Nimirta Lalwani loves designing evening wear, though she doesn’t like making them too dressy, she tells Shilpa Sebastian R.

You have to climb three flights of stairs to reach the Nimirta Lalwani Design Studio. The place is overflowing with fabric of all kinds. Nimirta Lalwani, the pretty, tall and lanky designertakes you around the very, very busy studio.

She first shows you her completed works that hang on the stands. The clothes are bold in their cuts and lines. She is more into evening wear. “I do make day wear but you will find plenty of feminine wear. I don’t like to use much embellishments and am not too much into colours. I like to work on offbeat shades. Creating evening wear is my passion,” she explains.

Then she takes you into her office, which again is flooded with fabric. We sit down to talk while the sound of the sewing machine and the scissors snipping and snapping act as the background music.

“Earlier I was working in a small workshop. It’s only now that I have set up my own studio. It is a bit larger and I meet my clients here before I start designing for them. My work is more like 80 per cent retail and 20 percent for clients,” says Nimirta, who adds that she retails her designs at Fuel, Hatworks Boulevard and at her studio in Bangalore.

Nimirta, born and brought up in Hong Kong, made Bangalore her home only after her marriage. Having always had a fascination for clothes she decided that it was good to start her own unit named after her. That’s how Nimirta Lalwani Design Studio was born. She has had no formal training as a designer. “But I have been trained in pattern making. So I am good at technical skills. The design aspect comes naturally to me,” says this young designer who started off by making clothes for her friends.

“I always wanted to be a designer. Compared to a city like Hong Kong, Bangalore is a wee bit laid back. There people are formally dressed all the time. People here are now becoming fashion conscious. But still its only one section that sticks to labelled clothes.”

She says that she always dreamt of having her own label and started by retailing them in Mumbai at Fuel, Aza and Chamomile. Explaining about her design, she says: “My clothes will not fit the body but it is cut in such a way that it accentuates the personality and just falls over you.” She also designs saris but they are not traditional or conventional in any way.

“They are more like cocktail saris with plenty of embroidery. I like to work in steel greys and off beat colours here too. I do tend to go towards the vintage of the ’30s. You will get that feel in my clothes.”

All her designs start at Rs. 3,000. “Bangalore is a good place to start, she says. “But the only minus point is that we don’t get enough raw material here compared to Delhi or Mumbai. I do try and make a trip to pick up stuff but it’s not always feasible.”

Another thing that she has observed is that “there aren’t as many social gatherings happening here. So it is very rare that you will find someone wanting to dress up for an evening. But the plus point is that it is a cool place and you feel relaxed. Right now there is a lot happening in the fashion world here.” Nimirta is slowly but gradually climbing the success ladder. Her designs have been featured in magazines like the “Vogue” and “Verve”, and she has a retail store in Hong Kong and also does wedding trousseau.

Nimirta has just finished working on her spring summer collection. “Till now,” she says, “I was concentrating only on my clientele and retail. The next step is to make my label popular in India. I want everyone to recognise my work.”

Nimirta can be contacted on nimirta@hotmail.com.

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