Ace designer Malini Ramani recently launched her Spring/Summer collection, The Tribe, at Ensemble, the multi-designer store at Kemp's Corner. On a sultry Monday afternoon as I walk into the store, I notice that half the racks are already empty and the place is buzzing with eager buyers.
"The pieces are selling like hot cakes!" she exclaims while adjusting a black mirror-worked sleeveless long kurta with thigh-high slits on one of her clients who looks mighty impressed. It is everything a Malini Ramani piece is supposed to be—sexy, chic and gorgeous. And like all her clothes, it fits like a glove.
"There are two secrets behind my fits: One is that I use a lot of stretchy fabrics such as jersey and lycra and the second is that I try each new design on myself first to check the feel. I keep on making changes until I'm absolutely comfortable in them," she reveals as she walks us through her tribal-inspired collection of resort wear, which includes jumpsuits, playsuits, kaftans, sari drapes and swimwear.
The colour palette boasts of subtle hues of cream, black, fig and indigo.Mirror detailing and sequins are used to add just the right dose of sparkle to the tribal-inspired appliqué and prints. The designs are bold and feminine — just the kind Mumbaiites love. Ramani indeed knows the pulse of her clients.
Malini Ramani's 2015 Spring/Summer collection comprises dresses, kaftans, playsuits and jumpsuits
"People here are more experimental and daring than in New Delhi. They don't mind wearing skimpy clothes. Some of my designs, which may hardly find buyers in Delhi, do not remain on the racks for more than a day in Mumbai. But at the same time, evening dressing is more casual and relaxed here, unlike that in the capital where people go all out whenever there is a party!" exclaims the fashionista.
She insists that she designs clothes that she would herself want to wear. "Style is simply a reflection and extension of one's personality. I would describe my style as boho-gypsy with a blend of the East and the West. Travel, cinema, people — everything has inspired my designs. It has been such a long journey! Just as your personality develops gradually, likewise, it takes some time for your sense of style to evolve," she adds.
Although Ramani loves to wear her own designs, she also enjoys donning the creations of other designers. "I love Rahul Misra's clothes and also 11.11 by CellDSGN. I wear creations by Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna too."
She reveals that Tarun Tahiliani and Rohit Bal have had an indelible impact on her work. "Tarun is my mentor and I look up to him. Apart from that, I remember watching Rohit Bal's shows and be spellbound! Among the foreign names, I love Jean Paul Gaultier — he was such a pioneer! And also Donna Karan for her jersey and cashmere drapes," she says. Ramani is at present working on a few collaborations but refuses to divulge more. "I'm a little particular about not discussing these things until they happen. But, I will tell you as soon as something concrete works out," she promises.
For a Sunday brunch
Keep it fresh! No blacks. Maybe a colourful jumpsuit with Grecian sandals and a big smile