Archive for the ‘Designers’ Category

Péro SS 14

November 10, 2013

pero ss14 fashion week

pero ss14 fashion week

pero ss14 fashion week

pero ss14 fashion week

pero ss14 fashion week

pero ss14 fashion week

pero ss14 fashion week

pero ss14 fashion week

Péro SS 14. At India Fashion Week in Delhi.

Backstage+Runway+Street | Paromita Banerjee

June 11, 2013

paromita banerjee backstage

paromita banerjee backstage

paromita banerjee lfw

paromita banerjee indian fashion designer

paromita banerjee indian fashion designer

paromita banerjee indian fashion designer

paromita banerjee indian fashion designer

paromita banerjee indian fashion designer

You mentioned you are always trying to bring normalcy in fashion through your clothes which you don’t see a lot. Why do you think you need this normalcy? This struck me in NID. We are always in this struggle to go back to the past, go back to the roots, go back to being “normal” and ordinary and rooted. We live in these plush houses and we end up going to resorts to walk barefoot. What I am trying to stress upon each and every season is just because one is making clothes that cost a hell lot of money they don’t have to be made of chiffon and look expensive. As a brand we get queries from stores and personal clients abroad, appreciating our brand and what we do; but frankly we have not always been able to “click” with the audience here in India. Sometimes I do have a dilemma as to whether I wish to be niche or whether I wish to be niche-but-still-reach-out to a wider group. We retail at select 12 boutiques across the country, but at times I have been asked to make slightly more “ornate and rich looking” clothes by our buyers just because sometimes our clothes end up looking “normal” and not “value-for-money.” But hey, if I were to tell you the Dhakai Jamdani handloom cotton fabrics that we used in one of our past collections cost us Rs 875/metre just because each motif was hand-woven painstakingly, would you believe me? (while silk costs Rs 350/metre)

Fashion doesn’t have to be glamorous all the time. I can’t seem to understand what it is with fashion that is always about the “glam” and the short and the tight! Why do fashion magazines need to have girls in pouty lips posing for you. Why can’t we shoot in villages and document the beautiful landscapes or their karigari, something like what Steve McCurry did in that Desert Storm image with the women huddled up in a group. It blows my mind. (Taking a drift…it is bizarre that it is always the westerners that capture the real essence of things, in this case, India, and portray it so very beautifully.)

What are you looking forward to?
Showing at Wills. I feel LFW is losing its essence. It’s too glamorous for me. And I really wish there were more critics. I don’t want to know who show stopped for who or who showed up at which after-party in what clothes & media running behind actors. It’s good if it works for others but I don’t like it. I hope Wills doesn’t have all that. I don’t want to know who is sitting in my front row as long as there are the right kind of people.

Who are the right kind of people? 
Somebody who understands what is going on with the clothes. Someone who can appreciate your work and give constructive criticism and is not just there to talk about front row, runway celebrities, and after parties.

paromita banerjee indian fashion designer

paromita banerjee indian fashion designer

paromita banerjee indian fashion designer

paromita banerjee indian fashion designer

paromita banerjee indian fashion designer

paromita banerjee indian fashion designer

Best thing about what you do.
It is a high to create things out of scratch. And at the end of each collection, once I see the girls walking down the ramp (no matter how modest I am usually), I feel this great sense of achievement. That, hey-you-know-what the clothes you just saw on the ramp, whether you liked them or not, were made from scratch by our weavers and our karigars and our printers and dyers; and yes, I am the designer behind it.

Excerpts from an old talk I had with Paromita Banerjee at LFW about a year ago. Runway photos from her old shows at LFW and recent AW 13 show at WIFW. Outdoor: Carol Humtsoe in Paromita Banerjee AW 13, photographed during WIFW at Pragati Maidan in Delhi.


