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Updated: May 1, 2010 16:42 IST

Bohemian designs

GAURI SHAH
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Designer Nikasha Tawadey and her creations
Photo: Gauri Shah Designer Nikasha Tawadey and her creations

Designer Nikasha Tawadey opens up about her fashion sense, her summer collection and offers tips to beat the heat fashionably.

Nikasha Tawadey, a well-known name in the style capital. has taken the fashion world by storm. A self-trained designer, a professionally trained psychoanalyst and an aesthete with interest in arts and crafts, Nikasha made her debut in the Indian fashion scene in 2006 with her eponymous label ‘Nikasha’. She stood out as a promising designer, a sentiment echoed internationally with her designs gracing the racks at Selfridges in London and Macys in San Francisco. She was one of the five people selected as part of the designer team to represent India in New York by IMG/Lakme Fashion week in September ’08 and was awarded the ‘Elle Style Award’ in December ’08 for Contemporary India.

With her aesthetics being labelled bohemian, vibrant and glam, artistic growth for this young designer has been a natural progression. Today she has carved a niche for herself, her forte being structure, texturing of fabrics, colour and ethnic references. Her look is global with ethnic craft as her mainstay. She now works with zeal to preserve and recreate traditional arts for a contemporary world.

Nikasha describes her style philosophy, and how it reflects on her designs: “For any artist, their creation is an extension of their own personality. For me, it’s not just my personality but also the immediate landscape of my life at that time. It’s the journey the artist is going through at that point.” She has been dressed many Bollywood’s biggies like Konkana Sen, Raveena Tandon, Anupama Chopra and Frieda Pinto, Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Eisha Mittal, among the newer lot.

Of her latest summer collection, Siuli, she elaborates, “Siuli is a small, pretty flower usually woven around a romantic story like exotic weddings. This is primarily a white and crème collection, coupled with pitambari yellows, haldi, rusty reds and coral. The fabrics consist of woven Banarasi silks, Chanderi, Mulmul, chiffon and georgette. The embroideries are very romantic, from little buds in love knots to blossoming flowers in chikan mixed with antique mukaish and karchobi. The silhouettes are very feminine and have an almost dreamy feel, yet retain their eclectic and essential bohemian spirit. An interesting resurrection is that of the Patiala salwar and starched Banarasi dupattas in combination with swirly blouses worn with saris. The dropped shoulders and side tie, the details in the tunics and blouses, ombre-dyed Lycra silk churidars, asymmetrical hemlines with net frills and gota lace is something unique. Vintage beaten brass accessories like necklaces, payals and organza trimmings with ghungroos add colour to this pretty picture. This collection is a perfect stylish balance between aesthetics and comfort, best worn barefoot for an exotic wedding on the beach.”

Nikasha stresses the importance of power dressing, especially the fact that the first impression often remains the last one, “When one talks about style, it’s your individual attributes and how you work around it. Grooming is essential; even if you can’t afford designer wear; you must always be well turned out. This translates to making regular trips to the parlour (or home solutions). Nails must be neatly clipped (a coat of polish is optional) and your hair must be trimmed and neatly styled. Invest in a good quality work bag and shoes and try to change them every six months at least. Know your own shape; choose cuts and styles that work for you.”

Nikasha draws out a quick chart for two main silhouettes:

Petite: when you are small boned or under 5.3 ft, the guiding principle is to wear shapes that don’t overwhelm your delicate frame. Avoid too many competing elements, i.e. bold prints, contrasting colours etc. Instead choose an unbroken line of vision with colours like beige and white and stripes or solid prints. This will help move the eye upward, which adds an illusion of length and stature.

Full Figured: Show a little skin at the neck (V-necks are a great option) and make sure you balance looser pieces with others that custom fit; a loose tunic with fitted pants or churidars. Big prints should be in your repertoire; it works in mono chrome and simple shapes. An empire waist and long inverted pleat are also clear cut flatterers.

Know what colours suit your skin type whether it is warm shades (yellow, red or orange) or cool (blue, green or purple). If you don’t get a clear reading, judge a hue by how it brings out your eyes, not your skin.

Must haves

Here’s her take on the must-haves for this steamy season, “With the heat playing spoilsport, stick to heat-friendly fabrics like cotton and linen and steer away from anything too clingy.

Go for the shade card of white; beige, eggshell and pastels during the day and experiment with rani pinks, rusts and yellow in the evening. Yellow is the new black this summer so get it into your look as much as possible.”

With her helping to transform everyone around her into glam divas, it’s no wonder that she appears to be everybody’s favourite pick!

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