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The World of Felix Bendish!

INTERVIEW BY ABHIJIT SAIPREM.

I met Felix Bendish for the first time at Lakme fashion week winter/festive 2012 in Mumbai. It was quite a thrilling experience watching his show, visiting his stall and going through his quirky accessories with great appreciation. When I interacted with him I learnt that he is truly an encouraging, humble and highly talented designer. Designer Felix Bendish is the creative director of the brand namedî Felix Bendishî.Apart from designing clothes and accessories, he is also a well-known Bollywood stylist, costume designer, entrepreneur and fashion teacher.

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Designer Felix Bendish.

ABOUT BRAND: The design house creates and develops fashion embroidery ideas for haute couture clothing and designers in Europe and USA.Launched in 2001, has its own in-house design studio in Mumbai,India.The brand dreams of creating beautiful clothing and styling for personal clientele,Bollywood movies, films and television, fashion shows, awards function and fashion consultation. The brand offers from bridal gowns to indo-western fusion wear along with accessories like jewellery, clutches, headgers etc.Every piece is ensured with quality craftsmanship, finish and flawless workmanship in couture embroideries. The designer label has showcased at various fashion shows and weeks like Wills India fashion week in Delhi, Lakme India fashion week in Mumbai, India resort fashion week in Goa,Hong-kong fashion week, London fashion week and many other shows. The designer applies his various Indian embroidery skills in different Fashion products thus playing a major role in uplifting and promoting Indian embroidery and textiles globally.

Abhijit: Tell me a little about yourself, your educational background and design background.

Felix: After my commerce graduation, I got myself enrolled in fashion designing .Since school days I was always interested in designing art and clothes. Anything related to creativity fascinated me. This encouraged me to complete 3 years diploma from L.S.Raheja fashion technology at worli .Mumbai.

Abhijit: You are an embroidery expert! Would like to know why India is known for its various embroideries? What is the strength of Indian embroideries internationally?

Felix: We, Indian designers really need to thank from the bottom of our heart, to our Indian Craftsmen and karigars. It could be in sectors of clothing, stitching, embroideries, weaves, textiles, interiors, art, dyeing and the likes. These karigars come from small towns and villages with immense talent and creativity. We as designers can only design, but these people work with passion and dedication .They patiently†give life and colour to our design work. Especially in Luxury products, our karigars do know how to use their skills with perfection. We are lucky to have diversity in various forms of embroideries, weaving, printing, dyeing etc techniques spread over different regions of our nation. Likewise we have enormous Skilled craftsmen who provide huge variety of textiles for international market to choose. For generations Indian craftsmen are known for their†skills. The entire world looks at us in couture embroideries and†surface ornamentation. My forte in design lies is embroideries .We create beautiful hand embroideries with different techniques in conventional as well as contemporary embroideries. With the help of my workers, we add new dimension in textures and innovative designs that is appealing to my international buyers.

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Abhijit: Apart from designing clothes, you are talented as an accessory designer, Bollywood stylist /costume designer, teaching fashion at fashion schools etc .How do you manage all of these. I want to know whatís the common thread that runs through all these different roles.

Felix:  laughs) my main inspiration behind all this lies in good creative fashion. Fashion could be in form of clothing, accessory, teaching or even cultures. My aim is to create innovative fashion which lies in my capacity .I enjoy it.

Abhijit: What are some of your favourite materials, embroideries, processes to work with? Which are the various Techniques of surface embellishments that you incorporate in your products?

Felix: I use different mediums, like glass beads, crystals, even glass cuttings; fabrics too create my surface ornamentations. I do work with a lot of international designers, fashion couture houses and stores for the past 10 years now. I have always loved embroideries, specially working on the lines of houses like Lesage and finesse (couture embroideries houses) Felixís collection at Lakme fashion week winter/festive 2012 held in August in Mumbai was well appreciated By everyone. The collection entitled ìFLOWî was a tribute to an epic artist Henri Matisse.î Flow in love, flow in spirit, flow in canvas, flow yourself in fashionî were the inspirational lines! Inspired by the fluidity of detailed palette and lines played in his composition, -Felix Bendish celebrates a new era of fashion infused with luxurious dosage of graceful art. The collection featured statement neck-pieces, elaborate brooches along with cocktail headbands and sleek evening clutches all of it minutely detailed and crafted in finest hand embroidery textures.Swarovski elements sparkled through the form of underline detailing. Series of perfect masterpieces harmoniously punctuated every look in the festive season!    

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Abhijit: When starting new collection, do you follow trends? Where do you generally find your inspirations from?

Felix: A good designer always has inspirations. Once you achieve this, then your design process and techniques falls in its place. Trends and forecast helps your design sensibility to go in a particular direction .Inspiration could be in any form. People, culture, social events, nature, architecture or even history. Forecasted trends also give focus to concentrate on creating fashion that the masses are looking Forward to accept at particular season.

Abhijit: As an acclaimed Bollywood costume designer and stylist, how is styling different from designing?

