While designers like Manish Malhotra, Anju Modi, Rocky S and Sabyasachi Mukherjee are reviving the definition of fashion in films, there are a few names in Indian fashion industry for whom designing for Bollywood has never been the focus. One such name is a 15-year-old brand Geisha Designs, a brainchild of designer duo Paras Bairoliya and Shalini Jaikaria.
“Bollywood designing has never been the focus of our brand. All the celebrities have worn our ready to wear collections and have really appreciated them”, Paras told IANS.
“Also, we feel that Bollywood designing is a full time business, we like our designs to lend to people’s personalities and become a part of their lives rather than just becoming a conversation starter”, Shalini added.
However if the brand will ever think of styling for any film, it has to be a ‘fairytale romance’.
“If we had to do a film, it would be a fairytale romance, that is Geisha’s aesthetic – feminine, beautiful, romantic and alluring. Films encompassing nature and flowers and gorgeous scenery would be the perfect fit for Geisha Designs”, said Shalini.
Launched in January 2001 Geisha Designs is known for using western pattern making principles to re-create traditional Indian silhouettes. Geisha Designs showcases its collections regularly at Who’s Next Pret-a-porter, Paris. Over the recent years, the Brand, has also showcased at Coterie (New York), Vendome Luxury Trade show (Paris), Dubai Fashion Week, Mauritius Fashion Week, and British Bridal Exhibition and Harrogate in Britain.
Geisha Designs is also a member of FDCI (Fashion Design Council of India) and showcases its collections bi-annually at the Amazon India Fashion Week.
The designer duo feels that fashion has changed for good in India since the time they started.
“The industry has definitely grown in the last 15 years and, yes, I cannot deny the fact that the competition is fierce but there are a set of designers who have always been true of their aesthetic”, said Paras.
“It is wonderful to witness more and more designers giving importance to Indian textiles and crafts. Hand embroidered outfits are quite magical and an important part of Couture clothes. Since Indian textiles are so rich even when they are at their most basic, this new era of re-branding them will achieve great success in both Indian and Western markets”, added Shalini.
They also feel that technology has helped the Indian fashion industry grow and they have also learnt from this changing trend.
“In today’s world and age, technology has become an essential part of the Fashion Industry. The global recession demanded affordable clothes and this led to our new focus towards laser and computers, which has indeed been a liberating experience. It breaks from the confines of traditional embroidery”, said Shalini.
Geisha Designs currently retails in more than 100 stores across Europe, Japan, India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the U.S. and South Africa, and the designer duo says that International market is certainly one of the target areas of the brand.
“International market is one of the major target areas. We stock our products in over 100 specialised high-end boutiques across the globe. The US and Middle east are our biggest markets presently. Buyers love hand embroidery as it adds a touch of personal involvement in each piece and it makes it unique from everything else available in the market”, said Paras.
So what are the expansion plans of the brand?
“We do hope to expand further but at the moment our main aim is to bring back the saree (in spotlight). Geisha in the past has always had a great love for sarees but unfortunately we were unable to give it proper attention, we now would be re-venturing into creating contemporary, pretty and romantic sarees.”
“Geisha has always been proud of India’s hand crafted textile and techniques and we feel that this would be the perfect way to keep our attachment to the craft alive”, concluded Shalini.
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