Fashion

In Kresha Bajaj’s wonderland

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The young designer brings her Lovestory lehengas to Hyderabad this weekend

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When Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Naga Chaitanya got married in October 2017, the highlight was the engagement sari, featuring milestones from the actors’ love story. Shloka Mehta, who married Akash Ambani at a lavish ceremony in April 2019, had details of her romance embroidered onto each kali of her sangeet lehenga. Both outfits were created by Mumbai-based designer Kresha Bajaj, who brings her ‘princess bride’ silhouettes to Hyderabad for the first time this weekend, at a pop-up at Taj Krishna.

Next, a designer wedding?

Hyderabad has the ideal clientele for her personalised wedding garments. Bajaj explains that it took a while to plan an event in the South for she has been busy with her new standalone store in Mumbai. To make up for the delay, she is bringing down her signature pastel palette in gowns and pret blazers, as well as a fair number of saris. “I’ve also added some pop colours like fuschia and tomato red, as well as some darker pieces,” says the young designer. The venue too will reflect the fairytale aesthetic that she aims to create with her clothing. In collaboration with Meera Ravishanker of The Bridal March & Co, Bajaj has enjoyed putting together a dreamy landscape, with the mood reminiscent to her campaigns. “In the future, I would like to conceptualise such fairytale weddings, with a very Indian aesthetic, much like the outfits I design,” she adds.

Of pets and babies

While her first label, Koëcsh, had a contemporary feel, Bajaj, the daughter of industrialist Kishor Bajaj and wife of jeweller husband Vanraj Zaveri, seems to be making great strides in traditional wear. The catalyst for change was the Lovestory lehenga, her first, created for her own wedding. It involved studying embroidery techniques like zardozi and gota, and there has been no turning back since for the 30-year-old. It’s not just romantic stories that inspire. “I’ve made a gown for a mother for her baby shower: it had the entire family tree with cute messages to the baby,” she recalls. But her favourite was a recent bandi for a puppy — it had a heart embroidered with the bride and groom’s name. “Being a dog lover myself, it was special that they made their pet a part of their big day,” she says.

The Kresha Bajaj label now includes a made-to-order kidswear line, an extension of her womenswear. Her recent pret collection includes “versatile, heirloom pieces that can be styled in many different ways”. For the past six months, however, her focus has been on her store in Mumbai. “Initially, it was a bit intimidating… There is no reason for people to walk in except for my work! One of the biggest learnings while setting up and running the store was about brand building, right from the colours and décor to the lighting and stationery,” she says. What’s next on the agenda? “Building up on my existing international clientèle.”

The Kresha Bajaj pop-up takes place at Taj Krishna on June 29 and 30. Prices upwards of ₹ 35,000.

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