JJ Valaya Is Back In Couture After A 3-Year Sabbatical

After a three-year sabbatical, JJ Valaya has made a comeback with a new couture collection, inspired by ethereal Persia and we have fallen for it. 

An ardent couturier and craftsperson, JJ Valaya suddenly realised 3 years ago that he was no longer excited by the creative evolution of couture. The excitement that had highlighted the start of his career, pinnacled by the discovery of all things handicraft, from beautiful beads, shiny sequins, tantalizing threads and weaves fresh off the loom, had diminished somewhere down the line.

“I had to face a harsh reality that after 25 years, I was bored of what I was seeing and quite honestly, of what I was doing as well,” says Valaya. “However, a quick hiatus, it turns out, is a wonderfully honest companion. It made me realise even more how intense my love affair with couture truly was. For me, couture is not just crafting clothing. It is a deeper emotion, an experience and a luxury; one that has the ability to alter how people feel about themselves. But it is also about being honest to oneself,” he adds. 

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His comeback couture collection is an ode to this love affair. Inspired by a mystical Persia from the 16th to 19th century, the collection—titled Tabriz after the one-time capital of the grand empire—is an extravaganza showcasing the arts and crafts of that region and has three distinct lines each revolving around a specific theme.

The first line of this collection is called Farsh, which draws inspiration from Persian hunting design carpets as well the Art Deco period. From flowing dreamy outfits in midnight blue, teal and golden mustard, embellished with Zardozi, Gota Patti and vibrant threadwork.

The second line is aptly named Naqshband, which means master craftsman. The floral pattern created with metallic threads and beads gets accentuated by delicate, glittering borders, antiquated crystals and pearls. Silks, velvets and tulles in rich red tones and sage green hues dominate in this line.

The third line called Khayyam has origins in nomadic Persia’s royal tent makers and their tribal aesthetic. Antique mirrorwork, rough cotton yarn and unusual appliqué techniques are blended with signature Valaya prints. This line sticks to black, grey, and burgundy, and comes together as raw yet refined elegance.

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