Whether it’s Beyoncé’s wild blue jacket, Rihanna in a Donald Duck dress, or outfit queen Lady Gaga in a jacket with sewn-on Kermit the Frog puppets, they have all worn his creations and made them famous. Jean-Charles de Castelbajac is a designer who knows how to dress women with courage and creativity. And for his somewhat unorthodox tastes, he has been nicknamed “King of the Unconventional.
The fashion fiesta kick-started with a creative master class by JCDC moderated by at Istituto Marangoni. A full-house attendance of young design & fashion students, the session was aimed at inspiring the future generation at embracing creativity with strength, focusing on sustainability and always being proud of one’s individuality. Young creators engaged themselves in conversations from the man-of-the-moment who inspired fashion trends for decades with his distinctive design aesthetics.
The masterclass was followed by a gala evening where the venue opened doors to prominent fashion & design stakeholders, Istituto Marangoni Mumbai alumni, Indo-Italian embassy delegates and opinion makers of the industry. Talked about at the venue was the high on style, limited edition collection by JCDC for Benetton titled The Rainbow Machine that made global headlines earlier this year when the brand made its debut on the runway at the Milan Fashion Week Fall-Winter’19. JCDC has recently showcased his SS20 collection Color Wave which is inspired entirely by sea. The collection was showcased at the historic Piscina Cozzzi Swimming pool in Milan. Castelbajac gave a sneak-peak to the creative design inspiration behind the collection and shared his inspirational stories.
Commenting on his trip, Castelbajac said, “I went to Dharavi on my day one of the visit and I was thrilled to see the recycling structure, the experience I had walking in those streets will stay with me for a lifetime. India is a land of stories, colors, smiles, art and it is heartening to see how Benetton has been growing in this country since the last 26 years- this has happened only because United Colors of Benetton and India share the same language and narrative. Sustainability of colour and nature is holding strong in the future of Benetton India.”
Sundeep Chugh, MD & CEO of Benetton India, said, “We are honored to have JCDC come to India to share his design aesthetics and vision for Benetton. His body of work needs no introduction – a long career that spans from design to painting to street art. JCDC has mastered it all. His experience, charisma and ability to forecast tomorrow’s social, cultural and fashion trends constitute a great asset for our brand globally, and Benetton India couldn’t have been more excited to have him with us in Mumbai straight from the runway of the Milan Fashion Week.”
The event was first-ever in India which personified upcycling. This personality of the brand was evident at the event with the entire venue being set-up with utmost attention towards sustainability and recycling – there were three art installations made from pencil shavings, discarded glass bottles, broken CDs and molten waste crayons respectively.
Benetton’s profound heritage was knitted colorfully around the theme of ‘Sustainability’. Green is not just the colour of the brand; it is also a philosophy that has permeated the Benetton Group culture for decades. From eco-friendly white craft paper shopping bags, discarding denim treatment methods with sand-blasting and adhering to principles of organic agriculture to being associated with green projects & programmes like Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Programme, The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) among others; Benetton has been walking the sustainability talk for decade.
The evening was a true testament of Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s iconic fashion repute, a celebration of Benetton’s heritage and legacy, with a modern spin, and a unique meet & greet of some of country’s most celebrated fashion voices.