There’s some commotion in the background when we begin to speak with designer Karishma Shahani Khan over the phone. “Those are airplanes flying around, I stay in Viman Nagar,” she apologises, politely. Khan, known for her smart use of prints and play with colours, has put the city on the fashion map of the country by being the only participating designer at the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.
Designs with a difference
“My collection is called Maya, and it finds inspiration from different eras such as the 1960s and ’70s of Bollywood as well as the 1920s, the era of the Art Deco movement. You won’t spot the drama and theatrics of Bollywood, but it will be an intangible inspiration that tries to break the stereotypes of the vamp and the heroine in movies. Everyone will have a different interpretation of it,” says Khan.
This collection will comprise everything from saris and skirts to androgynous skirts. Khan has also used colours such as mustards and blues to represent the Art Deco era, and also bird motifs that signify freedom. Khan’s label also believes in zero waste policy and hence recycles old fabric and saris to use it for lining and also uses hand-woven south cotton. Khan is known for her quirky prints, so we asked her to give us some tips to sport this trend without looking garish: “Always break your print somewhere with a solid colour, printed tops with solid coloured bottoms or vice-versa. One can also add prints to their wardrobe with bags or scarves.”
Style and the city
Khan is optimistic about the changing fashion landscape in the city, “Though there isn’t much on offer, as far as fashion is concerned, the city is evolving rapidly as far as design, in general, is concerned. There are several young designers across different media who have their own unique style.”
As far as her favourite places to shop in the city go, Khan’s vote goes towards the older parts of Pune such as Tulsi Baug and Laxmi Road: “These are beautiful places during festive season. It can be crowded and intimidating for some.
Also, the newer places in Koregaon Park and German Bakery Road have some good buys.” Karishma Shahani Khan will be showcasing her collection, Maya, at Fashion Week on August 24.