March 12, 2023 FDCI

Creating Calm

The transition from Swapnil Shinde to Saisha, also transformed the brand offering, making wearability the key and elegance the superpower.

By Asmita Aggarwal

She was always sure of one thing, and that was design will be a definitive career choice, after she watched the Italian master of sass Gianni Versace’s show, as a school student in 1996. This led her to study at NIFT Mumbai and then fashion styling in Milan, to then return home and launch her label, then Swapnil Shinde, 17 years ago.

This was before the transition to becoming a woman “Saisha” translating to “living a meaningful life”, in Urdu a year ago, which not only instilled confidence in her but also the clothing line, which she believes was “confused till this happened”.  “My parents supported and saw my determination, and it was a game changer,” she explains.

This is the first showcase as Saisha, and it will always be special, though the seeds were sown when she had won the reality TV show Fashion House two decades ago, an Indian version of Project Runway in 2003. Life has come full circle, now there are no internal identity battles, Saisha is surer about how women like to dress, the unsaid importance of sleeves, it has entirely changed the perspective with an approach of sensitivity. “I value comfort and design accordingly, earlier it was plain edgy, now it is edgy with an infusion of softness and elegance,” she explains.

Covid ended fears and she decided to carry forward the rest of the journey of life with abandon and “no questions needed to be answered”. “My parents made the process much easier, which is why I concentrated on statement pieces, earlier it was too much PVC, faux leather and texturing without any balance,” he admits.

Currently it is fluid, seasonless, chiffon, georgettes, there is a lusciousness to the red carpet looks, which she believes is the strength of the label, missing for 13 seasons she participated earlier. Trellis weave, which has been elevated by Amit Aggarwal and Gaurav Gupta is also the language of Saisha, but done individualistically. “The outfit that Deepika Padukone wore, designed by me, some years ago was the starting point, with Kashmir’s soothing colours of ivory, black and blue along with washed out greens engulfing the ensembles with calmness,” she adds.

The 21 looks reveal the attention to detail each piece has-from Swarovski, bugle beads to embroidery and jacquards, which can be also seen on the denim maxis, with a play of fit and flare. “Since I became Saisha, I have received both ends of the spectrum from trolls to respect and admiration. My niece’s name is also the same, somewhere this transformation has brought me closer to myself,” she concludes.


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Fashion Design Council of India