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Waris Ahluwalia Launches New Fashion Line




Waris Singh Ahluwahlia is one of New York's many polymaths. He's a designer, actor, artist, fashion muse, style icon and story teller. He's a man-about-town - women adore him - and is photographed at the chicest events wearing a custom made Savile Row suit, pocket square, cashmere scarf and a turban.

House of Waris, his jewellery company, has been described as "idiosyncratically beautiful" - all pieces are handcrafted in Jaipur, and so he splits his time between India and New York. The one of a kind pieces are sold at Colette in Paris, Barneys in New York and Liberty in London, amongst other luxury stores.

Now he has designed a more affordable diffusion line called ' Waris Loves You ', which is on sale now.

Karen Elson performed with her band - wearing feather headdresses - at a glamorous launch party in New York's landmark Woolworth building on Thursday night (Febrary 10, 2011).

Of his varied work, Waris says: "This is all just an expression. I am less comfortable saying I am a jeweller and more comfortable saying I am a story teller. I work with gold that holds our past and diamonds that see the future and rubies that long for love. It's just a way of telling a story.

"I feel very comfortable in front of a camera; the jewellery, the underwear, the acting, they are just forms of expression."

Waris Loves You includes underpants with the word "more" emblazoned on them and jewellery that spells out the word "dirty". There are bathrobes that read "Waris Loves You. Dirty.'

"Why did I get naughty in 2011? Let's see ... This is a collection that I have wanted to do for two or three years. The knickers have just been in my drawer for a few years.

"It's cheeky," he admits. "And do you want to know what it's really about? There's an inner dialogue where I am saying that our consumer culture and our wants are sort of dirty. Yes, we want it, we want it now, and we want more.

"I take my work seriously but I don't necessarily take myself seriously. My craftsmen, the stores, the raw materials: that passion is out of control. People who know me know that there's a light-hearted side, humour ... But you could easily say I am cheeky. I like to do downmarket as well as upmarket."

Waris Ahluwalia has appeared on Vanity Fair's International Best-Dressed List. The same year he was anointed one of British GQ's best dressed me and included in Vogue's 10 Most Impactful people of 2010. In 2009, Waris was nominated for the prestigious Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund and later awarded a CFDA Fashion Incubator grant.

"I am aware of people trying to pigeon-hole me and not understanding how the acting goes hand-in-hand with the jewellery design," he says. On the February 15 he will host his first New York Fashion Week presentation, launching a line of scarves made in India: block printed, hand died, silk screened, made of the finest cashmere and silks.

"They might not be comfortable with the idea that I design jewellery and I act. But I don't feel comfortable with being put in a box."

He says that 'Waris Loves You' is how he always used to sign letters and the message would be on his gold embossed, hand- drawn, linen-bound look books for House of Waris.

"I had looked at those words for years. I thought: wait a second, I think we have another line. To me, my favourite thing is looking at the Waris Loves You invitation [to the line's launch party last night] and the House of Waris invitation to our first New York Fashion Week presentation. It's a contrast." One is being held at a nightclub, the other a museum.

All of his work involves his friends and his community. "It's all a chance to work with people I adore," he says.

"No one is hired from an agency. The band that played last night [Elson et al] - they are all friends. None of it is contrived."

And what about his much applauded personal style?

"It's just a certain amount of care. I choose every material I wear. It's a hobby, an interest. But I am equally comfortable just wearing denim as I am in a tuxedo. Or in a grand ballroom or a dirty little bar."


[Courtesy: Telegraph]

February 11, 2011




Conversation about this article

1: Inni Kaur (Fairfield, CT, U.S.A.), February 11, 2011, 12:57 PM.

... And we LOVE Waris!

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