Malini Ramani doesnt like to stay put. Im a traveller. I get my inspirations and my ideas from the journeys that I make. Even as we talk,a mere month before shes set to show at the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai,as the Grand Finale designer,we dont find the designer worrying over her collection and going over the same thing again and again. On the contrary,she tells us,shes off to the island paradise of Bali in an hours time. Business or pleasure,we ask her. A bit of both, she laughs,Call it a mini-vacation,but Im also going there to get some more ideas.
The theme for LFWs Grand Finale this season will be Gypsy and while talking to Ramani,one realizes that it is just apt for the designer. Its a great theme to be working on, she gushes,Ive drawn inspiration from their lovely clothes,the colours,the ornaments,their beautiful caravans and more than anything else,their journeys.
Most people instantly associate Malini Ramani with resort-wear. The designer is quick to point out that her repertoire includes more,but she doesnt really mind the association. She says,I do like resort-wear a lot and I usually design what I would like to wear,so I guess its not unjustified. And frankly,its the tropical resorts that bring out the best in meI love the beaches and palm trees and that lovely laidback life. Bali is a special inspiration and one with which the designer has had a long association. She is the first Indian designer to have a store on the island. I use a lot of batik and ikkat in my collection and the local fashions always trigger my creativity. Everything about their outfits fascinates methe prints,the shells,the jewellery.
At her last showing at the LFW,the fashionista took her adoring audience on a trip around the worldtold through the eyes of a fictitious girl-about-town Rita,the collection wove its way through Mexico,Cote DAzure,Pushkar,Zanzibar and finally fetched up in Mumbai. With each segment of the collection named after a cocktail and replete with luxurious resort wear,the show was a massive hit and Ramani hopes to repeat the feat this time as well. With travelling being a strong motif again this year,does she worry that she might repeat herself? Not at all, she assures,Isnt each journey different from the previous one?
With her penchant for weaving narratives,in another life,she tells us,she wouldve been a storyteller. Or a dancer. Or an interior designer. As it turns out,in this life,she does a bit of everything. Next on the agenda,however,is starting a wellness centre. Its actually in the process right now, she confides,Im just figuring it all out,but this is a dream that is definitely going to come true.