On her visit to the city after a long gap, designer Priyadarshini Rao has a variety of designs to offer fashionistas here

She can pull off two starkly different collections each fashion season and still never run out of ideas. With ‘Priyadarshini Rao’, her luxury prêt collection and ‘Mineral’, her high street collection, designer Priyadarshini Rao has her hands full. But she loves every bit of it. In the city for the launch of her season collection at Elahe, designer Priyadarshini Rao has been looking forward to her trip.

Her latest collection is a burst of colour with block prints, chanderis, tussars and printed chiffons. “The collection is based on the idea of bright colours and prints. We’ve been experimenting with block prints of different fabrics like chanderi and they have turned out really well. I wanted to put together a collection that one could wear in an afternoon and doesn’t have to pertain to any particular occasion. It is a feel-good collection with a lot of delicate new prints we have created in blocks,” says the designer.

Talking about the Hyderabad clientele she says, “The clientele here is not very different from my other metropolitan clients. There are a very mixed set of people and the receptiveness to clothing is very much there. We don’t do too much bling and I find that is a cohesive factor for all of South India. People here seem to appreciate beautiful clothing that is not over the top. Given the huge sari culture here people understand their textiles and weaves.”

She adds that people here enjoy the newness as well. “We’ve done some Jaipuri prints this time, which is not too common in Hyderabad and people seem to be liking it,” says the designer who set up her flagship store in Mumbai late last year. However, she is not too keen on branching out just yet and is happy retailing through multi-designer stores. “It’s too early for me to do. We’re still cutting into the market and I’d like to give it at least 3-4 years before thinking of setting up a store in other cities. Also I think I would need a very strong partner if I were to set up a store in a city that I am not based in to really understand how to take it forward.”

Priyadarshini also successfully manages her high-street brand Mineral, which retails in major departmental stores. “Given the corporate culture picking up here the brand has been doing pretty well. Apart from just formal dressing young professionals these days also like to indulge in relaxed dressing. So they don’t mind wearing skinnys with a lovely top. This is also a very sweet price point and very affordable for young professionals,” she explains.

Designing for the two starkly different labels cannot possibly come without its share of challenges? “I very clearly wear a different hat for both the labels. When designing for Mineral we keep a lot of factors like price point, wearability and wash care. Whereas Priyadarshini Rao is something I indulge in, it is luxury, something I relate to and love wearing,” she says.