March 12, 2023 FDCI

Return to the Core

Shahin Mannan creates harmony with the circle at the centre, while Arpita Mehta offers ease with a line you can holiday in effortlessly.

By Asmita Aggarwal

Post-covid has seen a surge in expenditure, which could be attributed to revenge buying, where most are dressed even for a small dinner party, or it can be the need for indulgence. And it is this gap that most capitalised on, the desire for fun every day, considering the unpredictability of life.

Newly hitched Arpita Mehta, has always followed Indian seasons, especially during festivals when there is a spike in sales, but wearing the ruffled saris or shararas in multiple ways has been a staple guidance from the brand. Studying the SNDT, Mumbai Arpita learnt the technical side of the business, but she was unprepared for the competition, where every lane now boasts of a “designer”. She decided to concentrate on quality that guarantees longevity, winning a loyal clientele from LA, Dubai, New York, to tie 1 and 2 cities with the convenience of e-commerce.

Tying up with Dyson, this season, considering they have a similar ethos of effortless styling, the holiday line has the hues of happiness-toasted orange, empire yellow, juicy mango, and creamy coconut. Even though sequins and mirror work has been a go-to for most Arpita for the first time has introduced it in the draped skirts, corsets, pant suits and capes, which can take you from day to night, in Dupion silks, to twill and cotton, the idea was to keep it maintenance free. “Whether it is a sundowner or brunch, the clothes can be your accompaniment,” she concludes.

Circle of life:

Shahin Mannan:


Growing up in Dehradun, her mother used to stitch dresses, tweeds to check for her seeing the paucity of good designs, but fashion designing was nowhere on the horizon. In fact, Shahin aspired to complete chartered accountancy coming from a middle-class family where both parents were government employees.

 But providence played a part, she went to Northern Indian Institute of Fashion and Technology and graduated in knitwear design.  In 2015, she launched her brand making distinctive almost quirky clothing, with interesting hand-made artworks.



Shahin works on basic shapes, but the tea spill motifs, to pencil shavings and measuring tapes, paint tubes to splashes and pen stands, she can find a muse in everyday objects. Titled ‘Circle’, the collection has symbolic meaning, it is a continuous shape, where she could construct a sense of movement, mix it with philosophy, art and architecture. “The symbol has spiritual connotations, it is a uniting emblem where you can blend design with the significance of harmony and balance in lives,” says Shahin.


The shift dresses with pocket details, crafted out of denims, Japanese crepe, menswear suiting fabrics, using applique, chain stitch, and zardosi connects with a larger audience. Zeenat Aman was their choice of brand ambassador considering she cuts across all age barriers to highlight how beauty is timeless and there is a distinctive space for inclusivity. “Zeenat was ahead of her time and we felt a synergy with the way she lived her life and our brand values,” she concludes.


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Fashion Design Council of India