You can zip-up my sarees: Sonaakshi Raaj

Sonaakshi Raaj, who made her debut as a designer in Bollywood with Heropanti talks about her love for saree gowns and her Hollywood dreams

Q. Your latest collection demonstrates bridal wear in summer. What challenges do you face while designing such a collection considering wedding wear in summer is difficult to maintain?
A. Heavy silhouettes are difficult to manage. While designing for summer, I focus on light-weight sarees that are easy to walk around in.

Designer Sonaakshi Raj and (right) actress Chitrangda Singh in a saree gown
Designer Sonaakshi Raj (right) and (left) actress Chitrangda Singh in a saree gown

I call them the saree gowns. You don’t have to drape them. Just zip it up and you are ready to go. It keeps the pleats, the pallu and the saree as a whole intact so that you don’t have to bother managing it. Keeping the summer palette in mind is very important. This season I experimented with colours such as coral, orange, yellow, aqua blue and pink. Sheer necklines and low backs with constructive embroidery is my signature style.

Q. You have showcased in Lakme Fashion Week this year. With so many talented designers wanting to make their mark, what sets you apart?
A. I have been lucky to have actresses wearing outfits designed by me and trusting me this soon since I am fairly new in the business.I think the saree gowns set me apart as it is a new concept and has become popular due to its fusion feel. You are wearing the traditional saree with a twist. It’s something I created because I could see myself wearing it.

Q. You started showcasing in 2012 and have Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Bipasha Basu among others as part of your clientele. Do you want to design for Hollywood celebrities or are Bollywood celebrities your only focus?
A. I am very happy with the response I experiment with add-ons along with saree gowns. Nevertheless, it would be a dream come true watching a Hollywood celebrity wear my outfit. It’s definitely on my radar.

Q. You recently designed for Heropanti. What other projects are you working on?
A. Since I manage my own label, I wouldn’t be doing many films simultaneously. However, there are a couple of offers. I might soon do a film or two.

Q. What about making something Western since your focus has always been Indian with a twist?
A. Although I do make evening wear, my sensibilities are very Indian. That’s what I plan to do at the moment. Not a western collection but I am working on separates such as zardozi jackets and corsets among others.

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