Rakhi Peethamber says well-crafted designer wear is for everybody

Rakhi Peethamber studied computer science and economics in college, but realised she was better suited to fashion designing. In fact, she insists her lack of formal training has played a positive role. The London-based designer, who will be featured in the ongoing Bangalore Fashion Week, said over phone that she is freed from the “theoretical boundaries” of fashion designing. “I can think beyond the books, beyond the theory,” she said.

Her style is marked by a focus on practicality: she thinks a beautiful dress is of no use unless it fits its wearer. “Design and fit have to complement each other,” she asserted. “Why would a person pay a fabulous amount? To look good, and feel comfortable. A dress has to be cut to your contours.” The common thread across her work, Rakhi explained, was a recognition of individual uniqueness. “I’m inspired by the uniqueness in a woman ultimately. A woman has to feel beautiful, no matter what size or shape.”

With this in mind, her collection at the festival aims to find takers across size, shape and nationality. “It’s for everybody in the world, from Britain or Bangalore,” she explained. Rakhi has also selected colours that are flattering to a variety of skin tones.

At the Fashion Week, the designer will feature items from her London collection which have been selected for a Bangalore audience. Her collection will include carpet gowns and cocktail dresses, with colours suggesting gemstones.

Rakhi’s label is called Rakhi’s Fashions, and she is thrilled to be back in the city. “The label started out here before moving to the UK,” she reminisced, adding that she sees the city as a “truly global” city, akin to New York. “Bangalore is evolving, and this cultural change is affecting fashion, as well.” But what of the fact that in the city this process of evolution may not be uniform? The designer thinks that for the fashion industry this should translate into a respect for traditional designs. “Both can thrive. We should respect regional designs and culture.”

Rakhi believes everyone wants a slice of the designer-wear pie. “Everybody wants to wear designer wear. But it shouldn’t be seen as a label, but as something that makes you feel good.” Rakhi Peethamber’s show is scheduled at 7 p.m. today at The Lalit Ashok. Call 3052-7777 for details.