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Updated: August 30, 2013 18:59 IST

Making Waves

Jaideep Deo Bhanj
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Shravya Varma. Photo: Jaideep Deo Bhanj
The Hindu
Shravya Varma. Photo: Jaideep Deo Bhanj

Shravya Varma talks to Jaideep Deo Bhanj about her accidental but rewarding foray into fashion designing and styling celebrities

Most designers start their career by graduating from a fashion school, go on to open a boutique and then dress celebrities. But for Shravya Varma her career has worked itself backwards. She started at 16 dressing models for a photo shoot for a commercial hoarding. While most of her peers were attending coaching classes and studying for exams, she was dressing film stars and starting her own studio.

With no formal training in fashion designing Shravya has managed, in a span of a few years, to use her aesthetic sense to carve a niche for herself in the fashion world.

Shravya is in her final year of an architecture course and juggles her studies with her career by putting in a lot of hard work. “I come from a conservative background in which engineering is the only career option and that is why I chose architecture. It was the most creative option as it allowed me to draw and use my imagination,” she says. She never planned her foray into fashion but her works were widely appreciated and she kept getting more and more orders once people saw her creations online. She designed for her first film Denikaina Ready last year and has since been roped in to design for six upcoming films, one of which has brought her to Vizag. She has dressed the likes of Lakshmi Manchu, Charmee, Lavanya Tripathi, Raveena Tandon and Rana among others. The celebrities have worn her designs not only on screen but for award functions as well.

Shravya says she often sits at the back of her class doodling and playing with colour. It is colours and that inspire her and she puts them together according to the personality of the person. “When I am creating costumes for a movie there are many things that need to be kept in mind as a lot depends on light and backgrounds and what the director wants but when I am designing for weddings or for special occasions I need to understand the person before dressing them.”

She often finds mothers bringing their daughters along to get something extremely traditional and conservative designed that does not go with the daughter’s personality. That is when she combines western influences with traditional wear and creates a look that is conservative yet trendy and strikes a balance between what both mother and daughter want. She feels she can understand what young girls want to wear for weddings as she is their age and can relate to them well.

“Sometimes people want to blindly copy a look from a movie that does not suit them. There is a fine line between sensuality and vulgarity and I help my clients find that line. I keep it conservative but like to tease just enough.”

Shravya feels that in the film industry designers are not given their due as there are not many awards and respect is not given to the hours of work they put in. “It is high time that producers plan a ‘look launch’ along with an audio launch and feels that it will spread knowledge about fashion.

So what about doing a course in designing? She feels that it is perhaps the fact that she has not come from a formal background that sets her apart. “You never know I may continue my career as an architect,” she says in quite a serious tone.

Shravya started selling her creations in Vizag in April and says the response has been great.

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