First making waves at the 2012 London Fashion Week with his A/W collection ‘Amalgamation’, up-and-coming talent Chatenya Mittal is a name to watch on the designer scene. His work has been described as “very experimental and technical” with pieces that centre around “eye-catching metal accessories… with strong and earthy colors”. A true creator of his art, Mittal draws inspiration from masculine forms and war-like materials. We grill the designer on his work and things to come.
Thara: What inspired you to become a fashion designer?
Chatenya: My love for dressing-up was the first step to choose fashion as a career. Later during my school years the right kind of exposure at the right time in terms of art and culture helped me to make my decision firm. I try to live by the one piece of advice my parents always told me growing up: do what you love and love what you do. I am very self motivated and will always try to learn new skills or new ways of doing things to incorporate in my work.
T: What do you love most about fashion?
C: Fashion is an art form that can accommodate everyone. I love that it’s in a constant state of evolution. I love that there are no rules. Self expression, setting a mood, making a statement, it’s a wonderful creative outlet whether creating it, wearing it or styling it for others. I never get bored with my job – ever! There is always something new and beautiful just waiting to be created.
T: What is your latest collection inspired by?
C: My latest collection, ‘SARTORIAL PUNCH’ is a capsule that I created in which I feel is a defining moment for me as a designer. It’s completely me and everything I stand for at this moment in my career. It focuses on the beautiful colours you see in nature that change as the season goes on. It’s fun, with bold colours that totally embody the feeling of summer. I am very fascinated by nature however, there is no limit to where I find inspiration, so I always keep my eyes and mind open!
T: What is your greatest achievement so far?
C: My greatest achievement is having my work published in a magazine in London. It’s something I could have never imagined at this stage in my career and I am very proud of myself and grateful to the people that have given me these opportunities. With the right drive and the right attitude you can reach all goals in life.
T: What have you got planned for your future design collections?
C: Fall is my favourite season. I am working on my new collection, 2014 A/W ‘THE EMPEROR’. I am using fur, jacquard, sequinned mesh and leather. Very sophisticated but with some crazy shapes to create a contemporary look. I studied the theories behind geometry, thus using a variety of geometric shapes to create my own unique kind of mathematics-inspired solid skin for the body. With this Emperor theme, garments look very different and I really love them. It will be released in October, and will be my 5th collection since I graduated. I have a really strong feeling about this collection.
T: What do you hope to achieve in your career?
C: My goal is to design clothing ethically, with as little waste as possible and in a way that makes the wearer feel confident and unique. I also feel very fortunate that through the platform of fashion shows, I am able to travel and speak to clients about my work and the power of following one’s passion.