Fashion Bag designer Meera Mahadevia believes Indian dressing needs to be matched with Indian bags. Owning a Fendi tote or a Prada barrel satchel or even flaunting arm candy in the form of a Chanel wristlet would be a dream come true for every label freak.

Carrie Bradshaw nailed it when she said “It's just a little bag, but we feel naked without it in public.” And while diamonds are supposedly a girl's best friend, for the general mass of womankind, a handbag is a plausible substitute.

Owning a Fendi tote or a Prada barrel satchel or even flaunting arm candy in the form of a Chanel wristlet would be a dream come true for every label freak.

But for those who like the Bard ask “What's in a name?” there are bags inspired by western designs that have made their way into the market.

While there isn't anything particularly wrong indulging in these bags, renowned couture bag designer Meera Mahadevia thinks: “It's jarring when Indian women in beautiful ethnic clothes team their outfit with foreign bags.” That's why she started her own line of ingenious designer bags.

In the city as part of the Bridal Week celebrations, the designer is set to launch her trousseau collection “Palatial Souvenir” at the finale, which will be held at Kimaya.

Of this line, Meera says: “This collection celebrates the contemporary Indian woman who understands aesthetics and who is modern in her thinking yet remains attached to her Indian roots. It is the merging of the east and the west, the blending of the contemporary with the classical.”

Bespeaking the glory of Indian art and craft, the trousseau collection of handbags is quite obviously inspired by the big fat Indian wedding. However, the range brought forth by Meera goes before and beyond the actual wedding ceremony. “From the auspicious wedding kalash with shrifal, to mehendi pouches and floating diyas to bajubandhs and royal kalgis, there are accessories for every ceremony associated with a wedding.”

While the smaller bags, especially the clutches are meant for evening dos, the bigger ones are more or less placid. Naturally, the designer's colour palate includes the rich jewel tones of India, silver and gold being predominant.

Capitalising on embellishments, Meera says: “I've used semi precious stones like emeralds and rubies to adorn the already ornate bags. Some of the techniques I've used include wood carving, theva kaam, inlay, engraving and halkari work.”

The USP of her line, she believes, is that all her designs are handcrafted by Indian artisans.

While every piece in this couture collection exudes the charm and resplendence of the royal past, Meera Mahadevia also has her prêt and diffusion lines.

Thousands of ideas

“I've been designing for 25 years and I'm still always teeming with ideas,” she laughs. “I've a book with thousands of my designs. There's always something that triggers my senses and an idea is born.”

Having said that, Meera affirms, “Creativity is never completely one's own. There is a higher grace that endows us with the gift to create.”

Her clientele includes the who's who of Bollywood such as Rekha, Bipasha Basu, Kareena Kapoor and Freida Pinto to name a few. Stating that accessory designers are slowly but surely getting their share of respect and adulation in India, Meera wishes that people would begin to see that “Accessories are extensions of oneself.

They are not there to merely complete a look. We need them because like the clothes we wear and the values we live by, these accessories also define who we are.”