Felix: Costume design- usually a script is given to you. All we need to do is to stick to the character of the movie and design accordingly. One must understand that the costumes should not overshadow the mood of the character of the movie. Research work plays a vital role before designing costumes. Styling- itís a mix of different ensembles of clothes and accessory .Should be creative and trendy for the consumer to enjoy and wear it. Styling is mostly seen in magazines and photo shoots to create an image.

Abhijit: Would like to know about your bridal wear collections and film styling highlights?

Felix: Bridal wear is fun and very time consuming. Right from trendy designing stage to embroidery and stitching, everything needs to be taken care in a systematic way. Itís the most important day for the bridal couple, so attention has to be given to every detailing. Comfort should be kept in mind too.

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Abhijit: What magic does jewellery add to an outfit? What do you love most about designing and creating your own accessories?

Felix: My accessories are very quirky! I believe that sometimes a simple accessory can change the mood of the look. If you are wearing a simple white silhouette, then a colored bib or a neckpiece is all needed to do the trick .Small product with a big fashion impact! At times jewellery is added to complete the look.

Abhijit: How does designing jewellery differ from designing clothes? Which are the different varieties of Necklaces you create?

Felix: Jewellery differs in terms of size and volume as compared to clothing. Designing jewellery can be in real diamonds and gold, or imitation or costume. Cost varies in these aspects. My accessories are in beautiful hand embroidery concepts. Fashionable, easy to wear and trendy! Felix Bendish jewellery was a big hit at Hong Kong fashion week.

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Abhijit: Where do you retail your creations? What are the price points?

Felix: In India I retail at ñ Mumbai- Bombay electric which is a multi designer store. Delhi- Twist fashion store. I export to countries like Japan, America (Texas), London, Middle east and Italy. Abhijit: Several celebrities have worn your creations. Who would be your dream person to see wearing your creations? Felix: I would love- Frieda pinto to don my accessory!

Abhijit: How would you define the style/sensibility your products exemplify?

Felix: Comfort should play the key. One should wear clothes according to their body type and cuts/style lines that help accentuate the best features! Otherwise things could look wrong. Try to avoid too many elements in design.

Abhijit: Describe the general process you go through to design and realize a piece of clothing/product.

Felix: Love working on thematic collections. Once I get the idea right, I start designing in my own variation and style.

Abhijit: Your recent showing at London fashion week was the talk of the town. Would you like to share the experience with us?

Felix: I recently showcased at London fashion week along with British designers. I had done their entire embroideries and accessories. London mainly focuses on good design and street fashion. It was a great experience. British designer Zandra Rhodes flaunting Felix Bendish lizard jewellery! Quirky jewellery!

Abhijit: Thatís incredible!!!We are truly proud!

Felix: (Smiles) thanks.

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Abhijit: What do you think is the most significant progress in contemporary/modern textiles and embroidery techniques within the last 5 to 10 years in India? How has Indian embroidery techniques evolved over the years?

Felix: The world is looking at India for inspiration, textiles and embroideries. Currently India is the topic. India has the capacity to produce mass production, couture embroideries and high end textiles. We do have skilled craftsmen in this country. His collection at India Resort Fashion Week in Goa.

Abhijit: As an embroidery/surface embellishment expert, how are Indian embroidered products received internationally with buyers?

Felix: Pricing plays important, this is the main reason. Traditional products are original with beautiful rich array of bright colours.Traditional Indian colours, prints, patterns are highly appreciated by buyers worldwide. At India Resort Fashion Week in Goa.

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Abhijit: Having been teaching at various fashion schools over the years as guest faculty, What piece of advice would you like to give to graduating designers?

Felix: Focus on PRODUCT. People want value for moneyî.

Abhijit: When in studio/workshop, designers work closely with creative artwork artists, talented embroiderers, skilled craftsmen and weavers. Whatís the rapport you share with them?

Felix: You have to blend with their ideas (karigars) and create beautiful products. Guidance has to be given to them all the time.

Abhijit: Would you like to share with us your future endeavours and plans?

Felix: My next venture is opening my fashion school- B.I.F. The school is in my factory .I believe practical knowledge is so important .Student will get the opportunity to interact and create fashion along with the karigars.

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It opened our minds interviewing Felix Bendish to the world of embroidery .It made us more aware about how hand done Indian embroideries can be applied on various accessory products and give them a modern, contemporary twist .His unconventional jewellery products inspired from horns, antlers, lizards, spikes, alligators, skulls take shapes in form of unisex brooches, neckpieces ,clutches etc which are big hit among his admirers . The demand for hand -done Indian embroidery products has increased over the years as the new generation Of Indian craftsmen, weavers, embroiderers are getting educated and are exploring various other career options. This is giving way to decrease in then umber of skilled craftsmen. Naturally the demand for craftsmen And embroiderers has increased which is also giving more value, demand and profitable prices to hand Embroidered products. Hope the world of Felix Bendish gets richer and vibrant filled with unique and beautiful beads, sequins, crystals, Yarns, glass beads, etc taking innovative forms.

We at Eurasia Fashion Related Services wish him the Best wishes!!!

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