Indian designer JJ Valaya was born in Rajasthan, India. ‘Rajasthan’ literally means ‘land of kings’ which might have been the inspiration behind JJ Valaya’s brand philosophy; ‘We are the new royalty…a new Indian Raj (king) that is determined to spread his wings globally’. The history of Rajasthan includes the reign of several royals and emperors. This state has rich cultural heritage including impressive architecture; majestic forts and temples atop or surrounded by mountains. A lot of Bollywood films were shot in Rajasthan because of this. One that shows the beautiful architecture best, in my opinion, is the film Paheli.
House of Valaya
The House of Valaya was founded in 1992 by JJ Valaya and his brother TJ Singh with the launch of their couture label. JJ Valaya has traveled a lot through India during his younger years. His experiences travelling the country and coming across different cultures and traditions has inspired his designs. JJ Valaya’s creations are all about elegance. The grandeur and opulence of India’s past rulers is a recurring theme for his collections. I admire the craftsmanship; the intricate embroidery that embellishes the lehenga skirts and tops are breathtaking. JJ Valaya adds modernity to classic Indian designs. He plays around with different silhouettes and accessories to create a certain freshness to looks inspired by India’s rich cultural past. This is why JJ Valaya describes his designs as ‘the future of the past’ referring to the merge of pastand present fashion styles.
India Bridal Week Collection
The collection shown at India Bridal Week is very impressive. I love the combination of vibrant reds, oranges and deep blue combined with gold. The patterns and embroidery styles are a feast for the eyes. I think a lot of western designers could learn from Indian designers like JJ Valaya when it comes to intricate embroidery styles and mixing cultural influences into contemporary styles. Paris Fashion Week recently showcased haute couture collections by Armani Privé and Valentino, both inspired by the orient. These collections included creative East meets West designs. I do feel if they dived deeper into different cultures and traditional oriental clothing styles, they could come up with even better looks than they already have. I think a JJ Valaya, East meets West collection could really shake things up in the fashion world. India’s senior designers should step up to show the world their versions of this popular theme. Until then, enjoy some of my top picks from JJ Valaya’s India Bridal Week runway show.
Read more about JJ Valaya on: valaya.com