The striking image of a blue-haired Vijay Varma posing regally in a metallic sari, with the next image being of him moving gracefully in a tuxedo is still fresh in our minds. The photographs in question are from a recent campaign by designer Rimzim Dadu where the Darlings actor continued his ongoing collaboration with the designer to celebrate their shared ideals of fluidity and art.
“I worked with (Vijay) for the first time in early 2022,” recalls the designer, “I was struck by his simplistic approach to everything, from art, fashion, to life in general. But beneath that simplistic attitude lies an artist who is not afraid to experiment and can’t be bound by definitions. I very much follow a similar ethos, so working with him became very easy.”
The two partnered up for the designer’s 15th-anniversary celebration show at the prestigious Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in Delhi last August when Varma walked as the showstopper for Dadu.
“(Rimzim) has an interesting vision when it comes to storytelling through fashion,” says Verma, “I loved how I looked during the fashion show, so when she reached out to me for this campaign, I jumped on this opportunity. She’s a pioneer in the kind of aesthetic she has. The way she designs outfits is one-of-a-kind. I’m glad I did it because I had a beautiful experience shooting it.”
The campaign, titled ‘Art in Motion’, is styled by the iconic Anaita Shroff Adjania and shot by Vaishnav Praveen of the House of Pixels. Varma and the models can be seen wearing re-imagined saris, lehengas, and modern separates in the designer’s characteristic style.
“Structures and movement don’t often go hand in hand,” admits Dadu, “But it’s the juxtaposition of the two that serves as a foundation for this campaign. ‘Art in motion’ stems from our signature style, which is structural designs and forms in engineered textiles that are often viewed as rigid but allow free-flowing movement. These ‘moving sculptures’ have inspired the editorial where the models and the garments both ebb and flow in perfect harmony.”
Varma, who attributes his delightfully experimental style to his love for comic books and video games while growing up, adds that Dadu’s unique ability to create something so striking in such a simple way is one of the things that drew him to the designer. “This time we went pretty berserk with our expressions. I even wore a very interesting take on a metallic sari. When I enjoy working with somebody, I like to push my boundaries. The rest of the things are happening with the elements, her design is fairly minimal.”
Dadu is over the moon with the reception the campaign has gotten and says it’s all because of the brand’s core philosophy of staying true to its ethos and not following any trends.
“I am happy that a brand like ours has not only existed for 15 years but has also become a mainstay in couture conversations. Today brides and grooms, who are tired of the usual, look at brands like ours for newer perspectives. Our audiences have liked our experimentations and their outcomes. It brings me great joy when people say that they felt amazing while looking at a piece of clothing that was a statement, almost like art and yet super comfortable. That makes all the hard work worth it.”
Petition for Varma to star in a superhero movie with Dadu designing the costumes, anyone?!