Weddings or engagement functions in the family the first call would go out to Rupam Kaur Grewal. My friends and family would quickly engage me in designing their clothes and styling them,and I was more than happy to do it, says a petite-looking Grewal. An engineer by profession and married into a family of educationists who run Dalhousie Public School in Badhani (three hours from Chandigarh),Grewals time was divided between home and school,till a nieces wedding in Canada made her rethink.
She asked me to get a whole collection of traditional wedding dresses,which I did with the help of tailors on our campus. It was fun looking for fabric,embroideries and colours,and shuttling between Delhi,Ludhiana and Chandigarh. As soon as I landed,the collection was sold out. Thats when I decided to get into it, says the designer,who started her studio called Jaamawar Minx in Badhani four years ago,followed by another one in her hometown,Bangalore,and now,the latest one in Chandigarhs Elante mall.
These days,she is prepping up for a fashion show that will be held on Wednesday evening to formally launch the new store. Heavily rooted in Punjabi tradition,Grewals works are bridal and ceremonial,with a riot of colours,tones,textures and embroidery. My inspiration for colours comes from nature, she says.
Going by the collection,its silk and its various forms that are Grewals choice of fabric,along with net,Chantilly lace and velvets. I was born and brought up in Bangalore,and south is famous for silk. Silk is in my blood and I can tell you about the fabric by just closing my eyes and feeling it, she says. For Grewal,silk is the most natural and breathable fabric,and all one has to do is dip it in easy wash and hang it to dry. You can avoid dry cleaning, says Grewal,who is also a diamond trader. I wanted to know everything about the stone and did a course, she says.
Silk may be her favourite,but what has made Grewal a hit are her signature salwars. Its a whole new peg to the traditonal Patiala salwar. Most of the times,the shirts get all the attention,and so do the odhnis and dupattas. The salwars are ignored,without realising that when one walks in,the legs also make a fashion statement,and what better than a classy salwar to do the job? she remarks.
Grewal decided to give the salwar a new identity by throwing in more colour,laces,cuts and giving it a silhouette to play with. Also into customising wedding trousseaus,her design mantra matches that of her favourite designer,Manish Malhotra. Soft,flowing and lady-like, she says,adding,Sabyasachi would do too.
But all of this falls flat if the girl is not wearing heels, says Grewal,who now plans to open another store in Canada and hopes to turn costume designer for a film.