Young fashion designer Kamali Gupta hopes to make ‘designer wear' available to those looking to dress and feel like the celebs

If fashion was an unnecessary evil as some souls seem to claim, we wouldn't have the varied hues and tones that define our country today. Urban Indian women would swear by the likes of Dolce and Gabbana and Gucci. Yet, India is still hardly a speck on the global fashion scene. Kamaali Gupta, young fashion designer, is part of the generation which is working towards making desi styles the ‘in' thing.

Brand Kamaali

Trained in the London College of Fashion (LCF), this chic 21st-century woman specialises in bridal wear and evening/party wear. It was LCF that developed her skills but Kamaali is determined to “give my clients full credit for moulding me”. All the passion and education has found vent in her brand ‘Kamaali', which she runs along with sister Shruti. Kamaali (both the brand and the designer) plays an active role in the revolution of Indian bridal clothing. As she puts it, “Brides are now more open to ideas in terms of silhouette and colours. Ten years ago, ‘bridal' meant ‘red and gold'”.

One of the first things that strike you about Kamaali is her simplicity. When asked why she turned to fashion designing as a career option, her answer was simple, straight-forward and frank — “I love dressing people up”. Another attribute is passion. Her dedication and love for her job goes to such an extent that she does not “have any one particular design that I have my heart set on”. Each design is a new journey she undertakes with the same enthusiasm as she did when she began as a novice. Kamaali is also the epitome of dreaming big. Her dream, the peak she looks to scale is “stand alone stores in London, New York and Paris”.

The year may have just begun for the rest of us, but for Kamaali, the peak season is just drawing to a close. With the wedding season just gone past and the festive season following in hot pursuit, her plate is not only full, but overflowing. Yet, even with such high demand, Kamaali chooses to only cater to specific individuals with each of her pieces being made-to-order. The next time you notice someone wearing a Kamaali product, you'll know they are one of the chosen few.

Best of both worlds

A glance at her website reveals an interesting variety. Under brand Kamaali, she caters to not only the urban needs of funky western wear but also sexy, Indian wear for those who wish to look fashionable even in traditional outfits. This is what Kamaali describes as the best of both worlds.

Yet, to enjoy the best of both worlds, one has to be competent and efficient in both. How does this damsel manage this feat of multi-tasking and finding the right balance? “I take Western cuts and techniques of construction and add Indian embroideries to them to make the garments look more modern and young.”

An active advocate of people-watching, Kamaali claims “sometimes it's more interesting than watching a fashion show” as it is fascinating to see how individuals team up various trends. Kamaali also proves that fashion designers aren't always dressed like ramp models either. By her own confession, “in the day, it's (her clothes) mostly casual and comfortable”.

Fashion is a dream for many of us out there. We look through the newsprint at models in their flattering costumes and picture ourselves in those clothes. That is what Kamaali is out to achieve. She is here for each one of us since her job, as she puts it, is to make “normal people look like celebrities”. Thank God for small mercies!

Yashasvini is a Std XI student of APL Global School.