Designer Nikasha Tawadey is in Chennai to unveil her new line ‘Lila'

Nikasha Tawadey is one of the few designers to manage that delicate balance between traditional silhouettes and modern appeal. Famous for her use of colour and fabrics that whisper subtlety, the Mumbai-bred, New Delhi-frequenting, Singapore-settled designer is now in Chennai for the launch of her latest line ‘Lila'. She talks about her creations and the challenge of designing for ‘real' people. Excerpts:

EXTENSION OF AESTHETIC When you think Nikasha, you think boho chic. ‘Lila' is an extension of my aesthetic sensibility and it reflects the cheery spirit that goes into my work.

CREATIVE SPUR This line is inspired by the Krishna Lila. The cowherd prince is famous for his romantic dalliance, enjoys boat rides and saunters about the groves with his beautiful-eyed gopis dressed in sumptuous silhouettes. There's an underlying spirit of joie de vivre that I bring to this collection.

FINER POINTS There are lehengas and kalidars with swirling skirts (some in 20 meters of fabric!) and smartly cut cholis. The embroidery is delicate and I've used kundan, gota, crystal, resham and zardosi. The fabrics are mostly silk muslin, chiffon, georgette and hand-woven Benarasi brocades. The mood-based line comes with interesting colour schemes — ivory with red, hot pink with parrot green, mango with gulabi etc.

REFLECTION OF ME? Yes, the vivid colours and the vivacious attitude of the clothes symbolises my label's core value — that fashion is a form of celebration and that it's meant for real people.

LAYERS AND ME I guess it comes from my background. I was a trained psychoanalyst who suddenly decided to follow my heart and design clothes. Layers, asymmetrical lines, printed linings, surprise elements on the back of the garment… are some of the complexities we create on seemingly simple silhouettes.

INDIANNESS With a whole lot of foreign brands coming to India, I feel Indian designers must retain their Indianness. We need genuine voices to survive the onslaught of Western styles.  

(‘Lila' will be unveiled at Collage, Greams Road, today)

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Krithika ReddyMay 11, 2012