As a befitting tribute to couturier JJ Valaya’s 25 years in the fashion industry, Swarovski celebrated its long-standing association with the brand with a swinging evening at Bikaner House. JJ Valaya’s iconic Alika Jacket was in focus, as a showcase of the designer’s regal designs that are known for their underlying grain of splendour, royalty and craft.
To celebrate the 25 years of fabulous fashion, JJ Valaya has created 25 special editions of the ALIKA, using his signature embroideries, detailing and crystals from Swarovski. Each jacket represents one year of the 25 years of House of Valaya’s outstanding journey. Conceptualisd in 2010, a cross between a shirt and a jacket, the ALIKA loosely shares its DNA with the Indian traditional garment, the ‘Sadri’. Each design includes crystals chosen by JJ Valaya from the Swarovski library including the Scarlet Red, pacific opal, crystal with pearl hot fix along with, sew-ons and fancy stones in colors of Gold patina, Luminous Green & crystal Golden shadow.
In a unique creative association, 24 well-known designers & creative influencers have collaborated with JJ Valaya to celebrate this significant landmark of the brand. These 24 creative spirits have crafted a unique synergy by infusing their own distinct signatures along with the ALIKA to showcase its versatility and timeless appeal. Finally, the outcome of these synergies have been photographed by JJ Valaya himself at the Roseate House in Delhi, creating newer expressions of creativity and were displayed over a curated art exhibit and installation at the grand evening held at the Bikaner House. JJ VALAYA has collaborated with Alpana – Neeraj, Amrapali, Antar Agni, Archana Rao, Dhruv Kapoor, Eka, Ekaya, Akaaro – Gaurav Jai Gupta, Gautam Kalra, Ikai, Malini Banerji, Nappa Dori – Gautam Seth, Nicobar, Payal Pratap Singh, Pernia Qureshi, Pero, Peter D’ascoli, Punit Jasuja, RimzimDadu, Shivan & Narresh, Suket Dhir, Sumant Jayakrishnan, Swati & Sunaina, Tanira Sethi.
JJ Valaya said, “When I started my career as a designer, it was in a different India. A handful of us (in the late 80’s and early 90’s) were responsible for defining the very concept of fashion in India (a movement started by the late Rohit Khosla, my creative mentor and undoubtedly the father of modern Indian fashion). And what a thrilling ride it’s been! The ALIKA is my humble attempt to create something timeless …one that is highly versatile and sits as easily on a pair of jeans as it does over a beautiful sari. With that in mind, in 2010, I conceptualized a jacket, which had the ability to stand the test of time and only grow in value due to its sheer versatility. This Jacket, born out of an urge to create something permanent in the ever-changing world of fashion, was christened the ALIKA, after a royal courtesan, who, till date, remains a figment of my imagination.
Today’s designers, like many of the ilk in the past, continue to feverishly redefine or fine-tune the Indian style language. Sustainability, Handwoven, Khadi, Benaras are no longer passé but are in fact, the new chic. This year, we decided to take the ALIKA into new territories, and in creating 25 special editions, each signifying one year of the 25 years of the brand, we decided to invite 24 creative individuals to come on board. Be it fabric, silhouette, technique, craft or even their own spirit, these are those creative minds, who I believe, are successfully managing to interpret a new India in a distinct, modern and beautiful style of their own.
The ALIKA project is therefore about celebration, and I am humbled to see how these fabulous 24 have created a unique synergy by infusing their distinct signatures with the ALIKA. Needless to say, I am deeply thankful for their enthusiasm, generosity and graciousness. I wish all of them the very best for an immensely satisfying journey as they go ahead in making India modern a highly covetable style statement.”
JJ Valaya’s Look for the Celebration – The Black Bride –Black has always been a colour of contradiction, and the special edition of the ALIKA, which showcases Valaya’s signature ‘Shifting leaves’ chevron, plays on this duality of black to make a subtle statement. In a world today, largely tormented by negativity, violence, racism and dark influences, he chose to celebrate black in a positive spirit. The Black Bride is a paradox and a silent prayer for peace and tranquility.
Vivek Ramabhadran, Vice President – South-Asia, Swarovski Professional said that ”JJ Valaya has had a glorious run for 25 years, and through his period he has been one of vanguards for integrating the essence of luxury, Indian craft, royalty into couture. In that process, he has also been one of the foremost fashion leaders giving shape and form to the couture industry in India. From the outset, JJ Valaya has been one of the leading ambassadors in playing with the sparkling canvas of Swarovski, and his partnerships with Swarovski have gone beyond bridal couture, to interiors, art installations and most recently a very successful fashion jewelry line. We congratulate him on the momentous occasion, and wish him all the very best for the next 25 years.”