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The runway to success


This young designer’s journey from Malhausi (a village near Kanpur) to Milan, to taking the glitzy ramps of the world by storm and touching many villages on the way, is no less than a success story. Rahul Mishra graduated in science from Kanpur University, before he moved to Delhi, unwilling to give in to his father’s wishes to become a doctor or an engineer.

What was meant to be a three-year apparel design and merchandising course kept him in college for six, as he attended all classes — filmmaking, furniture and animation, among others. “I utilised my time well. There was so much to learn, I didn’t want to leave the campus!” Rahul laughs.


National Institute of Design (NID) was his launch-pad for the debut at the ‘genNEXT’ show at Mumbai Fashion Week in 2006. He had created a collection made from Kerala handloom fabric, all of which could be worn inside out. When Sabyasachi Mukherjee called it a “dream debut” and the entire industry started taking notice, Rahul was all about learning from his mistakes. “It was surreal. I was still in college and couldn’t handle the production properly. Difficulties were only opportunities to learn from.”

He places a lot of value on trends and stresses its’ importance for both designers and shoppers. “Fashion is synonymous with trends, and they don’t just come out of thin air. They come from political and social issues like climate change and biodiversity. As a designer, you should try to find trends from the times,” opines Rahul, whose latest collection, Monsoon Diaries, draws inspiration from the rains.

We ask this runway regular for his opinion on celebrities walking the ramp. “It works for certain designers but not for us. Fashion needs to have its own strength and the collection should talk, not the celebrity. It negates the point when the only thing people want to know is ‘who is the showstopper’,”

he avers.

Like others of his time, including Aneeth Arora and Madhu Jain, Mishra lends his support to the craftsmen. There are about 500-600 families that are dependent on each of his collection. “Fashion cannot be in isolation from the craft and textile industry. The craft and textile industries contribute to 12% of the Indian GDP. It’s also the largest exported commodity. We are too focused on showstoppers and the real sense of fashion needs to come in,” he says.

The designer’s go-to style is comfy sneakers, denims and shirts, and has a dream to employ one million people with social benefits, 10 years from now. Mishra also has the prestigious Woolmark Prize under his belt, which he won in 2014. He says that there is no typical Rahul Mishra woman. “A woman who wears my label doesn’t want a compliment on her outfit, but on how she looks. My ideology isn’t to create costumes or give you a new personality, but add to yours.”

‘Monsoon Diaries’ available at Evoluzione from today

Sustainable style

Mishra is all about taking it slow and investing in pieces that stay in your wardrobe longer. It’s also about making a judgement call and moving towards brands with better social practices. “What people have written about cotton fabric may not be true. Sometimes, a polyester T-shirt might be more eco-friendly. If you need 1,000 litres of water for one cotton T-shirt, so you have to go for the lesser evil,” he says.Read more at:evening dresses online


09:31 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Retirement didn't go as expected for GV entrepreneur

When retirement plans unavoidably shifted, Green Valley business owner Nancy Lambert took a leap that's paid off, although she's eager for the November election to be over and the economy to stabilize.

Seven years ago, Lambert was happily employed as a technical clothing designer in Tucson, a job from which she planned to retire in 2012. When the company was unexpectedly sold in 2009, she was out of a job. She found work freelancing, even though it meant traveling to Phoenix three days a week from Green Valley.

But it provided enough income to buy the equipment she needed to start a business making and selling fabric coasters. Soon she diversified into neck-coolers, kitchen aprons and hot/cold packs, sales from which provided more machines.

Eventually she was sewing for others out of her garage, and launched Arizona Apparel Manufacturing in 2010.

Lambert soon signed on her first customer, clothing designer Ruby Sanders, formerly of Tubac and now of Green Valley. Sanders' Ruby Jane line, a higher-end clothing collection, is now assembled at Arizona Apparel, which moved to commercial space in a quiet corner of Green Valley's Ward Lane after Lambert realized she needed more room.