October 24, 2011
ruchika sachdeva bodice fashion designer
ruchika sachdeva bodice
ruchika sachdeva fashion designer bodice

ruchika sachdeva bodice
ruchika sachdeva fashion designer india
ruchika sachdeva fashion designer bodice
ruchika sachdeva bodice
ruchika sachdeva street style india
Ruchika debuted here at LFW a year ago as one of the gen-next designers. This was her 2nd time here. I missed her show but I made up for it by shooting a few collection pieces on Nijhum. “Having created a buzz even before she showed, we had high expectations of the newbie designer and were happily, not disappointed. Right off the bat, Ruchika Sachdeva seemed to get it right; her mix of sexy, feminine fabrics…” read more here.
ruchika sachdeva street style india
Ruchika Sachdeva, 24…wearing clothes from her collection.
Last week I was at her store. It’s all ready. She thinks it isn’t. She sits in a little cabin with 1 table and 4 chairs + cabinets with lot of papers & packaged food, an over head shelf with Wuthering Heights & other books, a red phone..
red phone a corner inside the store..there is a Nappa-Dori umbrella on display…
nappa dori umbrella
Photo taken outside the store.
Photos from Ruchika Sachdeva’s Fall/Winter 2011 collection at Lakme Fashion Week. Sketches by Frodo.
Her label is called Bodice. She is retailing from Melange, Atosa, Fuel, and The Living Room in Bombay..and from her own studio/store(below Gunpowder) in Hauz Khas Village, Delhi.
gunpowder delhi
Still has to get signboards for her store. 

Little Shilpa|Winter ’11:Backstage

September 1, 2011

little shilpa winter 11 lfw collection

little shilpa DHL lakme fashion week 11 backstage

little shilpa DHL lakme fashion week 11 backstage

little shilpa winter 11 lfw collection

little shilpa DHL lakme fashion week 11 backstage

little shilpa winter 11 lfw collection

little shilpa winter 11 lfw collection

little shilpa DHL lakme fashion week 11 backstage

little shilpa DHL lakme fashion week 11 backstage

little shilpa lakme fashion week winter collection

little shilpa lakme fashion week winter collection

little shilpa winter 11 lfw collection

little shilpa winter collection lakme

“…eight headgear designs made from pleated ikat fabrics arranged strategically on the head in muted colours of DHL which symbolized the feel of flying and a flight into the sky. Aviator glasses as hair bands for both men and women and geometric glass pieces giving an abstract touch….red ikat swirled around the head with a hint of an airplane tail on the body…”
-text via LFW press release

little shilpa winter 11 lfw collection

little shilpa DHL lakme fashion week 11 backstage

Paromita Banerjee FW 11/12:Preview

August 15, 2011

“…for inspiration, strangely, I didn’t have a story board this time..but when I finally got down to making the first few pieces, it came up along the lines of black & white with quilting details. The first few ensembles were very Japanese & basic; bordering along silhouettes like the Kimono wraps which I later translated into the Indian angarakha styles – very Yohji Yamamoto-ish..

Also, I never sketch; it is mostly illustrations and I also prefer working directly on the mannequin for colour/ texture/fabric fall etc…It helps me understand colour interaction and texture better.”

paromita banerjee fw 11

Inspiration was the Japanese boro quilting image that I had in my laptop archives…except that the idea was not to get “inspired” by it..but help in sparking off the thought processes or something like that. By the time the second lot of ensembles got made, a lot of colour had crept in somehow. One piece led to the next and finally the collection seemed to take shape…
paromita banerjee fw 11 inspiration

paromita banerjee fw 11 inspiration

I was drawn by the images of men in kurta / pajama/ dhoti / shawl ….people I see on the roads every single day, on my way to work…some may be the labourer class who come to work via the local train; the pajama is replaced by the pants..while the kurta remains..

senaka senanayake

In between all this, I was drawn by the colours of the Sri lankan artist Senaka Senanayake. His brush strokes and use of colour and form were all very “wow.” In fact I’m planning to work on his line for my next spring/summer..unless, of course, something else strikes me faster and better!

senaka senanayake paromita banerjee fw 11 collection

So finally, I brought together a couple of stories for my fall/winter line titled Daak(the call) in Bengali.”

The collection is based on the re-interpretation of the classics. The timeless appeal of textiles like the Khadi, “Taant”/ handweaves from Bengal, Tassar, Matka, and silks were explored in silhouettes ranging from the quintessential Indian clothing styles: the Punjabi kurta, pajamas, shawls, to bandgala jackets and waistcoats. These were teamed with accessories by Sutopa Parrab, an architect/jewellery designer based out of Sydney but having her roots in India.

