Ace Fashion Designer, Costume Designer and Fashion Choreographer Ken Ferns gives Fashionmate an exclusive Interview
Ken Ferns, an Ace Indian Designer & Costume designer, is not a new name for all those keeping a close eye on the on-going season of #Jhalak Dikhla Jaa. However, for some of those who might not know, Ken Ferns is typically a Bombay boy, who started his fashion Journey way back in 2003, starting with a fashion course in L.S Raheja to interning under Anita Dongre and finally coming out with his own label in 2010. Ken has also styled various Celebrities and designed theme-based costumes for Reality TV Shows like Nach Baliye, Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa and BiggBoss. Ken is soon becoming a regular designer at Lakme Fashion Week, with his out of the box collection every season. Famous for donning various Hats ranging from Fashion Stylist, Fashion Choreographer, Costume Designer to Fashion Designer, Ken Ferns is becoming the Industry’s coveted Designer.
In Conversation with the designer himself, ( Do not ask us how we got him to squeeze some time out of his deadly busy schedule!! But the kindhearted fellow did it for us! Yaay!)
FM : How did fashion designing happen to you? Have you been inclined to fashion since childhood?
Ken: Yes I have bin always inclined towards clothes – color – design and art. When I was a kid I used to dress up my cousin sisters barbie dolls for Christmas – literally make some handmade clothes out of spare fabrics .
FM : From Fashion choreography to Fashion writing and Bollywood styling to Guest lecturer/ fashion illustrator, you have truly worn too many hats. Tell us about your journey so far.
Ken: I have come a long way. Right from selling vegetable slicers at exhibition centers and shops, standing at a kiosk and slicing vegetables and its demonstration. My first job was a lecturer in fashion and I still continue as and when I get time. I have taught fashion for 10 long years. I began when I was 21, when I started reaching at SNDT then moved on to NIFT for 4 years there after teaching at almost every fashion school in the country. I had my ambitions clear, and with grace of god I’m doing what I always wanted to. Choreography was like second skin. Music, dance, catwalk these things are natural to me. Presentation of design and fashion through music, lights and the runway will always be one of my favorite part in this industry. Then came films and TV shows, Then fashion weeks … And so on! So I’m trying to manage work and reach many more heights… I’m here to make history! I will leave a mark.
FM : Your collections have always been very artistic and have stood-out in the contemporary fashion world. Is that a conscious effort?
Ken: My collections are truly an extension of my thoughts- and I believe that and individual is only different. When one thinks differently, It’s all in the head….. I have my own ways of looking at things and I deliver fashion in my own language .
FM : You have styled many reality show contestants like “Bigg Boss”, “Nach Baliye” and now “Jhalak Dikhla Jaa”. Any favorites? How is it (costume designing) different from showcasing collection at a fashion show?
Ken: Costume design!!!! Wow, I love doing it…. It’s completely & totally different and challenging weather designing for a film (characters) or for various thematic dance performances for a dance show. It’s more character driven, more theme based, more research, more technical, more experimental, more adventurous …. And by gods grace, I can balance both fields of fashion and costume design! I wish to work on projects with films like – “Lagaan”, “Elizabeth”, “Lord of the Rings“, “Enchanted” etc…. Fantasy world’s and imaginative clothing.
FM : What are the important key factors that you keep in mind while designing a collection?
Ken: A collection designed should turn into a TREND. While designing a collection one must understand the purpose of design, the target audience- the season- the viability of the product- the nature of the product…. One must study the international trends, Learn the forecast towards trending, etc. an draw inspiration from anything that can set a certain standard to a collection.
FM : Your latest collection “Secret Garden” at LFW has created quite a stir. Gauhar Khan looked stunning as the show-stopper. What was your favorite piece from the collection?
Ken: To be honest I loved my entire collection. I was a happy man when I saw it all come together. It was what I expected and what I wanted it to be, easy breezy – light n colorful- and yet so different.
FM : I hear you have been styling Gauhar Khan a lot. How has the experience been?
Ken: Gauhar is a darling- to me what matters more is the connect between 2 people. And we connected the day we met, it’s a complete honor and pleasure working with Gauhar …. And looking for many more opportunists to team up.
FM : Who is Ken Fern’s personal favorite Muse?
Ken: Muse!!!!!! Not really… But anyone who dares to wear is my muse – be it a Hollywood star, a pop singer… An artist….
FM : I have been following you on Twitter and you seem to connect with all your fans so easily. Where does this humbleness come from?
Ken: It’s just me… I’m a people’s person. And I love to connect from the heart….. Else I wouldn’t …
FM : LFW Winter Festive dates are out. What should we expect from your next collection?
Ken: This season I won’t be showcasing at the winter festive as it’s clashing with “Jhalak Dikhla Jaa” and a film that I’m working on- I have always multi-tasked but this time I do not want to over stress my self- you will see me back at the summer/resort.
FM : (Taking the cue 😉 ) Since you’ve mentioned you would be working on a upcoming film. We would love to hear names? Can u spill d beans?
Ken: let’s just say … It’s got Divya Dutta, Rishi Kapoor, Ram Kapoor, Alok Nath, Shilpa Shukla and more…Can’t reveal much 🙁
FM : Now that’s some juicy stuff! Moving on!!
FM : What is your personal Style Statement?
Ken: Comfort & Innovation.
FM : One piece of garment you think every man should have in his wardrobe?
Ken: A good pair of jeans and a White Casual shirt.
FM : Who is your favorite designer in the industry?
Ken: Oh!! There are many many designers I am totally crazy about! Amongst International designers, there are way to many to mention but Givenchy, D&G, Vivian West-wood, Alexander McQueen , Jean Paul Gaultier, Issey Miyake etc… Amongst Indian designers I love the work from – Manish Arora, Ashish Soni, Rohit Bal, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Sabyasachi, Wendell Rodricks – and younger designers like Shruti Sancheti, Quirk box, Gaga, Soup by Sougat Paul, HUEMN by Shyma Shetty & Pranav Mishra etc
FM : Can you suggest ideal outfit for Female readers at Fashionmate for each of these events?
- For Sunday Brunch: a semi fitted white cotton dress- mid length or any
- For Romantic Date: a basic solid color cocktail dress- preferabally short( mid thigh or knee)
- For a Wedding: anythin that’s an extension of ur personality and yet within tradition
- For a Beach party: a perfect 2 pc bikini – layered with a n nice color or printed crop top and hot pants or sheer skirt.
FM : The readers of Fashionmate want to know, where can they buy your collection?
FM : On a final note, any tips for aspiring fashion designers of India?
Ken: Stay focused- and step ahead only if you are ready to work hard….. Nothing will come easy!