New York Fashion Week: House of Waris branches out
Waris Ahluwalia, a New York-based actor, designer and all-around renaissance man whose creations already include a high-end jewelry collection and a line of tea (yes, the sipping kind) has expanded the House of Waris brand into a scarf line that made its debut with a presentation during New York Fashion Week on Tuesday night.
"This was my first Fashion Week event, my first collection, and my first model casting," Ahluwalia told me in the packed seventh-floor exhibit space at the Museum of Arts & Design overlooking Columbus Circle, while A-list friends such as actress Chloe Sevigny (who hosted a celebratory dinner in his honor earlier in the evening) and members of the fashion media milled about between vitrines filled with sparkling jewels and models wearing little more than scarves.
So was he nervous? "No, I'm no more nervous than if I were crossing the street," he said. "I'm a storyteller, and it doesn't matter if I tell my story in tea or in scarves. It's no different."
I never got a chance to ask Ahluwalia exactly what story he was telling with his debut fall-winter 2011 scarf collection before he was pulled away by well-wishers, but it didn't matter; the scarves made a beautiful statement all by themselves.
The hand-dyed, hand-batiked scarves, are made in the three different fabrics (cotton, silk and cashmere) and at least a dozen styles, including an all-over honeycomb pattern (printed on some scarves, embroidered with pink thread on others), a palm-frond pattern (a recurring motif in the House of Waris jewelry line), a songbird-and-chain-link print, and a wavy pink-and-black pattern that at first seemed like a reptile print but on closer examination was revealed to be more like delicate tongues of flame or the tips of palm fronds.
The scarves are expected to retail from $300 (for cotton) to $1,500 (for embroidered cashmere) and sell at Barneys New York, including the Beverly Hills boutique.
-- Adam Tschorn in New York
Top and middle right photos: Models wear scarves from the new House of Waris line that made its debut on Tuesday during New York Fashion Week. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times
Middle left photo: Waris Ahluwalia at the event. Credit: Dario Cantatore / Getty Images
Bottom photo: A cotton scarf with honeycomb pattern embroidery from the debut fall-winter 2011 collection. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times