy and young – where do you get your inspiration and how do you go about creating a look?
Since I was a kid, my interest was in the performing arts and I was exposed to music, fashion and films. I loved to highlight the personality of dancers, actors and musicians through clothing and draping. My collection utilizes cuts and draping which are ideal for stage and screen.
I love to travel and am constantly in India, Europe and America and this has led me to understand culture and how people represent themselves through clothing. I like to do global style for the well traveled man.
I create my collection through constant research and experimentation of cuts, patterns and embroidery to put together a line. When in India I always take the opportunity to travel to a new city and learn its history – and that always revives timeless and classic styles of clothing.
2. Tell us about your growing up years?
I was born in the East London town of East Ham in a Sikh family. My parents moved to London in the late 70′s after their marriage – which didn’t last long. I moved to India at the age of two with my sister to live with my grand-parents while my mom started her fashion business in order to build a new life for us.
My early childhood was spent in New Delhi, and to me those were the best days of life as I grew up in an army household with my grandfather, a retired colonel. It gave me the opportunity to embrace Indian culture and learn to speak, read and write Hindi and Punjabi. I moved back to London at the age of 12 and continued my education and have lived there since.
3. When did you first realize you want to be in the fashion business?
I was exposed to fashion through my mom’s first boutique ‘Khubsoorat Collection’. Coming from a single family, I was involved in her working life and that introduced me to the world of Indian fashion and her passion towards her craft. When I was 16, I spent the majority of my time in the boutique, helping in sales and also choreographing catwalk shows.
4. Saran, what are your earliest memories of wanting to be in the fashion world?
When I was six, I used to be glued to the TV, watching Michael Jackson performing stunning dance sequences in elaborate costumes. I would put my wardrobe together by picking random clothing with the help of my mom who would add her touch of magic with embroidery and glitter. Made me feel like Michael Jackson!
5. You’ve designed for some noted names in films and music – any fun anecdote to relate?
I’ve met some very talented and interesting artists, and have had great moments creating a look while learning a lot about life and creative energies through their perspectives. In particular, international pop sensation Jay Sean. We discussed ideas and he left everything to me. This was a daring situation for me! As a young up-and-coming designer to have Jay Sean as a body-form meant there would be high expectations. The thrilling moment was when he saw the end result and decided to do a photo shoot – a dream come true for me! Jay is a very humble individual and a role model for all of us to follow.
6. Tell me about the dance group Snach – are you still a part of it and how many dancers in it?
Dancing is something I was born with, and at the age of 17 I put together my own dance group ”Snach” which was initially called “S-Nach” – S stood for Saran and Nach for dance in Hindi. It changed when I meet my dance partner Arika Murtza and formed a 4 person group initiating styles of street, hip-hop, jazz fused with eastern music and dance forms.
The concept was very well received and we started performing at university shows, charity events, and concerts and even flew to India and New York to perform. Today my partner and I create new concepts and work more with students and young children as a teaching platform to encourage dance and boost confidence.
7. I heard you’re designing the staff uniforms for the Bloomsbury Hotel?
I introduced a suiting label called “Corzetti” earlier this year. The company already had activity in Italy and is very well known in India therefore I was appointed style director for UK and the US. The Bespoke range is aimed at the executive and corporate environment in London. I held an exhibition at the renowned Bloomsbury hotel and the General Manager was so impressed that I as asked to design the new uniforms for the hotel staff.
8. Tell me about designing the costumes for the new movie ‘London Town.’
The Film ‘London Town’ is a brainchild of UK director Michael De’Sioye and is set for release this year. . I meet Katie MacDonald, who is the costume designer for the movie. at an event. She set up a meeting with Michael and they asked me to design for the main characters of the movie.
9. Which American celebrity would you most like to design for?
There are so many talented people in America but if I had the opportunity I would love to design for rapper Kanye West who can don any tailored look and for actor Taylor Lautner from the Twilight Series.
10. What are your thoughts about New York City?
New York is the fashion capital of the world with one of the most diverse societies. It’s a city of dreams and every visit leaves me stunned at the beautiful landscapes of its high rise buildings. For fashion it offers unlimited inspiration with influences from all over the world and this is very much evident when you walk around the city.