Traditional forms & materials were explored in an ethno-contemporary context. Unheeded by how society puts values to materials like gold or silver, unusual materials like fish-nets, copper, titanium, bone, wood, horns were used to create forms that have a bold traditional background and stem from primal tribal forms. The garments were styled along the lines of how “normal” people would wear them on the streets, something which we seem to have forgotten in our effort to bling it on! Indian classics like the men’s style kurtas in tassar, handloom checkered shirts, drawstring pajamas or ghera(wide flare) dresses are worn with Ajrakh and Bagru printed waistcoats in indigo or silk wrap dresses. The accessories added another layer of texture in the form of fish-net, brass dokra neckpieces, leather cuffs and fossil – agate neckpieces in a range of organic forms.

Paromita’s show is at 3 p.m. on Friday-19-08-11.  She has about 90+ pieces on the ramp this time..and is currently busy ironing them.

Streets on the runway

November 26, 2010

Most of collections that go on Indian runways during fashion weeks never(?) make it to the streets(at least not in my documentation/if it has happened before let me know)…so it was nice to see the process being reversed during Paromita’s show and streets going up on the runway first. Maybe the runway will follow someday?

Her clothes are inspired by bartan walis, dhobis, & rickshaw walas. She likes the initial chaos of creating…prefers rustic elegance to glamorous fashion…likes to mix elements from different cultures in her designs. She photographs bicycles and her own collections..has done about 5 fashion weeks..and all this started off when she was only looking around. I also quite like the last line of her description for her SS’10 collection – “don’t miss the rooster.”

Paromita Banerjee, 27. Fashion designer.

I was born and brought up in a part of Kolkata which was surrounded by old architecture, small lanes and by-lanes, that eventually grew into my being and left a lasting impression. I was a shy kid and my parents made sure that I never missed having a sibling around. I travelled a lot around the country with my parents. I was, and still am, a voracious reader; painting was a hobby and I remember being enrolled in “art classes” which later gave way to my career.

You joined NID to study textile design. How did you end up designing clothes?
At NID, studying textile design was more of an offshoot thing that I could directly correlate to my painting classes. During the course I could not see myself doing just textiles. I felt my knowledge had to be used to create something more tangible that I could relate to- like creating garments.

My first internship and final graduation project was with Ashish Soni – whose style I absolutely love. While working there I realised my own potential for creating designs and starting my own label. Nothing seemed impossible and the fact that one must have years and oodles of job-experience is slightly exaggerated.

I think it was also my want to reach out to a wider audience and the thrill to see somebody wearing my creations and walking right past me. Now, when that happens, it’s an amazing feeling.

At Konstfack, Stockholm.
I was granted a three and half month scholarship at the Konstfack University of Art and Culture. I attended half a semester of the textile design courses offered there. Amongst many things, I learnt different methods of printing which is quite a variation from what we study in India. There was a module for studying clothing and dressing styles of the costumes of the Royal Opera Theatre, Stockholm. I was also taught machine knitting which I thoroughly enjoyed.

You’d mentioned you draw inspiration from the feel of handloom fabrics and your garments emphasize the feel of the “hand-made.” What is the process like? And once you get inspired what actually takes place in terms of turning that idea in to clothes?
The fabrics are usually hand-made or hand-woven on the looms which also make each fabric yardage unique- as the imperfections in the nature of the cloth, while being woven, are the true essence and character of it. I start my designing process with a visual reference comprising mostly of images that I have seen around me or of what I would have photographed sometime over the years. I couple this visual reference with a bit of research work, so that I am ready to start a collection. I also follow up on the various clothing styles and cultures of different geographical regions. I try and reflect this in my work.

..similar to your summer/resort 2010 collection?
Yes, I was greatly inspired by the Bengali “laal-paar” sari that has a traditional red hand-woven border with a “Temple” / triangular motif on an off-white cotton base. It is an intrinsic part of every Bengali ritual and festival. I also worked upon other hand-woven fabrics like muslin and kota, and coupled them with chintz prints. The fabrics were sourced from the hand- weaving clusters around West Bengal. I had named it “The Laal-Paar and Other Stories.”

