Balav's 'Saree To Street' Collection Makes A Statement Against Stereotypes & Ageism

The Saree To Street Collection
The Saree To Street Collection Balav

Balav's identity as a brand has always broken the mould of convention; going far beyond the limiting expectations of some of their contempoaries and fundementally redefining the status quo across Indian fashion.

A recent photoshoot undertaken by the brand saw them deck out a 64 year old model in outfits straight from their 'Saree To Street' concept. By doing so, they emphasized the ageless and genderless appeal of their brand and doubled down on their role as pioneers of a brave new world of fashion that refuses to conform to stereotypes.

We sat down with the brand's founder, Vaishnavi Bala, to learn a little bit more about the project itself and how she brings her own creative vision to life through Balav's powerful, meticulously crafted collections.

Tell us a little about this project.

The photoshoot was part of a concept called 'Saree To Street' which was basically how we aimed to promote the idea of thinking out if the box and breaking stereotypes. It's something that I learnt from my grandmother at a very young age. The shoot pushes the idea of the fact that anybody can wear Balav as long as they hold their confidence in place and vibe with the lifestyle.

Describe your creative process and the purpose with which you create.

I follow a design process but add my own spin to it. I start with conceptualising or sometimes I start backwards with the silhouettes I’d like to create and build a story around them. I cannot work without a story in mind. Its so important for me to have a concept that my work revolves around because my main focus is to manipulate my fabric and create details that work with my concept. That's what gets me going.

What are some ways that you believe that your work has influenced and shaped the work of others?

As an artist, and designer I have succesfully been able to influence people to get out of their comfort zone and experiment. Thats what my brand is about.

What are some things you learned while putting this project together?

That seeking perfection isnt the answer and that natural, raw expression always gives me the best results.

What are some of your biggest inspirations over the years of your artistic career?

I draw my inspiration from the streets and life around me. I try recreating a modern take on the monotony of Mumbai life by incorporating a certain set of standard elements!

The Saree To Street Collection
Indian Label Balav Embraces Non-Compliance & Rejects Gender Binaries

Who are some artists who are currently on your radar?

Daniel Roseberry, Torani, and Daniel Arsham.

Tell us about a project you wish you were a part of.

Manifesting and designing some fire fits for a Cardi B music video.

You can follow Balav here.