Sidney Sladen shows his creations at the Australian Fashion Week. And guess what, he returns with retail opportunities in London and Los Angeles

Whether it's couture or pret, Sidney Sladen has never overlooked his utilitarian roots. His ability to balance form and function has helped the Chennai-based designer find a slot in the Australian Fashion Week for the second time. As he returns after a frenzied schedule Down Under, where he displayed his new line, “Garden Rogue”, at the Showroom Suites in the Mercedez Benz Fashion Week, Australia, the celebrity stylist, speaks about his rendezvous with an overseas clientele, his new fascination for florals and why he skips fashion weeks in India. Excerpts:

TWICE AS NICE After last year's showing, I was keen on participating in the Australian fashion extravaganza for the second time. It has been a learning experience and I'm proud to be the first designer from Chennai to be a part of such prestigious fashion weeks abroad. I found a platform not just to display my line, but also interact with international buyers. Soon, I will be retailing in Los Angeles and London.

FLORAL FIX I seldom do floral patterns. It has been a happy year for me. God has been kind and I think there's a constant need to smile. Florals reflect this mood. Also when you think florals, you think clusters — which in a way symbolises the questioning and the confusion even in a happy mind!

STYLE AND SALES When I showed last year in Australia, 80 per cent of my collection was bought by a store called Onyx in New Zealand. That to me was a great start. But there's a lot more to learn in terms of what works in an international market. I'm happy to be a part of that journey.

NAUGHTY AND NICE Yes, there's an underlying paradox about Garden Rogue. LOL. I was not too much of a floral fan until I began work on this collection.

Floral patterns, whether in print, weave or embroidery are delicate and have a certain amount of sexiness.

I worked on some sheer crochet tunics and long summer gowns with wispy lining. The idea was to create practical clothes, yet give them a dressy edge.

ALL ABOUT STRUCTURE There are dresses and separates. The peplum figures in many creations. Fitted as well as flowing silhouettes make this line interesting. Though structured, some of the garments are whimsical in their construction. I've used crochet lace, georgette, hand woven net, cotton, linen and georgette-chiffon blends.

The line starts with translucent white and pale yellow and moves to mint green, sea blue, tangerine, fuchsia, red and opaque black.

A DEFINITE ‘NO' It is my opinion and I could be wrong. Indian fashion weeks favour designers from New Delhi or Mumbai. Designers from other cities are usually given the morning and afternoon slots when the shows are practically empty. Fashion is business, not entertainment. When you put so much work into a collection, it's only fair that it is accessible and viewed by as many people as possible.


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