A conscious effort was made to mobilise local resources in an attempt to celebrate local crafts and cultures with due regard and appreciation for the vernacular over the course of the campaign. Ritu Kumar and Ashiesh Shah closely collaborated with visual artists from the various cities that have inspired the collection -- Amer, Jaisalmer and Kochi. Referencing multiple cultures, the collaborators worked in tandem with a team of people from varied backgrounds, each infusing a distinct character in visualising the campaign. The true essence of the collection is contained in the energy and warmth exuded by the locals. IANSlife spoke to Amrish Kumar, Director and Creative Director, Ritu Kumar and Ashiesh Shah, Principal and Founder, Atelier Ashiesh Shah to get more details Q: Tell us about the coming of two forces for the collaboration? Amrish: Ashiesh is well known for his modern interpretation of indigenous aesthetic and art form. He has drawn inspiration from different regions and designed a collection which captures the essential cultural, aesthetic and mood of the place. The collection is familiar and rooted while being forward looking and clean. Q: Ashiesh Shah design aesthetics are minimalistic, how do you envision the coming together of two different design identities? Amrish: Ritu Kumar home extends the brands DNA of craftsmanship into pieces for the home. The brand is about preserving our design legacy while offering a more contemporary version of it. The products are playful and beautiful, yet versatile and global. Q: What is the target market you are tapping for this collection? Amrish: All the three collections exude a sense of timelessness and neutrality thereby being well suited for all age brackets very much in tune with the current modern lifestyle. The fluidity of the collection enables it to be mixed and matched with existing design objects. It is a quick way to spruce up one's home or lend a new aesthetic to its interior environment. Q: Tell us about the inspiration behind the collection? Ashiesh: The collection serves as an extension of the in-depth conversations and exchanges between Ritu Kumar Home and Atelier Ashiesh Shah adapting to a generation old practice of textile with the Atelier imbuing its flavour and language. It integrates design philosophies from elements that are specific to the context of certain regions with emphasis on their architecture and way of life. Every region was thoroughly researched to determine a mood board and its overarching colour palette that finds its way through the entirety of the collection, suggestive of its immediate environment. Drawing inspiration from traditional Indian fashion and textiles, the collections are truly a celebration of the rich cultural and architectural diversity presented with a contemporary flair. Q: The art of hosting -- in terms of the decor -- table setup, cutlery, selections, what does it mean to you? Ashiesh: Largely based on the number of people invited, the art of hosting varies from case to case. In the case of an intimate group of people, a minimal set up with a singular hero element would work wonders. However, with a larger group, an extensive and elaborate set up with adequate layering in the foreground and background becomes absolutely integral in concocting exceptional imagery. For instance, a beautiful plate or a distinct set of cutlery can be accentuated with the aid of a backdrop, perhaps a platform or table mat in the background to highlight it thereby creating a statement. Q: Post-pandemic, the gatherings have been much more intimate, share your thoughts on curating experiences. Ashiesh: Although experiences can be tailored to be multi-sensorial with special emphasis on elements such as sound, taste and perhaps the smell working in tandem with one another creating a cohesive and pleasant experience, I think the best way of creating an experience is bringing one's best personality forward coupled with interesting and insightful conversations, keeping it warm and real. In light of the pandemic, one could also be very deliberate in curating an interesting guest list to ensure that everyone has a wholesome and delightful experience.
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