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Southern comfort

More is less for Rehane who takes her collection to the India Fashion Week

WOMAN IN RED Style meets substance in Rehane's creations Photo: Sunder

Her clothes change with every season. But after several summers in the fashion biz, dozens of lines and three kids, Rehane Yavar Dhala remains the same — effervescent and happily obsessive about her metier.

"Hey! I'm here today, here tomorrow," she smiles with total confidence, as she gets ready for yet another whirl of fashion in the capital to make it to the Lakme India Fashion Week in the designers' category.

So what's her line like for LIFW? "Well... I've taken the heritage route to prove that more is less. My line is going to be a kind of Southern interlude. Temple architecture of Tamil Nadu — the goddesses, the jewellery and the colours used to deck up deities — has been the creative spur for me. When it comes to colour and ornamentation, the South never fights shy. So the creations traverse a vivid colour spectrum. Deep blue, emerald green, resplendent red and royal purple that are resonant of our ethnic culture are a highlight of the line.

Pointing out to some tight-fitting, bodice-like tops, she says, "The figurines on temple walls and gopurams don perfect, form-fitting clothes." Every piece in this line is embellished with chunky temple jewellery. "It took about two months to put together this collection, though the conception started much earlier. It's like having a baby. There's pleasure and pain," chuckles the designer.

But haven't architecture-inspired lines been done before? Or for that matter, even the art of incorporating jewellery in couture?

"Oh, yes, they've been done. But my work is not about attaching two-and-a-half pieces of jewellery to the creations. I've worked on colour, styling and embellishment," she says, cheerfully agreeing that the line was primarily done with the ramp on her mind.

"Something that's closer to my style sensibility is the glam-girl look with naqashi work. For this too, I've used a traditional palette with appliqué flowers crafted in layers with bright orange beaded rims."

Kurtas and tops with necklines that dive all the way down to the navel, flirty dresses with peasant skirt frills, churi-trousers, kimono tops and a sprinkling of saris are part of her collection for LIFW. "Romance is the mood of the moment. So, we will be seeing a lot of frills, frayed edges, pleats, layers and pin tucks."

Talking in detail about the forthcoming LIFW, she says, "This is the third time that I'm participating. It's getting very expensive. But, it gives my label a lot of visibility and enhances my profile. Ultimately, it is the bottom line that counts. The rest is just jargon!"


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