Do you think participating in fashion weeks is necessary?
Yes, initially to get the world to notice you, it absolutely is. Whether you like it or not, a fashion week has a wider reach in this age of information and technology. Even before the lights go dim at the end of a show, the ramp pictures have already been circulated. Which designer would not want this kind of publicity? Having said that, on the flip side, if one is confident of selling designs, and if he knows his client base and market, one can do so, then a fashion week might not seem important. Although the initial road-map is clearer after a couple of seasons of participation at fashion weeks.

How many Fashion weeks have you done so far?
..four consecutive seasons at the LFW, Mumbai. I was also the sole designer representing India in Shanghai last month, at the Shanghai chapter of the World Fashion Organisation under the United Nations. There were designers representing each of the five continents.

Your first show and inspirations.
My first show at the Lakmé Fashion Week for Gen-next collection was in March 2009. We had an option of creating 8-10 looks for a fall/winter line. The selection process was intense as there were many other applicants. I had sent a single ensemble (which till date remains one of my best selling pieces) in double layered Khadi with stark leaf motifs embroidered along the hem. I teamed it with another double layered shawl drape which was also hand-woven and with a placement embroidery detail. It got selected and finally I built up on it by working out looks inspired by what I saw on the streets – style of the lady who sells utensils on the road, the checkered “lungi” that a cycle rickshaw driver wears, the dhoti drape of a dhobi. It might sound bizarre, but these are the real torch-bearers of “fashion”. They are creating “looks” out of the only pieces of clothing they own, that too, with such a strong identity. With all these looks in mind, I designed the collection and once the music (I select my music- mostly folkloric and world fusion genres) and make-up was decided, I was geared up for my very first show.

I’ve  noticed a lot of students do well in their class curriculum but don’t achieve all that much in their final design collection. What do you think goes wrong?
I think they end up trying too hard to put in all that they have learned in that one single collection. At the end of it, it is very essential to understand the kind of clothes one would want to make, the context in which one would want to place his/her collection, and finally to understand the market which he/she would initially want to cater to. Perhaps, one can disagree with me, since it is not possible to understand/ judge all this while at the beginners’ stage, but to me, a reality check right at the beginning always means you will go a long way.

Any dos and don’ts for the first timers at fashion weeks?
Don’t underestimate or overestimate the media.
Don’t try to ape anybody else’s look or idea if it does not suit your brand or identity. It would look hideous.
A fashion week would be back 6 months later, so do not be greedy and try to show all your ideas all at once. It would be a huge mess.

Try to finish garments way before time to check for finishing, etc. The last sore thumb is bad finishing at a prestigious fashion week.
Be confident and brave if you are taking risks with any particular collection or “look.” Risks are a part of our line of work.
Finally, do believe in your instincts. It always works.

Winter/Festive 2010 collection and inspirations.
Based on the references from cultural styles that I have grown to like over the years..I’ve added a stronger statement with the head-wrap along with colour blocks, which somehow had something very Japanese about them. I am hugely inspired by the costumes and attire of people in different regions and more often than not, they are the locals from the various ethnic groups all over the world. They are the ones with the strongest impression and essence on who they are or where they have originally come from. While the whole world is out to get “modernized” these are the cultural groups that have tried to stay grounded.

This was a collection with ethnic-contemporary influences. The look was based on a collection of stories from a mix of old-Gharana-style shawl drapes to Mughal-style angarkha wraps to the kimono-inspired shift dresses in Khadi. The fabrics were mostly hand woven in the form of Khadi, Matka and Tussar from Bengal, Handloom Mangalagiri cotton from Andhra Pradesh, to discharge printed silks. The embroidery motifs were borrowed from the Mughal “patka” with modifications of the leaf from the “pichvai” /temple hanging cloth.

In the first story, the silhouettes were colour-blocked black & white with a stark red accent based on a look in Khadi with the garments being a cultural mix of influences from the Kosode: the short-sleeved kimono, to the Mughal jama and angarakhas, both essentially being men’s style of clothing.
Resist dyeing was used in the indigo-white story, again in Khadi, hand-woven on shift dresses and bolero wraps.
In the third, darker hues of rust, fuchsia, greens to greys, and yellows were used + lots of layering in the form of panelled kurtas and lehenga skirts with waist-coats.

