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‘It’s absolutely amazing the world is turning to sustainable fashion’: Designer duo Gauri and Nainika

"Fashion designers are focusing on making clothes in environment-friendly ways and to reduce their carbon footprint"

Gauri and Nainika, fashion designers Gauri and Nainika, Gauri and Nainika lakme fashion weekXFDCI, Gauri and Nainika deepika padukone, Gauri and Nainika asihwarya rai bachchan, Gauri and Nainika bollywood, Gauri and Nainika interview, Gauri and Nainika fashion industryBollywood celebs are often spotted in exquisite creations by the designer duo. (Photo: Gauri and Nainika/Instagram)

Designers Gauri and Nainika Karan’s collections are distinctly feminine, replete with ruffles, floral prints and flowy silhouettes. The sisters, who launched their brand in 2002, have come a long way and are today one of the most celebrated fashion designers. They also have Bollywood celebrities wearing their creations: from Katrina Kaif to Deepika Padukone and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

On the sidelines of the recently-concluded FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week, Nainika spoke with indianexpress.com about their latest collection in collaboration with Marie Claire that was showcased as part of the ‘phygital show’, their take on sustainable fashion and who wears their designs best.

Read on:

What is the USP of your latest collection?

We have done a huge number of prints, and the inspiration is our mother’s garden. Usually, Gauri and I have done a lot of solids, but this time, we did a crazy amount of beautiful, floral prints. The idea is about colours and evoking the feeling of romance.

How is it different from your previous creations?

For Gauri and I, each collection and inspiration is always different. This time, we have done short dresses, playful numbers and for younger girls. And of course, we have done our signature gowns, midis, voluminous dresses, etc. But the focus is on the short dresses that are super young and fresh; I think younger girls will love to wear these. What is different again, is that there is such a variety of prints in the collection. They are very English, and the collection has a very light and positive feel.

What was the inspiration behind the latest collection?

Our mother is into gardening and we have been very lucky to have grown up in homes that have had beautiful gardens. Nothing is more inspiring than the colours of nature. Being in lockdown at home, we spent so much time in our mother’s garden, working together and watching the bees, birds and ladybirds, it was incredibly refreshing and inspiring. Like pressing the reset button and being one with nature, instead of being in traffic or in the office. That is what led to the collection.

The pandemic affected the fashion industry in a huge way. How did you cope with it?

We had our period of being financially hit and luckily, things have now picked up. I think everyone had to sort of reinvent themselves during the difficult time last year. The demand was more for easy dresses and not so much for gowns, so we had to scale down and adjust. Work from home was easier when I was pregnant and, for us as mothers, it was great to spend time with the kids and stop to smell the roses.


The pandemic also led to fashion shows becoming virtual. You are showing your collection as part of a ‘phygital’ edition. What is your take on it?

I feel it’s a refreshing change. We have all done this for so many years, so honestly presenting a virtual show had its benefits. Shooting a video gives more freedom to play around with creatively versus a live runway that is more restricting in many ways. And it’s given everyone a break as everyone has led such busy lives so far.

What are the pros and cons of a digital show vis-a-vis an in-person show?

All this has made us realise that we can all do a mix of both. The real thing is never going to lose its charm, to see the models walk down the runway and see the clothes and reactions while sitting there. A screen will never replace watching the real thing and that goes beyond fashion week. But like I said, we can now do a mix of things. For example, work from home taught us that you can take some calls from home and not sit in a car for hours for a meeting that can easily be done on video conference. We can save time and make life more efficient. So I love all these lessons that we have learnt from the pandemic.


Last year, there was a lot of conversation around sustainable fashion as well. What is your opinion on the subject?

I think it’s absolutely amazing that the world is turning to sustainable fashion, and that fashion designers are focusing on making clothes in environment-friendly ways to reduce their carbon footprint. The whole world is moving in this direction. Fashion is one of the biggest contributors to waste. So, designers have to make a big deal so it becomes the new norm. It can be done in a small or big way, as long as you are incorporating it into the business and manufacturing. It doesn’t always have to be about using fabrics that are biodegradable or sustainable; it can be right from the starting point of making a garment, how you are using electricity, if you are using plastic, and so on.

How does the year 2021 look for you?

Exciting. 2021 is about hope, positivity and new beginnings. We are looking forward to getting back to a slightly normal life but better than we were earlier (with all the lessons that we learnt).

The pandemic also led to various fashion trends. Can you predict any more?

People have realised that you can dress down a bit and focus more on comfort. That is the type of collections we can see. We also tied up with Marie Claire for the show and paired our garments – feminine and confident. The shoes we used are delicate and they go so well with the clothes. The brand has that kind of a design sensibility that is Parisian, glamorous and timeless. We loved the pairing!

A lot of Bollywood celebrities are spotted wearing your creations, but who carries them off the best and why?


It’s hard to name one person! A lot of Bollywood actors are confident, stunning and everyone is different from each other. Aishwarya has worn our designs for years; she is classic and chooses feminine styles. Deepika goes for power looks and dramatic styles, and she is so strong!

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First published on: 03-04-2021 at 12:30:00 pm
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