With a label that has withstood over two decades of changing trends, fabrics and fashion, designer Krishna Mehta is definitely a class apart! Having been in the industry for long enough to witness the changing phase of the fashion fraternity, she still works and weaves with the same enthusiasm of her initial days as a designer. Known best for her block prints, tie-dye techniques and intrinsic weaves, Krishna has constantly challenged boundaries. She is the first menswear designer of the country and has showed at Milan Fashion Week previously as well. In an exclusive with Sk, she breaks into a conversation about her journey, the growing industry and more...
1. What is the reason to show outside your own flagship store and move to multi-designer space?
I retail outside of my flagship store and sell to forty different stores including the top ones like Aza, Ensemble, Fuel, Samsaara etc and Atosa just happens to be one of them. It’s great to associate with such ‘popular’ stores because you can reach out to more number of people easily. Firstly, I have a personal relationship with Aparna of Atosa because of which I decided to retail through them. Knowing a person, having matching design sensibilities is of utmost importance when I consider to tie up with a brand. With multimedia kicking in, promotional and marketing activities have also assumed a great deal of responsibility. After having considered various parameters, I happily went ahead with the plan!
2. What are the major trends for the season that you have incorporated in your latest collection?
I have created a collection that is complete with femininity and strength with fervour and boldness to it. The silhouettes are fitted, longer in length with a lot of draping. However, the drapes aren’t about using a lot of fabric but it’s about precise cuts, shape and strong structure. Drawing inspiration from the Art Deco movement, I have taken to using a lot of colour, block prints and shibori focussing on the texture. The major trend is about dressing with your own individuality and, mixing and matching whatever peeks out of your wardrobe. My collection is about teaming it up the way you want to and discovering your style over wearing what a designer has to say!
3. How has the response received at LFW been so far?
I retailed about 850 pieces and still have more to go! So far, this has been the most promising season for me at the Lakme Fashion Week. I was out of the country when Wills took place and did have second thoughts about showing at Mumbai since Delhi usually has more number of buyers. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see every buyer of mine here. In fact we even took orders from stores prior to the fashion week which has helped us retail better. We were able to process the fabrics and prints beforehand itself to create bulk orders in time. The buyer today is more conscious of quality, finish and the price which means one cannot take them for a ride and must be prepared to give them good quality.
4. Amongst the upcoming lot of designers who are the most promising ones according to you?
Aneeth Arora of Pero is great! She is very talented, original and as the winner of VFF, she has only proved her mettle yet again. It’s very important for upcoming designers to not lose themselves and stand by what you believe. Apart from that, even Masaba Gupta is very good. She comes with her own strength, one that is unique and complete with great spunk and verve. Such designers bring in a wave of newness to the growing industry.
5. What’s your take on the evolution of the Indian fashion industry over the last decade?
It has been a great one decade for each one of us who have been associated with the Indian fashion fraternity. With fashion weeks like Lakme, Wills and other smaller ones in every other state, fashion is truly thriving. We have luxury and international brands waiting to enter the country and we are being bombarded with news from all over which is great! Its a pleasant change to see how fashion has become more wearable and accessible to the common man unlike the days gone by where we would just spot something on a celebrity. We are looking forward to see an upsurge of talent, design and production in the coming years.
6. What are your future plans?
I have various teams pooled in to get things in place for the year as I have been looking at exploring different avenues. I’m looking to explore the markets in Tier II and III cities as the metros have gotten saturated! Cities like Chandigarh, Ludhiana are ready for my collection and they do have the necessary buying abilities as well. It will be a good challenge for me to test the market once I understand the demography and get the price points right. Also, looking at more brand associations and participating in more fashion weeks for the year! Fully packed, that’s how I like it.
7. What’s your big bet this season- neons, clashing prints or monochromes?
This season, it would have to be bright colours and having fun with a medley of vibrant colours. Having been a muted, beige and white person for the longest, now that I have discovered the joy of brights I urge everyone to go all out!