Wills Lifestyle pays an aesthetic tribute to Kashmir with its latest Autumn/Winter collection

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Inspired by the different shades of the valley, Wills Lifestyle has come out with its Kashmir-centric Autumn/Winter 2018 collection. The collection pays tribute to the region’s aesthetic side sans resorting to glitzy means of promotion.

Sporting a water-coloured outfit imprinted with leaf motifs, a model holds a Kangri, the Kashmiri firepot, in one of the raving pictures. In other picture, another model in formals is pictured in the backdrop of Pine trees, whose trunks have been covered by Kashmiri carpets. Some other pictures show models in the backdrop of Dal Lake, carved houseboats and beautiful meadows.

Before confusing the pictorial description as an amateur photographer’s social media feed, here’s the kicker: These models portrayed with different aspects and shades of Kashmir are the part of the Wills Lifestyle’s Fall / Winter Collection.

The ‘premium fashion’ clothing brand for men and women has canvassed Kashmir, based on the region’s aesthetic beauty. The collection also reflects the inspiring artefacts.

The collection features pure fabric like cotton, silk and cashmere and coats and blazers in velvet and wool with embroidery techniques like Aari Kari and Jamawar print that are authentic Kashmiri.

Unlike J&K tourism department that spends lavishly in promoting Kashmir by organising events, the brand has made optimum use of the available resources and has beautifully put forth the beauty and culture of the valley.

The end results have ended up ‘promoting’ Brand Kashmir, in a much better and professional way, than, for instance, JK tourism department’s Rs 4 crore worth FAM Autumn Tour 2018 event.

Kashmir Autumn FAM (Familiarization) Tour-2018 was organised from October 25 to 27, 2018, in which “over 70 visitors from India”— including leading travel agents, tour operators, filmmakers, representatives from print and electronic media—visited tourist places in Srinagar, Pahalgam, and Gulmarg.

The lavish tour programme organized by state tourism department was organised with ‘an aim to promote Kashmir as a safe destination’.

Focusing entirely on aesthetic side of Kashmir — which would once serve as a major attraction for high-end tourism in the Valley, Wills Lifestyle’s 2018 Autumn-Winter Collection has dedicated each section to the different shades of the valley.

Wear the Heritage collection is inspired by lakes and wood carving patterns of Kashmir, while Wear the Old-Age Tradition has been inspired by the decades-old handmade artefacts, designs and paintings. Wear History is inspired by the influence of Kashmir over the region.

And then, there’s a Wear Poise range inspired by the native flowers and shrubs and by the golden light of autumn. Another collection, Wear the Royalty is a royal concept collection inspired by the still waters of the lake, while Wear the Valley collection is inspired by the meadows in the mountains that are home to endless wildflowers.

“These projects not only create a chain of employment in the valley, but spreads a good word about the place and the people,” says Sheikh Abdul Wahid who worked as a line producer for Wills Lifestyle brand.

“But there’s a lot more we need to do to attract more and more such projects,” continues Wahid who has also worked with Bajaj, MRF and other brands. “First and foremost, there should be a single-window system wherein we can get permissions from different departments.”

During his Wills shoot, Wahid had to go to multiple places asking for separate permission which involved both time and money.

“I once got to know that the permission issuing authority was charging triple the cost of the location fees,” he says. “To make sure that such projects keep coming to the valley we should maintain the status of hospitality for which we are known worldwide.”

As an “extraordinary effort” that is likely to boost the brand value of the valley, Wills Lifestyle autumn/winter 2018 collection is a perfect wardrobe collection from formal to a casual look.

When it comes to Brand Kashmir initiatives, the collection is one of the ‘best works’. And interestingly, it has come out at a time when J&K tourism department’s promotion campaign has come under serious public scrutiny for its ‘lavish’ spending.

Perhaps now, the Wills Lifestyle Collection has a lesson for others: The best promotion comes from canvassing the real shades of the valley, sans resorting to make-believe impression.

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