Underwater current

Shivan and Narresh  

Shivan & Narresh, the dynamic design duo, have made lounging glamorous in India. Their functional and luxury swimwear and resort-wear give your holidays a much-deserved stylish makeover. The brand’s signature colour-blocked avatar, minimalistic style and modern cuts revolutionised beachwear in India making it a holiday essential for women and celebrities all over the world.

Stepping into the swim-wear scene in 2008, after their Cannes launch, the Delhi-based designers were both intimidated and excited to launch an intimate fashion category in the unexplored Indian market. “Among other challenges, the biggest in India was to make people love themselves. People in the West love themselves, their bodies and own them regardless of the size or shape. Lack of this basic understanding has kept our fashion sense only to occasion and traditional wear, as we tend to indulge in Indian fashion solely for the love of family, friends and society and not for oneself,” says Narresh Kukreja, creative director at Shivan & Narresh.

For their many achievements, from introducing bespoke swimwear for Indians to designing costumes for Life of Pi, dressing Dita Von Teese and their philanthropic invention such as the Mastectomy blouse, they were recently included in the Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ list, which has them grinning still. “It felt like it is the summation of all our hard work to emerge as India’s first holiday brand. Being felicitated amongst such honorary professionals reassured us that we are on the right path creatively & professionally,” shares Shivan Bhatiya.

From bikinis to accessories to resort wear, swimwear is the forte of their brand and all their new inventions, be it the bikini sari, resort sari or the neoprene lehenga revolve around it. In fact, the brand’s iconic invention, the ‘bikini sari’, which can be draped in 10 different ways, is every woman’s best friend. “A modernistic bathing suit, while catering to the needs of the Indian societal setup, is perfect for lounging by the beach or a pool. Draping it over the shoulder makes it an incredibly glamorous resort sari that can be worn from beach to bar and cocktails to destination weddings,” says Shivan.

The most important thing, the duo believes, is to wear confidence, even more than the bikini itself. They also suggest some pointers on picking the right swimwear, “Choose a swimwear style that focuses on highlighting the strengths of the body than hiding flaws. Make sure the swimsuit fits well and is snug, as swimsuits in water always get one size loose. High contrasts, optical illusions and darker colours make problem areas look smaller. Halters should be used either to enhance a bust line, give support, or to give the illusion of a flatter bust. A suit is not complete without a classic pareo and one signature accessory — a jewelled collar would be perfect to complete the look.”

So what makes a Shivan-Narresh swimwear a wardrobe must-have? “Swimwear is a tool that allows us to free women in India to embrace their bodies. It’s the only piece of clothing in your closet that allows you to love yourself for how you are made, and not hide behind layers that create an illusionary body image. This freedom is priceless and beyond fashion,” says Shivan.

Besides their flagship stores in many cities, the brand received larger visibility after their portal went online. They also have ‘made to measure’ customisation services enabling a client to stylise the garment/outfit according to their needs and apprehensions. The brand has a presence in Chennai through Evoluzione, where they host their customised swimsuit service twice a year. “Some of our boldest connoisseurs in fact belong to Chennai. These visits allow us to introduce our concepts in a more focused and personal manner. We discover that Indian women today are well travelled, exposed and hence, more aware of evolving to love the incredible Indian body type for its effortless feminine curves and to flaunt it gracefully.”

On talking about what’s trending in swimwear now, they say sports luxe, crop tops, retro style high-waisted bikinis paired with bracelets as well as slashed cut-out trikinis are their picks for Sping-Summer 2014. “Canary yellows paired with monochromes and corals paired with aqua tones should dominate the colour palette,” adds Shivan. With Spring Summer 15, a store coming up in Bangalore at The Leela and their upcoming menswear line, the busy designers don’t seem in any mood to rest back and lounge.

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 4:56:42 AM |

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