Update: I usually make the shoes with fabric scraps left-overs after each collection. So one would find all these handlooms, chintz, textures, embroidery left-overs/gone-bad pieces, transforming into shoes. Due to public demand, I intend to manufacture them for the roads as well since right now they all have printed fabric soles.

How important is it for you to have a celebrity wear one of your designs from a business point of view?
Frankly its a huge validation if a celebrity does wear one’s designs. It is equivalent to instant publicity since the “aam-janta” can relate to them (I wonder how), which might have otherwise taken months to achieve through the usual processes of brand building.  But to be honest, I’m more for making clothes which appeal to my sense of aesthetics or  the mood and direction that I want to take in a particular collection; I really don’t care whether any celebrity would like to endorse my clothes or not.

Do you see yourself having a “bollywood show stopper” someday?
No! Never! At this point of time, I’m absolutely against the idea because I feel it is the clothes that draw the “real” audience to the shows and not the show-stoppers. As designers we can be called upon to be fashion ‘trend-setters’ for the next season, and in no way would I want that to be diluted by the presence of a celebrity show-stopper walking the ramp during my ramp shows. I feel my clothes by themselves have the right to make their presence felt, without an added celebrity “stopping” my “show!” I am confident enough to make a collection speak for itself with the right kind of styling/look/feel, without someone else doing it for me. I still do not understand the big-deal about star -gazing. Nevertheless, the celebrities are more than welcome to attend my shows if they can relate to my work, and i would of course design for them if they like.

Do you think that our obsession with beauty and celebrities might change?
No it might not. In fact it will increase over time. We all talk about words like “inner beauty,” beauty in the eyes of the beholder and all of that, but at the end of the day we still go in for a fair-handsome groom or vice-versa! On a not so serious note, the number of fairness products that have flooded the market, leaves one wanting to be on the “fair” side of it all! We like our celebrities to be well – turned out. We gossip over the fact that we’ve seen one of them repeating the same outfits on more than one occasion, we snigger over the fact that one of them has apparently put on weight…and blah blah. Now, can we stop obsessing about these? Not all of us can; after all we all need a diversion from our mundane existences (or something like that )perhaps.

Available at: Ensemble, Zoya, Aza in Mumbai, Collage in Chennai, Taamara and Anonym in Hyderabad, Sade in Pune, Nautanky in Ahmedabad,  Ensemble in Delhi. Price range from Rs 4,200 to 16,000.

Lookbook:Bungalow 8 A/W ’10 – the preparation

November 21, 2010

Last month I shot the A/W lookbook for Bungalow 8. This post contains: an interview with the designer Mathieu G + all that we did before the shoot – ideating over emails, location scouting, layouting + a preview.

Mathieu Gugumus-Leguillon, 32. Designer at Bungalow 8

Childhood and growing up
I had a whimsically happy childhood that was spent growing up in the country side in Normandy, France. I loved to dress up as various characters – from historical figures like Louis XIV to some obscure dancer. It was a way of dreaming for me, based on what I was experiencing at that time -a creative outlet to escape the monotony of my environment – which was a very grey, boring country side.

What I wanted to be as a kid, changed a 1000 times. One of my most recurrent dreams was to become a gardener – to grow all the vegetables of the world.

My mother and my grandmother were always supplying me with costumes and garments that they would actually make. After my grand mother expired, it all I started to do it myself. And by the time I turned 15, I realized I was really good at cutting clothes. At that time I was thinking more about doing theater costumes because many of my classmates were in to theater and I was somehow drawn to it. My first  job was to do some costumes for my friends’ dance shows and performances.

*The first bit reminds me of this film that I watched a few years ago – Ma vie en rose*

Lanvin and YSL
At Lanvin, I  was a part of Alber Elbaz’s team & worked in the women’s wear design department.  At YSL, I was in the product design/merchandising team. It was all great, I learned a lot…but I left so I could evolve on my own.

Work process and inspirations
My work starts with the body and its geometry. I believe more in shape and cuts than decoration. Working with very detailed, refined techniques and tricks allow me to incorporate comfort in the designs and then it goes beyond becomes about understanding how the body moves.
I never really start with a theme, but more with moods. The sense of the collection usually appears to me at the end of the process- like an invisible thread that suddenly surfaces.

