The secret is out, Mani Jassal is the designer behind Rupi Kaur's monumental 2022 World Tour Wardrobe. This collaboration has been in the works for almost a year, and now it's finally out for the world to see. The wardrobe is as an extension of the performance, which is shown through the theatrics of the designs. Together they are a projection of storytelling and a celebration, all made possible with Rupi, Mani and their teams working closely together.
To get a better understanding of the process of this collaboration, heres Mani Jassal answering all the questions that you have:
1. How did you and Rupi first meet?
Rupi and I went to the same high school together she was a year younger than me, we re-met in life years after University through a really good friend of ours. We were all women of colour trying to make space in our own perspective creative industries whether it be fashion, writing, acting and many others
2. What were you doing when you got the call?
When I first got the call from Rakhi about doing rupi’s world tour collection, I was just cleaning my room, but it couldn't have come at a better time because I was sort of feeling creatively burnt out and needed something new to do. I had just launched the unleashed collection and I needed something new and this was the perfect thing
This collection was a way for me to prove to the world that I am more than just a South Asian designer creating lengha and saris, that I can do it all and it was time that it was put on a world stage.
3. Where and how did you source fabric?
When we initially started designing this collection I thought it would be a great idea to actually head to New York to source fabric, just because I'm a designer that needs to see the fabric first before I began the design process and New York is one of the best cities to go to to find fabrics from all over the world.
It was really different for me to do this fabric sourcing trip with Rupi because I found myself looking at fabrics that I would typically never look at, and I think it's pushed me as a designer to think more creatively.
Image Credit: Baljit Singh
4. When did production start - how long did it take?
The design process is what takes the longest when you're designing a new collection but the production of this collection started maybe in February and we had completed the collection by the end of April
5. Who worked on the collection / Everyone's roll?
I could not have done this collection without the help of my team it was all hands on deck. Everyone by the end of it was involved in the making of the collection, shout out to the team for staying back and coming in early to get it done.
6. How many looks are there in total?
For the first leg of the North American tour, there are about 29 looks that we created
7. What is your favourite look?
It's honestly so hard to pick a favourite look just because we worked so hard on each and every look, but if I had to pick one I think my favourite one was the Ocean one that she wore in Seattle it was a large duster cape with a bustier and a mini skirt.
8. Most difficult to sew?
With this collection, we faced quite a few challenges because we were working with fabrics that we had never worked with and we were also designing new silhouettes
One of the most difficult looks to sew was actually the silk satin pyjama look, although it may look simple the silk, was a slippery mother f**cker and then to construct a constructed bustier was definitely trial and error.
Image Credit: Baljit Singh
9. Most excited to make?
The look I was most excited to make is the butterfly dress, it is the perfect shade of pink the tiers, the sleeves and the draping were just chefs kiss I don't mean to boost my own bubble but you know there it is.
10. Which outfit changed the most / is there any looks you had to take out?
There were actually 2-3 looks that we designed for this leg of the tour that we never ended up completing, just because we weren't a fan of how they were turning out so we decided to design something completely new
11. Did you have any setbacks?
Obviously, there were going to be some setbacks when it comes to creating a collection and one of them being that I ended up getting covid 3-4 weeks before the collection was due, which sort of set us back a bit - or a lot.
So because I had to isolate for a week or so it was hard for us to complete the collection, but when I did come back I was still feeling the reminisce of the covid. We just sort of pulled through together as a team and made it work, we came in earlier and stayed a little bit later but we got it done.
Funny enough I actually ended up finding out that I was pregnant 3 weeks before the collection was due, so I was just dealing with all of that stuff while also trying to stay sane and get the getting this collection done.
12. What was going on in your head before starting?
Naturally, with any collection that I do, there is always a breakdown or two, or three, or four
my first couple of breakdowns actually happened before the collection even went into production because my imposter syndrome kicked in, and basically I was just questioning my entire existence as a designer and just sort of wondering why the hell would Rupi choose me to design this collection.
Image Credit: Baljit Singh
13. How did you overcome any difficulty?
I just started second-guessing myself and when I was sketching it just didn't feel good enough. I was just psyching myself out thinking this is going to be on a world stage there are going to be so many eyes looking at it. It was just like a lot of back and forth but I dealt with it, I talked to my therapist and we created this collection and it was such a beautiful thing that we did and I'm so happy with it
When you're working on such a big collection and you have so many people counting on you along with another team counting on you, you just have to pull your shit together and get it done.
14. What was the most memorable moment of creating the collection?
I think the most memorable part of creating this collection was having Rupi put on each look for the first time and walking out of the changing room and everyone just sort of being in awe of what that piece was because she truly was the Muse for this entire collection
15. What can we expect for the Europe leg?
So right now we're working on the European tour wardrobe and basically, the collection is going to get louder more colourful more sparkly and I'm so excited to share it with everyone.