Stalwart Designer Enthrals Torontonians
By A Correspondent
Iconic Indian designer JJ Valaya celebrated the 20th anniversary of his company, The House of Valaya in the city this weekend at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex in downtown Toronto. The celebrations were in full force as Toronto’s glitterati came out in full force to participate in a cocktail reception and dinner followed by a fashion show by the stalwart designer.
“This the first time I am showcasing in Toronto, and I am extremely excited,” said Valaya as he mixed and mingled with Torontonians during the cocktail party held in the Liberty Grand Courtyard, as he prepared to showcase his all new line of ready-to-wear line later in the evening. “I am touched by the warm welcome I have received.”
One of India’s senior most and best-known designers, JJ Valaya is a founder member of the Board of Governors of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and was the first official brand ambassador for Swarovski, India.
The year 2012 is a special one for Valaya as it marks the completion of two decades in the world of Indian luxury for the brand. The JJ Valaya label was founded in 1992 by brothers JJ Valaya and TJ Singh. A larger than life approach to fashion and lifestyle has been a signature of this maverick maharaja, and this showed clearly later in the evening as he unveiled his exclusive 2012 collection inspired by some unrivalled arts from the Ottoman Empire.
“After two decades, I'm not trying to run a race to fit in with what's going on,” said Valaya about his collection. “I simply am doing what I really have always wanted to do, luxuriously nurture our brand whilst pampering my loyalists with incredible design and sublime quality to back it with…this collection honours that belief perfectly.”
Silhouettes panned a wide spectrum – there were jackets, dresses, shirts, blouses, skirts and breeches as well as traditional Indian Saris with a twist and other fusion coordinates. A select range of menswear complimented the look and feel of the women’s wear line.
“We are very honoured and proud to be able to bring the JJ Valaya Anniversary collection to Canada,” said Ayesha Mawaz-Khan and Dr. Nozhat Choudry of Eventivity Inc., the event management firm behind the fashion show. Quoting Valaya as one of her all-time favourite designers, Khan mentioned that she had not stopped receiving compliments for the fusion ensemble from Valaya’s latest line that she was wearing that evening.
Also gracing the occasion was the Royal family from Jaipur including HRH Princess Diya Kumari and Maharaj Narendra Kumar. The Princess is the daughter of the late Maharaj Sawai Bhawani Singh and Her Highness Maharani Padmini Devi of Jaipur.
“Both the princess and Maharaj Narendra Singh are deeply involved in the art, culture and tourism of Rajasthan as they steer their hereditary royal trust fund in various charitable pursuits,” said Mawaz-Khan and Dr. Choudry.
During their visit to Toronto, the Jaipur Royals headed by Maharaj Narendra Singh, also played a polo match against the Toronto Polo Club on June 9, winning the game with a 5-4 lead.
Picture: Maharaj Narendra Kumar HRH Princess Diya Kumari and Fashion Icon JJ Valaya | Credit: Arthur von Tyrpa and Fidelis Lobo