I let my daily inspirations express themselves..from what life brings to me, the women and men I meet, to the places I visit. I feel the constant need to evolve in diverse atmospheres, and that is the best way for me to stay curious, and therefore creative.

How is Bombay street fashion different from Paris’?
In sense of style & color I feel Bombay is more creative. It is going out of its codes and is more experimental, while Paris goes more and more uniform.

Relationship with India
For me this is a place where I am constantly evolving as an individual..and also from a business point of view. I think, today, India is growing in a manner that it appeals to a more contemporary way of life while keeping its identity intact. I have been in India for two years…traveled to Delhi, Rajasthan, Goa, and Pondicherry.. so far my most favorite part has been South India because of its relaxed and resorty mood. I don’t know much Hindi unfortunately, but a sentence I like and can say is: Mai sabse gora hoon is gaon ka(I’m the whitest guy of this village).

Read a two year old article on Mathieu’s association with Bungalow 8 here.


Preeti is wearing clothes from the collection. Even though this ensemble does not feature in the final selection the way it is here..but well..I like it.

With the last photo being our rough reference, we ended the day deciding we’ll shoot indoors.

Preeti’s top is from – ? (not from Bungalow8)

But things changed – like they always do – as we exchanged more ideas and emails. Finally these images taken from Nidhi’s blog became our references for the shoot.

More trial shots. This, I think, is the bedroom lit by the 4p.m. light at Maithili’s house. The first two shots are supposed to be the opening and closing pages of the book, followed by roughly how each layout would look + photos of elements taken from the room.

Read more about Maithili & Bungalow 8 here and here.

Nidhi’s polka jacket is from the rack on Hill road, Grey t-shirt is from an export surplus store in Pune, satin pants from Forever New, and brogues from a leather export surplus store in Chennai.

Read more about Nidhi here.


A quick preview of the collection.

Autumn is already over. I hope to put rest of the photos up before the winter ends.

The celebration of cotton.

November 9, 2010

Aneeth creates clothing inspired by the local dressing styles from the remotest areas, utilizing indigenous knowledge of ancient textile and clothing traditions of India.

Péro recreates and adapts local styles for the modern consumer who loves the aesthetic, but also the ease, comfort and pleasure, provided by the simple shapes. The textiles are handmade in various parts of india, and each collection incorporates at least five traditional techniques from the country, for example- block prints from Rajasthan; Jamdani from West Bengal; woven textiles from Maheshwar; Khadi from Calcutta. Each piece is hand crafted and passed through the hands of atleast 5 to 12 crafts people. The result is a collection of amazing pieces with incredible hand feel & stunning details.
Text: various internet sources

I missed the show but I got these at their stall.

Bhumica in a Péro scarf.

Sailex in Péro..

Update: Aneeth is also a part of the team that created The Malkha Project. It focuses on the desire for sustainable production, the idea of fair trade, and nurturing ancient crafts and ways. Read more about it here.

Boy who grew up in a pile of clothes

October 30, 2010

Sailex Ngairangbam, 26. Fashion Designer

I was born to a mother who was already in the same profession, and I, quite literally, grew up in a pile of clothes!! I had always been fascinated with pieces of clothing around me and knew how to sew by the time I turned 8. I was lucky because I had understanding and encouraging parents who didn’t force me into a conventional field of study – which then was either engineering or medicine.

Studying and working
I was one of the laziest students at NIFT. My faculty frequently wanted to flunk me because I refused to work and was never on time, but somehow I managed to get through. For my graduation, I created a collection called “Lust Bug.” If I looked at it now I probably would want to throw up. Post NIFT, I worked for Lee at Arvind Brands in Bangalore, but I quit before my probation period ended. I couldn’t survive in a corporate environment.

Domus and Italian influences
I realized I needed further exposure in the international fashion scenario; it didn’t really matter to me where I was going to study. I had heard about Domus, and I wanted to be in Milan, so I decided to give it a shot and enrolled myself. I would surmise that technically NIFT furnished me with the basics and Domus polished the rest. Though, to be completely honest, the best education was just living in Italy and watching fashion conscious people day in and day out. The typical Italian city-goer was my biggest influence and living in Milan broadened my fashion sensibilities, which, until then, had been acutely “Indian-Corporate –Fashion” driven so to speak.
I sorely miss the Italian appertivo, a happy hour culture which starts at 6 pm and includes unlimited food on the house if you buy a drink !! And, of course, I miss shopping there too!!

