New and emerging designers are casting a spell on the city's fashion scene. Sangeetha Devi Dundoo profiles some of them

Dial G for ikkats

Ganesh Nallari

This dentist turned designer strikes a balance between bling and the arty. His ikkat silk weaves, with bold geometric patterns, are a hit with dancers Anita Ratnam and Ananda Shankar Jayant while his wedding trousseaus are sought after by the NRIs. His formal training in Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi helps him when he designs for Ananda Shankar's dance productions. The use of temple jewellery in saris and blouses has become his signature style. “It wasn't parental pressure that made me take up dentistry. But then, I realised my calling. I was creatively inclined as a child since my mother is a painter,” says Ganesh. He did a PG diploma in textile design from NIFT and masters in fashion design from Domus Academy, Milan. As one of the finalists of the European Silk Awards, Ganesh realised India was the place to be to use silks and handlooms. “Three years ago, I began from a modest studio in Secunderabad with two machines and a tailor before moving to Jubilee Hills,” says Ganesh, whose tryst with movies include designing for actress Taapsee. While he designs for Lakshmi Manchu for her television show, he also understands the requirements of working women. His signature label retails from Rewania and his ikkats have loyal takers in Chennai, Bangalore and New Delhi.

Bonding over fashion

Aditi Bhoopal Pradipak and Vyshnavi Reddy

Aditi graduated from NIFT, Hyderabad, in 2004 with the best all rounder award. While working in Delhi for a year she knew that real experience stems from hands-on work. She and her friend Vyshnavi, who was then working for a corporate firm, never thought they'd one day set up business together. Their love for clothes had them designing their own clothes for a wedding. Their designs were a hit and orders kept pouring in from family and friends. “We started with one tailor and a machine at home and today we have good kaarigars,” says Vyshnavi. The switch from software industry to fashion wasn't tough, he says: “I've always been designing clothes for friends and relatives. When I decided to take up fashion seriously, I knew it was going to work.” Their cosy workshop is frequented by women in different age groups who want lehengas, net saris, half saris, half-and-half saris, tunics, salwar suits and western wear. Their label, Diosa, stands for goddess in Spanish. “It's an extension of both our names, which have something to do with names of goddesses,” smiles Aditi. Diosa is available at Tamaara, Rewania, Also and Wundershop in Hyderabad apart from stores in Bangalore, Vizag and Mumbai.

Dream factory

Bhakthi Reddy

As a student of NIFT, Hyderabad, in 2004, Bhakthi wondered how to find new ways to use the timeless Kanchi silks. She worked with the Kanchi weavers and used the silks to create fitted dresses and even trousers. The placement of zari and an occasional paisley motif on the dresses made all the difference and won her the NIFT award for the best use of traditional skills in a contemporary setting. The same year, she also won the Café Coffee Day's Uniform Design Contest and got to design uniforms for all its employees. Bhakthi then moved to the London Fashion School to study Fashion Marketing and Promotion. After interning with Ralph Lauren and Alexander McQueen, she returned to Hyderabad in 2006. “Suresh Productions' Baladur was my first assignment where I designed for Ravi Teja, Anushka Shetty and the entire cast,” she says. This was followed by Teja's Keka and now, Prakash Kovelamudi's fantasy flick starring Shruti Hassan and Siddharth. “I am designing for the entire cast except the lead pair. This film gave me good scope, since a fantasy setting gives more room for creativity,” she says. Bhakthi burns the midnight oil meeting movie shooting deadlines, yet loves the adrenaline rush. “All the hard work is worth it when you see the results on the large screen,” she says. Bhakthi also participated in the 2009 Bangalore Fashion Week.

Design club

Been there, done that (alphabetic order): Anand Kabra, Asmita Marwa, Bina Rao, Kedar Maddula, Mamata Reddy, Sahil Gulati, Sashikant Naidu and Shravan

Up the ladder: Ishita Singh, Kim Anand, Sagar Tenali, Sunaina Sood Anushree Reddy, Kavya Kriti

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