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The ‘surreal’ world of Jatin Malik

Once used to deck up your home, Salvador Dali’s artworks can now be worn as a piece of clothing. Fashion designer Jatin Malik’s latest collection is inspired from the surrealist artist’s paintings.

Fashion designer Jatin Malik’s infatuation with art led him to look out for artists who were adept at translating ideas in subconscious mind on the canvas. That’s when he stumbled upon Salvador Dali’s works. Dali was proficient at conceiving a painting in his mind before putting it on paper. This struck chords with the designer and gave birth to his latest collection titled ‘Dali’, which draws inspiration from the Spanish maestro artist.

Malik’s collection features 100 looks. Each ensemble carries ~3-4 articles (clothes as well as shoes), which are handmade, hand-printed and hand-stitched to perfection. The collection also carries intricate embroidery, textures and motifs, along with concept looks.

All pieces are a work of art. The collection includes Dali’s signature elements, abstract patterns as well as colours, which has been interpreted in different ways. For instance, the orange clock in Dali’s ‘The persistence of memory’ artwork has been replicated as a standalone piece as a shoe in gold, which rests on brown-coloured suede base.

Similarly, the designer replicated the sunflowers in the artist’s paintings in different ways. He used sunflowers on shoes by hand-painting them and added them a textured look along with other elements and embroidery on a coat.

When asked if different looks were created on purpose, Malik pointed out that since everything was handmade, it was difficult to replicate the techniques on the fabric.

“It was hard to visualise the art at first and execute the fluidity in terms of the embroidery and put it on the paper as well as the garment. To ace it, we broke down the front placket of the garment and gave it completely abstract form,” he shares.

In terms of fabrics, Malik refrained from using heavy threads. He says, “They do not work with fluidic embroidery.”

He instead used linen silk in sherwanis, shrugs and jackets to add free flow fabric and flattering silhouette. However, the designer kurtas carry concept looks with different fabrics.

In terms of prints and hand-crafted embroidered pieces, the collection features certain signature styles, such as, aari, dabka, French knots and hand-painted kurta. These were decided based on the fabric’s quality. The collection also includes ‘paani ka kaam’, which is a Persian embroidery popular in Rajasthan.

The collection also features hand-painted coats and jackets. Calling it as the three-tier embroidery, Malik says, “It uses a lot of three-dimensional (3D) elements. In this, we hand-painted the fabrics and surface textured them. They were then ornated with 3D elements, such as dabkas or aari.”

This is not the first time the designer is smitten by an artist. Last year, his collection took inspiration from another maestro artist, Pablo Picasso. He featured cubism comprising of geometric patterns and straight lines in the designed outfits.

However, ‘Dali’ comes after a long span of nearly seven months. Apparently, the designer spent ample time with his team in pre-production to create some of the Dali’s artworks outdoors. He employed artists, who sketched the artworks on paper, and workers, who welded stainless steel pieces to create their replica, giving the designer a chance to see how the final pieces would look in different colours.

Jatin Malik’s works can be viewed at the designer’s flagship store, Jatin Malik Couture in Defence Colony, New Delhi.

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