With no formal training in fashion, talented, warm and amiable Pallavi Jaikishan plunged into the fashion world with her store Paraphernalia at Pedder Road in 1972 and like most good stories, there was no looking back.
The couturier, as many call her, established her credentials as a doyen in the fashion world over the years and came to be known as someone who creates classic timeless garments that can be handed down generations, the kinds that go on to eventually become family heirlooms.
To celebrate her 40th year in the fashion industry, Pallavi has taken her first step towards the Mumbai Fashion Week and will be making her debut at the event with a show on August 3.
“I’m very excited that this year I’m making my debut at the Lakme Fashion Week. The time could not have been better since this is my 40th year in the industry and I wanted to do something new and this is a great platform for that,” shares Jaikishan. The ace designer will be showcasing a collection, titled Clouds With A Gold Lining, which will be divided into two segments.
“The first segment will have specially woven fabrics which are hand woven with real zari and handloom fabrics promoting the artisans. The second part will have my signature flowers and leaves patterns,” she explains. Along with her show at the Mumbai Fashion Week, the other new venture that the veteran designer plans to do is to write a book. She has already started work on this labour of love. Apart from this, she plans to celebrate each day of the year to mark her achievement.
“I’m going to celebrate the whole year. It just started in April and I’m going to do plenty of things to mark this landmark year in my life,” informs Pallavi, who is the wife of late music composer Jaikishan.
The long road
Even though, Pallavi enjoys a respectable standing in the Indian fashion industry along with a clientele that includes many Bollywood celebrities and industrialists, getting to this position was not an easy tread.
“I feel that now there are great opportunities for newcomers so that they can establish themselves much faster in the business. We had to struggle for so many years when we started. Back then it was not even a recognised industry. So, it has come a long way and I am happy that the industry is growing,” she says.
Not just couture, Pallavi was one of the pioneer designers who realised the importance of having a prêt line alongside a couture one. She promoted khadi in a big way in her prêt line and she still believes in this wonderful fabric. You can always find a few khadi pieces in her boutique at any given time. She loves and uses ‘pure’ fabrics that breathe and can be worn comfortably in any climate.