Breaking boundaries

Nitin Bal Chauhan's latest label is the result of his love for graphics and a rebellious streak.

He is clad in military fatigues, with a helmet on his head, epaulettes on his shoulders and a grenade in his hands. But it is the gas mask in the graphic that bears a strong resemblance to an elephant's trunk, thus giving away his identity as Lord Ganesha. "Ganesha is the remover of obstacles and the idea behind this soldier Ganesha artwork was to say that war isn't helping anyone," explains Nitin Bal Chauhan, who has created this print.

A designer and artist, Chauhan has enjoyed a long-standing affair with such unorthodox prints and graphics. And perhaps to take this association to a new level, he has launched his label, Bhootsavar. As the brand name suggests, it celebrates a passion, bordering on madness, for all things quirky. "My other label, Nitin Bal Chauhan, is known for its edgy creations, but I wanted to set up a brand that has mass appeal. With Bhootsavar, I get to translate visually striking graphics and prints into shirts and dresses that are far more affordable," he says, adding that while the label had a soft launch last year, he will formally launch it this year.

The origin of Bhootsavar can be traced back to more than a year ago when the designer first thought of creating a label that reached out to the youth. "I got a chance to participate in the Vogue Fashion Fund where I decided to put forward this label as my business idea. Although I didn't win the prize, the plan received an encouraging response, which made me go ahead with it," he recollects.

And though Chauhan's inspirations come from varied topics (grunge and rock & roll), he admits that his work taking a cue from street art often revolves around faces. "Portraits of people interest me and I usually have complex graphics surrounding the face. For instance, another of my prints has Jesus Christ wearing a crown not made of thorns but guitars instead," he says.

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