“I don’t believe in trends. My personal opinion is that trends don’t work. Just wear something, stand in front of the mirror and just be honest to yourself. If it works for you, it’s trendy enough.” – JJ Valaya
Known for combining the old with the new, the subtle with the bold, the ordinary with the distinct, and the offbeat with the mainstream, JJ Valaya is the true sardar of Indian fashion. His artistic skill, taste and design are different from any other Indian designer—he’s been doing this longer than most of them too. His masterful blend of modern and traditional is ideal for both bride and groom. So, if you want to stand out from the crowd at your wedding in a truly unique way, be sure to pick this fashion guru’s latest designs from 2013-2014.
The year that was: 2013
Fondly bestowed with the titles of the ‘czar’ and ‘maharaja’ of bridal couture, JJ Valaya wowed the crowd with yet a new set of masterpieces at the India Bridal Fashion Week 2013 in Delhi. He chose to exhibit the the heritage of Iberian fabric—artfully playing with the mural concepts, naval inventory and matador costumes of Spain—and successfully fuse it with Indian handicrafts and motifs. The focus of the theme was the classic, Spanish red rose, which was artfully included in the lehenga borders, daintily adorning the hairdos of the models, and peeping out from the shoulders of the creative choli jackets. This event truly reiterated Valaya’s role as a trendsetter in the bridal fashion industry.
Looking ahead: 2014
The Delhi Couture Week saw the return of the Ottoman Empire in JJ Valaya’s royal collection, ‘The Azrak’. Grand props, a regal setting and a heavy dose of embroidery and delicate motifs in metal work, zardozi, badla and semiprecious stones upheld the theme.
From saris, achkans, lehangas to anarkalis, there was every design an Indian bride could desire. Even the menswear had some interesting designs in the form of sherwanis and jodhpuris in classy colours, cuts and prints. An innovative mix of belts and jackets on saris was the highlight of the event.
After a great start to the year and many accolades later, we wish Mr. Valaya much more success in 2014!
JJ Valaya is one of the founding members of Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI). The fashion label, “House of Valaya”, that was established in 1992 embodies the very essence of his style. He was also the first global brand ambassador of the crystal giant Swarovski. JJ Valaya’s couture label—JJ Valaya—comprising his trousseau line, was launched in 1993 and has been growing from strength to strength ever since. He has showcased his designs at countless Indian and international fashion weeks. His other accomplishments include the following:
- He was the first Indian student to win The Prixd’ Incitation at the Young Designers International Competition held in Paris
- He won the Elyxa Award at The NIFT Graduation Show, New Delhi (1991)
- He won the Thapar Dupont Medal at The NIFT Graduation Show, New Delhi for the most innovative use of fabric (1991)
- He won the first prize at the KLM-NIFT Alumni competition held in Mumbai, India (1992)
- He was the first Indian designer to showcase his designs along with an American designer (Todd Oldham) in New York at the Plaza Hotel, 5th Avenue in a unique fundraiser (1998)
After reading this long ode to his talent, skill, capability, and mastery, we realise that JJ Valaya’s achievements leave very little to imagination. He remains one of the biggest names in the bridal trousseau market in India, and is truly a force to be reckoned with.