It is a label that her grandmother, Vanina de War, started with big dreams. For designer Sayana Gonzalez, creative director of the French boutique deWAR, with its flagship atelier in New Delhi, it is all about carrying the legacy forward. “deWAR to me spells an escape from reality, a little fantasy world that was first created by my grandmother, and now I get to create this world that I love, season after season,” she says, dipping into the sepia-toned lanes of her childhood

“In my first deWAR memory, I am about six or seven years old, it is within the week leading to a show and there are fittings happening,” she recalls. “My grandmother asks me to sit quietly while she finishes work. I see the models, the seamstresses moving around. But I remember paying attention only to the fine details of the ensembles and slowly falling in love with this world,” reminisces Gonzalez

deWAR’s first boutique opened its doors in Paris in 1938, but then during the Second World War, the brand relocated and moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Maison deWAR enjoyed great success in South America though, unfortunately, once Vanina passed away, so did her brand.

As she grew up, Gonzalez had only one goal in mind, to reopen deWAR and with that bring her childhood years spent between fabric roles and needles, into a form. Franco-Argentinian by birth, she studied fashion design in Paris and then at the coveted Parsons School of Design, in New York. India beckoned soon enough and after her marriage to an Indian, post wrapping up her studies in Paris and working both in Europe and Asia, Gonzalez reopened deWAR in April 2017, in New Delhi.

Shilpi Madan for New Indian Express

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