Big brothers always get advantage of being noticed, while the younger ones are often ignored. And same is the case with Hauz Khas Village and its lesser-explored cousin Shahpur Jat. However, this sleepy neighbourhood has everything to offer from home-made Bengali food at Big Bong Theory to Anamika Singh’s tea room Anandini Himalaya Tea and quaint and small designer store of Chatenya Mittal.
Chatenya Mittal’s store, located on the backside of the Fashion Street of Shahpur Jat, houses some of the most beautiful and trendy range of men’s wear. He is one of the many designers who started his career with 2012 London Fashion Week and has since gone on to create latest and trendy men’s wear.
Mittal stocks dresses for all occasions, whether it’s for your brother’s wedding or your sangeet function. The store is quite spacious with one side all the jackets, while other with all the kurtas and sherwani courts.
Here is our exclusive interview with the up-and-coming talent:
NWI: Why did you decide to become a fashion designer?
CM: I never felt like I had a choice. It just seemed natural as I always wanted to translate my ideas into fashion. To say I wanted to get into fashion design would be a lie as my love for pattern cutting lead me to develop my design ethos.
NWI: What is your favourite part about being in this industry?
CM: Well, fashion design is a whole process and it’s difficult to pick the part I like the best. But I think that the most important and challenging part of the process is when you translate your drawing into a real piece. Working with the fabrics and other textiles, you can come across many difficulties because the materials might be problematic, or perhaps the idea on paper is not that easy to bring into reality. So overcoming those little challenges is the most exciting part for me in the whole design process.
NWI: What was your inspiration behind 2012 London Fashion Week?
CM: My inspiration behind 2012 show was Warriors from Asia. Warriors like Genghis Khan, Tipu Sultan, Mughals etc.
NWI: Are you looking to take your designs to Bollywood?
CM: Yes I am planning to take my designs to Bollywood. For that I am planning to get into Lakme Fashion Week this year.
NWI: Who are the celebrities you would love to dress up & why?
CM: I don’t really design with any specific celebrity in mind but it’s always a good feeling to see a celeb don your creation for some occasion or the other. Though I feel actor and actresses like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Singh, Shahrukh Khan represent the modern Indian – they are global Indians embodying an Indian essence with an international appeal.
NWI: What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
CM: There is a lot of scope and opportunities for aspiring designers today. You have to be passionate, driven and always remember that there is no shortcut to success. Creativity is a work in progress, so continue to enhance it and never confine it.
NWI: A fashion tip you would love to give?
CM: Don’t over accessorize and do select colours that suit your skin tone. A simple elegant look is forever classy.
NWI: Are you planning to go for eco-fashion?
CM: I think fashion is one of the most influential industries in the world. I am already using fabrics like linens, jutes, giza cottons etc in my collection. Fashion is a living art that reinvents itself every single season so why not refocus this art with a new attitude on consumption?
NWI: What are your future plans?
CM: The main future goal is to aspire to be an independent fashion business with an identifiable brand. With that come the rewards of loyal customers! The focus will be on sales and production. And in the pipeline, more one-off pieces throughout the season and designing for new collections with a variety of collaborations!
NWI: As a designer, what has been the turning point for your life?
CM: My first show after graduation from university in London was truly the turning point of my life. I get to know lot of fashion industry people after then only I started my work experience which helped me what I am today as a designer.
NWI: How do you get ideas for your new collection?
CM: I get inspiration from all over but most of my inspiration comes from my travels (I am a traveler at heart), architecture, art and of course leathers and the look/feel/color/finish. I can envision handbags just thinking of how the skins will drape and how the different textures will blend together. Also, color is one of my greatest inspirations right now. I am in love with color these days. Color is so powerful. Love being surrounded by an amazing, vibrant palette…from tropical landscapes to unique architecture.
NWI: What do you hope to achieve in your career?
CM: The focus now, though, is not the past, but the future for CHATENYA MITTAL. I would like it to be as established a brand like Paul Smith, in 5 years’ time “We’re three years in. We think we do good stuff. We think we have an interesting-ish take on the world of clothes. But we’re a long way from being an established business. There are lots of people who are miles ahead of us. But the fun is: how do we get there? I’m also working on my Spring/Summer collection and staying open to other interesting opportunities.