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JJ Valaya Presents 'Bursa' the Ottoman Saga at FDCI India Couture Week 2020

Couturier JJ Valaya narrates an Ottoman Story with his Bridal & Festive 2020 collection, BURSA at FDCI, India Couture Week 2020.

I had painted the premise of JJ Valaya’s Winter Festive 2020 Couture collection in my head, long before the clock struck 21:30 on the 20th of September. The unveiling of the collection name - Bursa, shared snippets of the collection’s anecdote confirming that the designs are inspired by the city in Northwestern Turkey. Bursa is also recognised as the first major capital of the Ottoman state established between 1335 and 1363. 

JJ Valaya

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As the curtains for the show rise, the couturier marks the onset of his Bridal and Festive collection showcase with the note, “In our legacy of many endearing firsts over nearly 3 decades, we once again look forward to being a part of yet another first in India, the FDCI Virtual India Couture Week.” He hits us with a veritable nostalgia bomb as snippets from his journey over the 3 decades take over the screen and remind us of how far the couture industry has come in our country. 

Speaking of the paradigm shift, the couturier shares, “I am really excited to be a part of the first Digital fashion week. You don’t have to chase me for first row seats and we don’t have to do a lucky draw to confirm the names, you are all my special guests, you are all here for me and I hope you really enjoy this experience.

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A Royal Nomad’s spirit is brought to life as the illustrious couturier walks us through the alleys of Bursa and the 14-17th century lifestyles of the Ottoman empire in Turkey. The birthplace of Ottoman architecture inspires bridal lehengas, sarees, gowns and sherwanis that sprawl around on the rich heritage dipped carpets by Obeetee, creating a royal revelry in our screens. 

The couturier discloses, “I tend to name my collections after one medieval city that has inspired me and this year’s collection is all about the magnificence of Ottoman empire. Bursa had always been a fascination for historians, medieval explorers and travellers, including the likes of the famed traveller, Ibn Battuta, who on his visit to Bursa in 1331, was impressed by the then Sultan as he enjoyed the city with the fine bazaars and wide streets, surrounded on all sides by gardens and running springs." 

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Researched inspirations for this year's collection include the famed Ottoman silks, which were among the most characteristic and artistic products of the empire, besides the nomadic kilims of the period. Additionally, Ottoman miniatures, known as ‘Taswir', which are painted to illustrate manuscripts or used in dedicated albums, and the art of ‘Tezhip’, (meaning ornamenting with gold), a non-figurative painted or drawn decorative art in books or on a sheet are eminently pervasive in this year's collection. Also, part of the label's discoveries this season are jewels of the Ottoman Empire, with the ‘Topkapi’ palace jewels, which are counted amongst the largest such treasuries in the Islamic world, holding the main treasures of the empire. Details of Turkish armour, especially the quills used then, as well as a medley of Turkish flora, fauna and fruits such as pomegranates further enrich this year's collection.”

The collection is brought to life with a colour palette exploring burnished metallics and golds, and age-old zardosi embroidery, silk threads, beads and pearls are beautifully sewn into the gentle folds of fine silks and velvets. Swarovski crystals adorn the embroideries in their ethereal charm and narrate a royal rhapsody. 

As quoted by the couturier, “The couture show, whilst narrating the Ottoman Saga through a showcase of 48 pieces for men and women, is also unique in another way as the entire showcase revolves around the 3 key silhouettes of Indian weddings and celebrations: The Lehenga, The Sherwani and The Sari along with the label's latest addition: the IKA jacket, which is a younger sibling to ‘Alika’, one of the labels’ cult and iconic jacket, which people can configure for themselves on screen, signifying a decadent feast and emotional high for onlookers and patrons. The couturier plans to showcase his summer interpretation of Bursa early next year.” From sheer fabrics, to puffed sleeves, sweetheart neck blouse designs, statement ethnic jackets, and statement belts complimenting sarees, the collection is a treasure for a royal bridal trousseau. 

To complement the extra-ordinary and majestically designed collection, the couturier has partnered with Archana Aggarwal from Timeless Jewels for exquisite Indian jewellery designs. Since two decades, Archana has been crafting luxury jewellery with refined sophistication and this association with Master Couturier JJ Valaya gives her traditional Indian jewellery a unique expression. Bursa very beautifully amalgamates Valaya's vision and Archana's finesse in fine jewellery. Within this inspired collection, Archana Aggarwal has worked meticulously on an assortment of necklaces, statement chokers, earrings, bracelets, rings and hair and hand accessories, to complement the collection. 

Watch the Couture Film here - 

Stay Tuned to our space and follow @weddingwireindia on Instagram for all the exclusive details of ICW show. 

- All Images by FDCI X JJ Valaya