The ex-NIFTian, who launched her label in 1996, speaks about her latest line, how she evolved a global aesthetic and why trends matter to her. T. Krithika Reddy listens in...
After treading the dark path in her Gotham-city inspired line in 2012, New Delhi-based Namrata Joshipura revels in lighter silhouettes and livelier colours in her new collection that’s being launched in Chennai today. As one of the few designers who can swing seamlessly from rarefied romanticism to street-savvy interpretations, Joshipura says dichotomy is essential to bring in an element of surprise to every season.
COLOUR PLAY After my Gotham-city based collection, I wanted to work on something more refreshing in terms of colour. Pop tints danced in my mind. So Holiday High is ironically a ‘welcome back after the vacation’ line that’s full of cheer. It’s a summer-fall bridge line that features breezy silhouettes and happy hues. It’s a comprehensive line that has Indian and Western styles. So besides dresses and snazzy tops, there are tunics and churidar-kurtas.
GLOBAL AESTHETIC When I design, I always keep in mind today’s globe-trotting woman. To me, good design is about scaling geographical boundaries. In today’s world, we all lead a seamless existence. What works in New Delhi, must work in New York. To me, clothes must not be overtly ethnic. It should have subtle touches that reflect where it comes from, but at the same time, it must appeal to a wider market. Having stuck to this sensibility for years, I think it now flows naturally.
PET THEMES My heart gravitates to films like Blade Runner and Batman. I love sci-fi thrillers because they transport you to a fantasy world where there are no borders and you can take artistic liberties. Nature is also a recurring theme. The human side of technology is another topic that kindles me to create. But whether it is fantasy or Nature, I try and give the clothes an organic look with the surface touches, colours and textures I use.
NIFT AND BEYOND Imagine I was into my first year of B.Com when I realised that I was not interested in mainstream academics. It was my mother who suggested I join NIFT. Everything about NIFT those days was good – from the campus and faculty to hands-on training and the final show. It was the place that gave me a sense of direction and finally, I could put my finger on what I wanted to do. The best part was also the company – Rajesh Pratap Singh, Payal Pratap and Manish Arora. It's a special bonding that has remained the same over the years. After NIFT, I did my internship under Suneet Varma for two years. I moved to New York and was designing from there until six years ago.
CELEBRITY MATTERS It’s a great feeling to be associated with Bollywood A-listers. Many actors wear my outfits to red-carpet dos. It’s great for brand positioning. But it’s not something I promote consciously. It just happens. When Shilpa Shetty wore a gold wrap dress that I had created for her, the fashion blogs, which are now very active in our country, posted many pictures. This led to an unprecedented demand for similar outfits! Whenever we post pictures on our Facebook page too, we get orders from places as far as Canada. E-commerce is a challenging space in our category. I see a huge potential, it is picking up.
TRENDS AND FORECASTS I’m someone who likes to keep tabs on trends. But at the same time, I will not go about consulting forecast specialists. I simply go with the flow. What you create must be in sync with the season. So now, don’t go for the overtly dressy look. No summer casuals too. Fresh greens, syrupy orange, electric blue and pop tints work best. Blouson dresses, bright tops with khakis or jeans and floor skimming dresses are some of the season's favourites.
(The designer unveils her new line at Evoluzione, Khader Nawaz Khan Road, today)