Chennai based fashion designer Rehane's couture speaks a language of global aesthetics

C hennai based Rehane Yavar Dhala, is one of India's established courtiers. This young designer is currently working on a Hollywood film project 999 Dam by Sohan Roy. She was in the city for a fashion show to launch of the movie's cast and crew.

Rehane graduated in design and photography from the European Institute of Design and Calligaris in Rome, Italy.

She says, “I was always surrounded by women who were beautiful. Women who were glamorous, who dressed stylishly and who had great personalities.” This evoked in her a sense of fashion at a very young age.

Passion for design

Her design house started out from a friend's house .It had a ‘Singer' machine and she used to employ a master cum ‘cutter' for half a day. She says, “I could have invested heavily and borrowed funds but I wanted to understand the nuances of my business.” These small beginnings made her understand every thread and needle behind the business of fashion. “The growth was excruciatingly slow for me," she recounts. As she was tutored in western silhouettes most of her garments were of that sensibility. Therefore she was catering to a very small segment in conservative Chennai. Rehane adds, “If you are merely looking for fame and money you cannot stand through tough times, but it was my passion that kept me going.”

Destiny took a U-turn when she started discovering markets beyond Chennai .There was a big demand for her creations in cities like Delhi, Mumbai and also international markets like Kuwait, Bahrain, Jeddah, Washington and London. Today she has a sampling and embroidery unit that employs around 100 people.

Fine detailing

Rehane describes her collections as chic, edgy and feminine. She adds, “though sensuality is important in my creation, I do not believe in showing skin unnecessarily.” Great attention to detail is what sets her collections apart. Rehane's originality lies in surface ornamentation and fabric transformations. The crafts and textures used on the fabrics are inspired by India. Her cuts and drapes are as unique as her silhouettes. Her entire collection speaks a language of global aesthetics.

Rehane has also launched her prêt line “RYD” that caters to a younger clientele. The brand has a range of hand-crafted genuine leather handbags made of vegetable tanned leather. She retails from her flagship store in Chennai and also from select outlets like Aza (Mumbai), Kimaya (Mumbai) and Ogaan (New Delhi) stores across India. A recipient of numerous accolades she has also won the ‘Designer of the Year' at Femina Miss India in 1996. Rehane has been showcasing her collections at the Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week.

No dearth of talent

Talking about the growth of the fashion industry in India she says that there is immense talent in the country .The industry is slowly evolving and learning. “There is a need for systems, professionalism and business acumen in the fashion industry here,” notes Rehane. She is however very optimistic and believes that one day India could be the last frontier for high fashion.

NEETHI ALEX

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