dna young turks: Designing in style

Friday, 2 May 2014 - 7:28pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

The fashion industry has seen a sea-change in years. Here's a look at it

Glamorous for sure, but this is one industry that is constantly under the scanner. Reasons being many; a multitude of talent who are constantly raising the bar for competitors to perform better, a keen interest of the youth in this sphere, a swarm of critics (those who understand fashion or not) and a need to gratify both the blue-book members and the masses. Indirectly, we're all a part of the fashion-evolution in some way. As much as we've been influenced by the West, there's also been a phenomenal change in how we've started perceiving fashion as a country. A fraction of the youth is paying heed to it too, and is keen to be a part of the fashion-world. The options of how to connect with the industry are diverse. Apart from being part of the rag trade or glossy editorials, there's blogging, online shopping and retailing. The fashion industry has progressed from being just a métier to 'a serious business'. While there's no dearth of 'showstoppers' in this world, culling out names of those who've gotten people to stop and stare was a task.

Miuccia Prada once said, "Fashion is instant language." We had our version of that quote in mind…we were adamant on listing those who have, within a short span of time, eloquently reminded us of their passion towards 'all things stylish'. Apart from that, these names have connected with the youth, thanks to their creative aptitude.

Masoom Minawala
: 21 yrs.
Flashback two years, it would be difficult to recall but reality remains that blogging and fashion e-stores was in an amateur phase. Fashion bloggers have surged in Mumbai, with the industry reaching its crest. Today, it's all about blogging while you make the buck!

At an age of 21, when most are only figuring out what step to take next, Masoom has it all sorted. Owner of Style Fiesta Diaries —a fashion blog, she also has an e-commerce website, Style Fiesta, where she sells all things quirky and stylish. A fashion consultant for those who want a business space on the web, this girl who started building her realm when she was just 18, can also be credited with a fashion jobs listing website. That's not all; she's a fashion consultant too. Ask her about the many feathers in her cap and how she manages it all, her prompt response: "It's not about making money. You've got to have a passion for what you do!"

Nikhil Thampi
: 27 yrs.
Dynamic and commercialised, that's an apt description for the fashion space in a brand-conscious India which is now heavily accented with a mall culture. A mélange of umpteen fashion schools, many platforms to showcase the work of budding sartorialists, international exposure and a red-carpet culture, all this compute the hike fashion, as an industry, is witnessing.

Is it possible to be a successful designer with no formal fashion training whatsoever? Yes; proof is Nikhil Thampi who has been in the limelight for his collections both on and off the ramp. Thampi was personally invited to showcase his designs at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week New York right after his second collection. With a label that is just two-and-a-half years old, Thampi has created quite a stir among the fashion populace with his simple yet sassy designs. Nikhil who is assured that "Bollywood is his calling" is also one of the contributing designers for the film Bombay Velvet.

Jewellery designer
Nitya Arora
: 27 yrs.
Jewellery, a significant part of one's ensemble, has metamorphosed as a sector in India. Not only has there been an undivided focus on both fine jewellery and costume jewellery, people have also started relating to the latter and accepting it as an integral part of their wardrobe.

Owner of the brand Valliyan, Nitya was just 20 when she started retailing costume jewellery; she gave it a try for the "need to direct her creative juices". It took her a while to be accepted, as she "had to change people's perception towards costume jewellery 1 per cent perception at a time." The jewellery designer, shares fashion space with fashion designer Masaba Gupta at a boutique in Kala Ghoda. She also showcased her designs this at WHOS NEXT in Paris, one of the biggest fashion trade shows in the world. Referred to as one among the rulers of the ramp, Nitya's contemporary and individualistic style receives a thumbs-up from both designers and fashionistas.

Need to reinvent themselves
"There is a very small percentage of young designers who actually have originality in their work. We're conscientious about the work we do. When I deal with young designers, there is a lot of information gathered. They need to reinvent themselves from time to time."
Niharika Khan, stylist

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