A brand that consistently pushes the envelope with their distinct lens to view fashion, Bloni's body of work is a masterclass in transforming clothing in the context of anatomies, identities, and hybridities. Their unique approach cuts through notions of gender agnosticism and body politics, material and textile use, and craft and form explorations; breaking unnecessary definitions and making fashion a fluid entity where everything is possible.
Designer Akshat Bansal’s aesthetic sensibilities stem from his early years with Indian heritage handlooms at his family store in Hisar, India. Later perfecting his craft through formal training at Central Saint Martins, London, and an apprenticeship at Savile Row. Through his clothing he seeks to facilitate accessible cultural exchange and blend together contrarian aesthetics. His perennial interest is in unexpected material use, the fluid nature of identity with silhouettes, and building a new definition of crafts for the future.
Their new pret collection BLN’C by BLONI extends on the core codes and vocabulary of the house with easy forms and daily wear that are versatile, effortless, relaxed, and affordable. Bansal spoke to homegrown about the origins of the brand, their vision for the future, and goes over the making of BLN’C.
What is the larger message that you wish to communicate with Bloni?
Non-conformity is the main agenda of the brand, something that speaks beyond body forms and genders. We are speaking about different intelligences and futurism currently, hence my clothes need to locate a relatability into the future. This comes across in the silhouettes that I try to build which blur definitions and tags of genders, materials, forms. A jacket morphs into a leotard which could transition into a jumpsuit and then an overall. Ultimately blurring of all possible spaces that humans interact within. This extends into a new kind of interactivity within garments that I want to create, something akin to those filters in social media or deep fakes with AI that morphs and challenges existing realities and build new realities.
The futuristic appeal of your clothing speaks to the young consumer, is it a conscious effort to utilise fabrics that are rare in the Indian market and merge them with contemporary sensibilities to carve out a unique niche?
It is a way of navigating the future while being connected to the past. Done by utilising fabrics and materials that are uncommon, further build them up and elevate them with certain craft flairs to build a unique approach. This is also stemming out from a futuristic vision of how to take a craft into the future and make it appeal to the young consumer.
The new collection seeks to build a definition of ‘THEM-WEAR’, with abstract lines and deconstructed silhouettes. What can we expect from the line and how does it break away from the rigid binaries in Indian fashion?
Not just Indian fashion but global fashion, generally speaking, has been about creation within the binary. I wish to break away from these rigid tenets and give a new direction to fashion with THEM-WEAR. Crafting a vocabulary of silhouettes, pattern-making and design that do not position gender as a primary departure point while making garments.
BLN’C is an amalgamation of the current moods of the culture and future flairs. Could you talk a little about the process of achieving this visual dichotomy?
My creative process for this is a joint force of the subconscious and the conscious, the muddling of memories, facts and logic — all colliding to build quite vivid narratives inside my head. Cultural shifts around me, the world’s perception of the future — what I have seen in the past and what I might connect to something that I would perceive to happen in the future.
Explore their recent collections here.
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