It all adds up

City accessory designer Shivangi Choudhary exhibits her latest line at the forthcoming Sunday Soul Sante

"Is that weird, taking my Louis Vuitton bag camping?" actress Jessica Simpson wondered aloud in the popular reality TV Series Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica that she appeared in with her then husband Nick Lachey.

Those who followed the serial know that Jessica did take her bag camping and that's the only thing that kept her spirits high at the camping spot. That's how attached and possessive women are about their bags.

And 27-year-old accessory designer Shivangi Choudhary was quick to realise that. Her less-than-a-year old label that does the rounds at city fleas, has an impressive range of bags for women with a subtle and classy sense of style and even those who like it funky and vibrant.

Named Amaniya, which means 'pure' in her home state Bihar, the label makes affordable accessories for women with a keen interest in fashion. "I named it Amaniya as few know about the word. It reflects the purity of the fabrics I use(brocade, cotton, cotton silk and denim) and the newness of the concept," she says.

The label was born when the Fashion and Apparel Design graduate from School of Fashion Technology, Pune, realised she's had enough of corporate life after working for retail chains for seven years designing clothes. "Clothing is a difficult segment as it depends on the fit.

I wanted to play it safe yet do something different. So I chose accessories, something people spend a lot on. You can wear a basic top and carry a funky bag and you really don't need anything else," she states.

Shivangi sources fabrics from Kolkata, Mumbai and Bangalore, waste fabrics from her designer friends and uses handmade embroidery for her bags.

"Embroideries can range from beads to pearls, sequins, zari work, metal and thread work and even fabric flowers. They are all exclusive. I do look at global trends in the glossies, but they might not always work for the Indian woman," maintains Shivangi.

Totes, that happen to be her personal favourite, constitute eighty per cent of her collection. The rest are clutches and pouches. She remembers falling in love with the tan leather tote that Kate Winslet was one spotted with. "She carries really nice bags," says Shivangi.

The designer's cloth bangles are a campus favourite. "I was bored one day and picked up some bangles and fabrics and made ten bangles which were gone within half an hour when I put them out for an exhibition," reveals Shivangi.

All she had done was covered wooden bangles with printed and plain cloth and put zari threads on them. They became an instant hit. The rest of her jewellery is sourced from Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, a city she'll soon exhibit in.

Currently Shivangi retails out of 100 feet Boutique and yellow Button in Indiranagar.

Future plans include setting up an online shop and venturing into shoe designing. "There's a dearth of good shoes. I will make a line that's not very expensive, is sporty with an Indian touch and good for day wear using denim and other fabrics. There will be gladiators in denim and brocade," she says.

But she rates the bag as a more important accessory than shoes. "You carry your world in them. A woman can't do without a bag. Your shoes are not as  important as your bag as that's the first thing people notice," she reasons.

WHERE Sunday Soul Sante, Palace Grounds
WHEN November 6, 1 pm to 11 30 pm
CALL 9900003224:
FOR R 500 to 2500 for bags
Rs 99 to 250 for bangles

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