And continuing with our Q&A series, here’s another quick tête-à-tête, this time with the designer Pratima Gaurav…
1. As a designer, what inspires you? Have a muse?
All things beautiful. I do believe there is no such thing as too much Luxury. Without sounding immodest, I am my own muse. If it doesn’t pass the muster for me, I will never create it!
2. What is the core aesthetic that you aim for in your clothes?
3. With multiple fashion weeks springing up in almost every major city, how effective are they?
Great platform for upcoming designers, but at the moment it’s cluttered – needs to be more unified.
4. How has the high-end luxury brand influx in India changed the local fashion scene?
It’s getting more democratic – choice always raises the bar in quality and aesthetic.
5. How do you feel about more and more celebrities choosing to wear International labels at various award functions and other public events? As a designer do you feel our homespun designers aren’t getting their due?
I think we need a balance. The sari will always be a classic and the Indian woman always looks her best in it! And frankly it’s a safer option for some for our Celebrities because very few of them can carry a Lanvin gown or a cutting edge McQueen on the red carpet. Rekha in a traditional Kanjeevaram or Sonali in an Abu-Sandeep classic can still make the red carpet sizzle. Unfortunately the media doesn’t stop to smell the Indian roses!
6. How important is it for a designer to have his/her creations seen on a celebrity versus conventional advertising mediums?
Celebrities (the right ones!) do attract the right PR. But frankly, nothing thrills me more than the average Indian woman in my creations. That’s my reward for reaching out to the right audience.
7. Five essentials that should take us through the seasons this year?
The perfect White Shirt – Pratap or Anne Fontaine with many many strands of pearls.
The perfect fitting Jeans: J. Brand or Seven for all Mankind
Cutler & Gross aviators
Bottega Veneta Classic Hobo
A Pratima Gaurav Frill sari
8. How would you describe your own sense of style?
I don’t have one. If I did I would lose my spontaneity. My closet has an interesting mix of every mood – for Sexy its Anuj Sharma, for Glamorous its Alexander McQueen, for feminine its Chloe, for Classic its vintage Lanvin or Abu-Sandeep, for just being me its the DVF wraps or Savios simple mals and for a work day its Sevens and a crisp Pratap. For traditional wear it’s a woven Benarasi sari from Indian textiles – one for the heirloom.
For baubles its old jadau jewellery my grandmothers hand-me-downs. And multi multi strands of pearls.
Add some sexy Louboutins, Nancy Gonzalez clutches and a big skin hobo and I’m all set.
9. Thoughts on mainstream actresses replacing models on all major (fashion) magazine covers?
Not fair especially since many have no style! Though contradictorily, the stars look refreshingly fabulous when styled by a Vogue or Harper’s! Hopefully they will learn. Kareena for instance has come a long way – something tells me Vogue had a lot to do with it.
10. And finally…
a. One word that describes you?
b. A trend you wish would go away?
Peroxide Blondes! Send them to the moon.
c. A trend you can’t get enough of?
d. Shoes or bags?
Bags, clutches, hobos…et al!
e. If you weren’t a designer, you would be?
f. One thing Pratima Gaurav cannot live without?
My two year old work out – my son, Abeer