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Elegance in exclusivity

Sonu Agarwal creates magic at her designer boutique `Lilac', and maintaining exclusivity is her USP.

JUST INDULGE: Lilac design studio has something for everyone.

THE FASHION mantra of today is to look different and stand out in a crowd, never mind if it is in the 100-year-old Devdas style sari or the latest crystal creations. And Sonu Agarwal of Lilac design studio faithfully adheres to this wisdom. "My claim to fame is, I can make every woman feel and look special," beams Sonu, "I fit her out after taking everything into consideration, her personality, complexion, kind of accessories she would be wearing and most important the occasion." And going by the array of designs and creative needlework she has to offer, it does not seem to be a difficult job. The studio that stocks saris ranging from Rs. 2,500 onwards and salwar suits as reasonable as Rs. 300, has something for everyone. Adorned with kundan, jaal, jari, zardozi, oxidised sequins, the exclusive in-house printed and dyed fabrics take on a magical look.

Despite having a team of skilled workers and lots of creative inputs, Sonu who has been catering to a loyal clientele has to constantly come-up with innovative designs and forms to satisfy her ever demanding buyers. For, she says, one woman doesn't like to see another woman in the same kind of clothes. She says such fierce exclusivity is seen more among the family members. Kitty party is another place where the women guard their sartorial secrets very zealously, she laughs.

Supported by her family, especially by her husband, Ramesh Agarwal , the boutique has become a resounding success within a year's time. So much so, that they had to shift from Somajiguda to a more spacious location in Himayatnagar.

CREATIVE NEEDLEWORK: Saris to make you feel special.

Sonu owes a lot to her karigars or workers who efficiently execute her most complicated designs and creations. The workshop which houses ten to fifteen workers is a busy place with embroidery, tailoring, printing and dying works going-on simultaneously. Her workers are so talented, even students from NIFT come over and learn intricate works from them.

It is expected of a boutique to offer designs that are different and varied, so where does the inspiration come from? "Everywhere," says Sonu, "especially the temples where people come in traditional wear, are great places, so are markets places, weddings and movies."

"Surprisingly," says Ramesh "Kolkata is a fountainhead of all new trends, in fact trends like lehriya and others started from there. That is why we keep travelling often to take in the new trend."

COLOUR CODED: For every occasion.

Keeping up with times is important says Sonu, for instance she says, the New Year really tested her creative skills. "There was this exclusive party with a black and red theme and most of my clients were going there. Imagine giving everyone something special in that theme colour! I had to draw on every bit of my imagination," she laughs. "Only the gushing `thank yous' the next day made me happy."

Apart from clothes, Sonu designs jewellery too, which is her family business. In fact she started off designing diamond jewellery and only later branched off into fashion designing. Handling the jewellery business gave her the ability to handle the workmen and meet the deadlines, which she says is the most difficult part of her work. So now, with a place of her own, she plans to have a range of accessories to go with her designer range of clothes.

Contact Sonu Agarwal at Lilac Design Studio, diamond House, Himayatnagar. Ph: 55591851/56551851


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