Ranna Gill’s love for all things floral is hardly a secret. Brimming with a wide variety of prints, primarily flowers and foliage, her new collection Casa dei Fiore, for Lakme Fashion Week X FDCI, resembles a moving vertical garden as models try out the garments before her show on March 12 in Mumbai.
“Flowers are full of life, love and femininity. Each flower is unique in its colour, shape and characteristics, much like every woman. Casa dei Fiori celebrates the gentle power of flowers through vibrant prints, embroideries and elegant silhouettes,” says Ranna.
A doyenne of fashion and fashion weeks, Ranna has been showcasing since the first-ever Lakme Fashion Week in 2000 in Delhi. “I showed non-stop for 16 years before taking a break for a couple of years when I had my children. Then I came back again,” says Ranna. So, now she is well-past the goosebumps stage and the only thing she feels before and during a show is a “sense of celebration”. “It is a joyous occasion, not just for me but for the entire design house,” she adds.
For the upcoming show, what she brings to the runway is her version of Lake Como, Italy. The designs took seed last October, when she visited Como with her husband. “It was the best four days we spent together,” she laughs, adding, “I just sat there and took in the landscape — the rolling hills, the plants, flowers, architecture....”
Once back, she thought about everything she witnessed there and it all spun out from there. “We started with the mood board, putting them up. We wanted to see the colours, the patterns, materials, how we play with the florals. It wasn’t hard. It came from my heart,” she says of the creative process.
The fabric, including brocade, linen and satin, is chosen depending on the print. It is a riot of prints, with 20 different ones transitioning onto an ivory and black base. “We have engineered a lot of florals. Instead of embroidery we are engineering patterns,” she says. And these find representation on jackets, sequinned gowns, maxi dresses, ballgown skirts, matching sets, and dresses.
Ranna’s eponymous label hits the quarter century mark this year. “We have stayed relevant through it all. We have managed that by coming out with some newness in the products,” says Ranna adding that her personal style — upbeat, classic, modern, feminine, contemporary — always finds its way into her creations. Over the years she has been known for her vibrant designs that ooze feminine sensibility. She keeps wearability in mind while designing and likes to keep it contemporary so the buyer can wear it more. “Everything I make comes from my heart. What we make here is timeless and elegant, just like our showstopper. And who that is, is a secret for now.”