Since then, Lambert, 66, has developed contracts to manufacture other women's clothing, commercial embroidery, and her largest client, Dirty Girl Gaiters ankle protectors for recreationalists.

Her five employees and two contract staff who work from home produce 1,500 pairs a month. The gaiters were founded by fashion-conscious marathoner Xy Weiss of California in 2004.

Election downturn

Building a business is tough enough, but Lambert has also had to worry about the economy this year. Blame it on the election, she says, which has been “horrendously bad” for business.

“Everybody's hanging on to everything because they don't know what's coming.”

She said it's not unusual to feel a slack in business, but that's often not until December or January.

“But this year it was in mid-September.”

She expects to see an upsurge soon in embroidery orders, as is typical before the holidays.

With the gaiters, Dirty Girl determines what patterns and colors of four-way stretch Spandex will be produced; Lambert's staff cut, assemble and ship the gaiters to customers worldwide.

The product is a hit with joggers, cyclists, hikers and others, shielding them from dirt, brush, rocks and the like. Reflective versions also make good safety wear, increasing user visibility at night.

Every six months, another 36 rolls of fabric arrive in Green Valley with new patterns. Popular themes include skulls, swirls and food items, with the widest-sought color, black. Metallics and neons are also hot.

With her own business, “The biggest challenge has been finding competent help,” she said. “Sewing is not something many people do anymore.”

Despite the recent economic downturn, she sees signs the apparel industry is “definitely” returning to the U.S. after years of being farmed out to foreign countries, where labor costs are rising and quality can be inconsistent. She's getting more calls all the time from people wanting American-made products and is gratified to be part of that movement. Old Glory hangs in the shop, and it's motto is “Keeping it Made in America.”

Starting her own business was fun but scary. The move to Green Valley helped by sparing some commuter expenses, Tucson taxes, and she likes it here.

“No matter how much you prepare, there are still a lot of unknowns,” Lambert said. “It's been extremely exciting with the roller coaster market.”

She's confident she'll have a healthy business when she's ready to sell and, like she'd earlier planned, enjoy retirement.Read more at:formal dress shops sydney | formal dress shops brisbane

09:41 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Masaba Gupta’s NYC 'boss woman'


Designer Masaba Gupta drew inspiration from New York street style, showing a 3D video of the city during her Amazon India Fashion Week spring-summer show on Saturday. She also paid tribute to her mentor, Wendell Rodricks, during the show.

There was heavy use of black and white against bright shades of pink, green, red and mustard.

Cape shirts, overlapped dress, shirt dress, tunics, gowns, crop tops and pants were the highlight for the show — and a few saris were also featured in the collection.

Known for giving international touch to her costumes, Gupta, 27, the daughter of actress Neena Gupta and cricketer Viv Ricahrds, said, “I wanted to do something that woman, who travel can wear them. My collection is about a woman, who is well travelled. No matter in which part of the world she is, she can always wear them.”

“It is about [an] upbeat boss woman that is so synonymous with New York. I did a big range this time. I also used a caricature print, which is inspired by 23-year-old actress Athiya Shetty walked in the show in gold-print white flared trousers and a black crop top paired with a cape.

“It definitely depicts a confident and comfortable girl. I love Masaba’s clothes. They have a lot of personality and I have always been a fan of her collection,” Shetty told PTI.

“This is the first time I’m officially wearing Masaba. So, it’s really special and she described it perfectly. You can see in her each garment they have their own story to tell,” she said.

Gupta is known for her extraordinary and quirky prints like the lipstick, cow and camera print. This time she used caricatures inspired by Mithila paintings from Bihar.

“It’s more structured this time. The quirky, fun bit is only one print that we have done about these caricatures. It’s not as edgy as the stuff in the past but more classic,” she said.

But what stole the show was a tribute to designer Rodricks.

“I just wanted to pay a tribute to him because he has been so influential in my life,” she said.Read more at:short cocktail dresses

10:33 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)