March 15, 2023 FDCI

Poetry in Motion

Varun and Nidhika welcome the return of ivories, while Mahima Majahan pays a floral tribute to Gulzar sabeb’s couplets.

By Asmita Aggarwal

Mahima Mahajan knew what it takes to walk in the spotlight as she was a runway favourite from 2006-2007 modelling with Elite, but the inner mechanisms of design fascinated her even though she had no formal training. In 2014, she decided to take the plunge, and maybe her education in philosophy from Delhi University and studying media and communication from the Times Business School played a huge part in this decision—Go with the flow was the mantra.

Before 2017, Mahima was looking for an identity to distinguish her label, but something kind of changed, she moved from solids to florals, added an edge with off shoulders and halters which won her a Bollywood clientele from Jacqueline to Kareena Kapoor proving to be a motivating force to continue on this journey of “Whimsical fantasies” also the title of her line.

Focusing on hand drawn water colours, then digitised prints, which are executed in-house, Mahima, offers a solution for young girls who want to wear Indian but like their Anarkalis to have something that differentiates it from what their mothers wear—thus the addition of bolder shapes.

“I have experimented with traditional Banerasi fabrics, adding beads, zardosi, sequins to accentuate their appeal, by cinching the waist or revealing the shoulders,” she admits. FDCIXLFW will be a “print party”, with a burst of colours, print-on-print, as well as pastels in earthy tones using the most diverse hues together. Interestingly, there is poetry too and that too Gulzar saheb’s nazms which have been converted into prints and joined together with two floral motifs on the lehengas. “Survival in fashion would mean being new and different each year. A lot of people talk of going global and travelling to Paris and Milan, but as a designer I believe the social media wins you clients all over the world, it has opened multiple doors for me,” she concludes.


Varun Rehani and Nidhika:

Coming from Chandigarh and Ambala, Varun and Nidhika knew Delhi will be a market that will have its challenges, considering it is overflowing with designer choices. However, this didn’t deter them from launching their line in 2010, though they honed their craft working in the industry from Namrata Joshipura to Manish Arora.

Moving from pret to Who’s Next? And finally occasion wear the transition was also to be able to sustain their Mehrauli store, newly opened, as they improvised modern Indian offerings. “Our approach to design is different, it is personality based and not seasonal, thus customisation becomes imperative when you are buying something for your big day,” says Varun. The idea is not to foray the already saturated bridal market but its periphery, the pre-functions, the luxury pret segment.  After they both studied at NIFT, Mohali, they understood the importance of segregating roles, so Varun’s brother heads the operation, while the husband-wife duo design. The gown saris, drapes saris, bodycons, padded shoulders, pencil silhouettes, ruffled skirts, and surface embroideries in organza and satins form the crux of their business which is also a major part of their FDCIXLFW showcasing titled “Dream Sequence”. Nostalgic in its interpretation, it is a mélange of florals and geometrics, in a language of mixing textures yet balancing the look. “Ivories have found favour amongst clients and this will be the highlight this season,” concludes Varun.


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