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The two,set for their maiden showing at the Delhi Fashion Week,call their brand Dozakh,which means hell in Persian...

Written by Paromita Chakrabarti |
March 18, 2009 11:13:21 pm

The two fashion weeks are set to showcase a plethora of new designers. We tell you who to watch

Kartikeya and Isha
The two,set for their maiden showing at the Delhi Fashion Week (DFW),call their brand Dozakh,which means hell in Persian,but Nitin Kartikeya insists that their ensembles are really about finding the light amid all the gloom.

“Darkness and hardships bring out the best in people. We believe in drawing from bitter experiences and coming up with something inspirational from it,” says the 25-year-old from Lucknow,who came to Delhi to study at the JD Institute of Fashion over five years ago and never went back. Kartikeya set up the label with classmate,23-year-old Isha,while still in college and the two have a thriving store in Hauz Khas that has even garnered mention on the Conde Nast list of chic shopping outlets in the country. The brand name might be infernal,but what their collection does is to collate various influences — from Mughal and Grecian architecture to convent school ethics and contemporary pop — in a sombre palette. Check out their show on March 20. Priced between Rs 5,000 and Rs 35,000,the ensembles are available at Aza and Amara in Delhi and Mumbai,besides their flagship store.

Raman Vij
Designer Raman Vij is no greenhorn at the business of fashion — the 36-year-old passed out of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT),Delhi,12 years ago — and admits sheepishly that it has taken time to establish himself on the country’s style radar. One reason could be that he confined himself for nine years to a store in Ludhiana,overflowing with knitwear,and Punjabi weddings.

Knitwear? Indeed. But in Vij’s hands,which have been sufficiently trained at the Nottingham Trent University,UK,they are not the plebian woolens found in every corner store in the state,they become uber-elegant,heavily structured jackets and tops. “Knit is something I have been passionate about,but you need a sound infrastructure before you can really go out there and take your label places,” says Vij,who will be debuting at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) today,showcasing ensembles of his autumn-winter line ‘Metamorphosis’. His collection is priced between Rs 3,000 and Rs 30,000 and is so far only available on order at his store.

Surabhi Chawla
Delhiite Surabhi Chawla packed in quite a punch at her three years at NIFT. She flew to Napoli on a six-month programme and picked up those useful Italian tips on fine cuts before showcasing a collection at the Alta Roma Alta Moda fashion event in Rome in 2007. By the time she graduated in 2008,Chawla had snagged a job with designer Ashish Soni and was almost ready with her label. Europe hasn’t left her. “I always wanted to focus on street fashion,the way people wear it in Europe,because pret is more about everyday wear. My collection is essentially about that,” says the 23-year-old who is set to debut at the DFW at the end of the week. Chawla’s clothes add Indian elements like weaving to a western silhouette,and the tonal variations that she attains through handcrafting textures give an edgy optical play to it. Available at her studio in Kirti Nagar,the collection is priced between at Rs 2,500-Rs 8,000.

Payal Kapoor
For someone who has been running the fairly successful Arushi Art Gallery in Delhi,with many shows and curatorial works to her credit,fashion may seem like an aberration. But 38-year-old Kapoor insists that fashion had always been her first career option. “I am a trained textile designer,but I never had the time to get into it because my kids needed constant attention. Now that they have grown up and the gallery is doing well,it is time I tried my hand at fashion,” she trills.

Her label Famous is an amalgam of Indian influences and western silhouettes. Expect mirrorwork,detailed handwork and bright colours on the 100-odd garments she will stock at her stall at WIFW. She will also display her accessory label,Raj,which sells out of Bebe,Neiman Marcus and Nordstorm in the US. Famous is tagged between Rs 1,500 and Rs 25,000 and available at Samsaara and Ogaan across India.

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