Working Abroad
I started working as a student. I stitched & created prototypes for Rafael Lopez & made technicals for Costume National. I worked with a design house in Milan for a while, but due to visa issues, I had to head back.

Gen Next 2008 and subsequent Collections
My first public showing was Gen-Next 2008 for which I created a collection based on the cartoon character “Emily the strange”. My recent Lakme Winter/festive collection “Duality” was inspired by Lucifer, fallen angels; the duality between good and evil in the same being. It took me 20 days and 20 nights to create it. I’ve come a long way from my first collection at LFW in 2008 and have grown a lot over time. I’m very fickle minded. For me, to create a collection like this one, I need to sort my head out first. Once I’m mentally prepared the rest follows through.

Photos from Duality.


Shirt/shorts/bow tie – self made
Belt – Sarojini market
Bag – Sisley
Footwear – custom made

Edited by Nidhi Sunil

Little Shilpa,Big Heads.

October 10, 2010

“Little Shilpa is not a name that would get you very far as a designer in the West, you might think, but here this physically tiny designer (hence the name) has a cult following. Ostensibly a milliner (she trained with Philip Treacy), her skills stretch much further. She creates jewellery and accessories but she should really be concentrating on sculpted and architectural works. Her show of brightly coloured perspex headpieces based on bikers’ helmets and native American headdress was exhilarating but, in fashion terms, pure fantasy. The accompanying jewellery was predictable. There seems to me to be valuable talent in the wrong bed here. Her work should be in galleries, not on catwalks. Such a waste.” – Colin Mcdowell

Also read: a recent interview on dotplay + pieces she created for Lady Gaga…entire article here.

“It’s a bob done in moulded acrylic with a little bow and a crown — in crystals — backed with white feathers. It was created using Swarovski…using about 900 small crystals and approximately 45 large ones. The crystal transfers took about two days and the building of the piece about three hours.”

Shilpa says her headpieces and accessories develop through shapes. She always thinks of the pieces as pictures first. If they make a good picture in her head, then they turn out to be good pieces.

Shilpa is 36, studied apparel manufacture & design, and later on jewelry techniques…has been compared to McQueen…been called the Philip Treacy of India..the next John Galliano of accessories. She sees herself doing experimental work; somewhere between fashion and art. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar Russia, Asos, Dazed & confused, Elle. and on Lady Gaga’s head.

Art Deco by Manish Arora

September 26, 2010

The show was sponsored by Philips. I thought they only made light bulbs; during the show I remembered they also made electronics.

The show started on the screen. There were two audio visuals. One was easily forgettable but the 2nd one – a commercial film by Philips – was amazing. It was a black & white film..set inside a laboratory. There was a Back to the Future type of scientist with an assistant..there was frequent light generation through a constantly buzzing device. What followed on the stage seemed like a continuation of what I thought the audio visual was..which possibly is not what I think it was. 

The show opened with a busy laser light play supported by freezing,screeching audio, right after which, the first model walked.

Stage went black for the first time..and all one could see was laser lights out of the eyes models. Had to over-expose the images to make laser visible.

Stage went black again for the 2nd time, the music stopped, and there was the sound of a chopper. A lone blue spot light rotating over the people, over the ramp, and you see 3 figures, with fibre optic wires sticking out of their heads, fluttering like wings of a mechanical butterfly, walking slowly.

I really liked the music the show started with. Does anybody know what music that was?  Kind of clean, fast paced bass violin…it reminded me of James Howard+Nick Cave+Warren Ellis..which some point..changed to a similar bass violin rendition of – Come as you are ..It was like a surreal film setting until they played “we don’t need no edu..”  That got the crowd going. The show ended with Abba’s “take a chance on me.”

Backstage – Manish Arora

September 20, 2010

Interns at Manish Arora from La Cambre, Brussels – helping backstage.

This is minutes before the show. I think hair and make up is pretty much done but the models are wearing their own clothes. Is that how it usually is?