High on fashion

Debarati Palit
Sunday, 11 February 2018

Funky Fish is hosting more than 32 fashion and jewellery designers at their Tropical Punch Pop-Up Multi-Designer Trunk Show today. ST speaks to three of them to find out more about their work 

With multiple fashion shows, designer exhibitions and  pop-up designer shows happening in the city, Pune is always high on fashion. Here’s another chance for Puneites to upgrade their fashion quotient: Funky Fish has organised a Tropical Punch Pop-Up Multi-Designer Trunk Show at Hyatt Regency, Nagar Road, today (February 12).

After organising pop-up shows in Jaipur, Chennai and Bengaluru, Funky Fish is bringing some of the interesting and popular designers to Pune to showcase their Indo-Western collection. The event, being held by duo Preeti Devnani and Manisha Goel, will have over 32 established fashion designers, home decor experts, and jewellery designers. The names include well-known designers like Shweta Kapur and Seema Kapur, Kaabia Grewal, Urvashi Joneja, Deeya Chopra, Aarti Vijay Gupta, along with Adara by Sheytal, Zuilee, Azuli by Nikki, Limerick, Amrita KM, Devika Bhayana, Enech by Nupur Harwani, Maison Blu, Richa Goenka, Sougat Paul, Sakshi Jhunjhunwala, Pause, Pasha India, Lil Miss Miu and others.

Three of the designers talk about their collections and upcoming fashion trends.

COOL AND Effortless
Designer label 431-88 is essentially for the  contemporary woman, who embraces her femininity with an allusion of a sporty style. The label was launched by Shweta Kapur and Seema Kapur. For their collection in Pune, the duo will showcase a mix of their classic designs and best selling range of sarees and fringes. “We are trying to redefine the way the modern woman wears sarees,” says Shweta.

Their collection has been a regular feature among Bollywood celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Nargis Fakhri, Sonakshi Sinha, Kriti Sanon and Alia Bhatt.

Shweta says that their Collection 11, which is their latest, takes inspiration from the modern-day gypsy, romantically embodying the idea of the free spirit. “Symbolic of nomadic escapism, the references, both creatively and conceptually, hint at the spirit of freedom that the 431-88 woman possesses. The collection has a luxe, polished and easy-going feel to it. We have worked towards restructuring and modernising the Indian saree to give it a global appeal,” says Shweta who is a design graduate from the London College of Fashion.

She adds, “Collection 11 plays with the intersection between structure and drapes within the silhouettes where the focus on free movement is achieved through multiple godets, soft drapes, voluminous ruffles and strategically placed slits.”

Sticking to their signature colours of red, black and white, this season, however, fashion lovers will see the addition of strong gold, chrome, silver, olive and navy blue in the designer duo’s collection. “Fabrics range from cotton-satin, satin-lycra, jersey and 431-88’s classic pleated fabric which is further foil printed taking inspiration from the motifs on feathers. Last season’s fringes have been taken forward and developed into metallic fringes and accompanied with feathers, which have been used for detailing throughout the collection,” she says.

Seema says that their clothes have a timeless appeal. “So one can wear them throughout the year,” she says, adding that their collection can be defined in three words — ‘sexy, cool and effortless’.

For those who would like to get a peek into 2018 summer trends, Shweta says, “This summer will see a lot of fringes and easy drapes.”

Comfort comes first
Another popular name among Bollywood celebrities, Urvashi Joneja likes to call her collection comfortable and wearable. The designer will showcase her latest spring/ summer collection in the city with fun, bright and deeper hues.

“The collection that I am showcasing is called Extended and Concrete, which are two different print collections. It’s an amalgamation of Indian quirky prints which include multi and solid colours. We have a lot of different fabrics like georgette, satin and so on. They really bring out the colours with abstract patterns. The whole collection will basically take you from a fun yacht or resort party to dinners,” she says adding that all the clothes are comfortable, easy to wear and maintain, and very flattering.

Joneja, who graduated from the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi and later studied at Parsons School of Design, says that her focus is on creating ‘wearable’ designs. “I think it’s very important that our client feels comfortable in our outfit because the success of a garment depends on how often the client repeats it or how comfortable she feels in it,” she says.

When it comes to designs and prints, she takes inspiration from nature and things that she sees in her day-to-day life. But a major part of it comes from her clients. “I like to notice what women wear on a daily basis or how they like to dress up. These daily experiences add a lot,” says Joneja, whose clothes are worn by celebrities like Rakul Preet Singh, Anoushka Shankar, Kalki Koechlin, Sarah Jane Dias, Shruti Haasan and others.

She says that she never designs clothes keeping a particular person in mind. “But I do know the broad spectrum of our clients and I can tell that if a particular silhouette will be loved by that person or not,” she says.  

Though Joneja is showcasing her collection in the city for the first time she says that she has made several visits to Pune in the past because she has many friends here and also because her dad was in the army. “And just like every other city, Pune has its sense of style,” says the Delhi-based designer.  

Before signing off, she says that when it comes to fashion there are no many dos and don’ts but one thing that matters the most is, ‘Never wear clothes you are not comfortable in’.

nspired by the Victorian era  
New-Delhi fashion designer Devika Bhayana says that her collection is all about luxury Indian wear with contemporary Indian cuts and Victorian high collars, English colours and embroidery. Elaborating on English embroidery, she says, “This kind of craftsmanship dates back to the 18th and 17th centuries. I blend the embroidery into Indian garments like a saree or a suit. It’s not completely Westernised but Indian garments with a Western touch in terms of embroideries, cuts and silhouettes.”

Bhayana says that she is mostly inspired by the Victorian era. “Victorian era is so expansive and offers a lot of scope. The collars and embroideries are done by hand. If you look at their gowns, they were so massive. I really love to study the detailing and pick up things from here and there from that era,” she says.

But is it difficult to blend Indian fashion sensibilities with Victorian designs? “Not at all,” she says, adding, “In fact, we have got an amazing response. We started two years back and we are doing well just with word-of-mouth publicity. I keep getting calls from across the country and overseas like Dubai and so on.”

But she doesn’t showcase her collections on social media. “I don’t want my brand to be all over the place and in your face. Not being on social media gives us exclusivity and people look forward to our collections,” she explains.  

Highlighting some fashion trends one needs to follow this spring-summer, she says, “You need to go for airy fabrics, less work and smart cuts.”

 

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