October 16, 2023 FDCI

Bead Seeds

From launching various verticals to the mothership brand Geisha Designs, Paras and Shalini this year elevate embellishment with corsetry and serenade the extended family with their love for Victorian needle work and beads.

By Asmita Aggarwal

When Shalini Jaikaria met Paras Baroliya in NIFT, little did they know that they would be “doctoring” design, after all the former studied medicine, before her foray into design. Sometimes the most unlikely combinations make a winning team and that is just what happened, with Geisha Designs, in 2001.

They celebrated 3 D textures, fireflies, the sea that offers calmness to the bustle of Paris, most recently they were inspired by the depths of the ocean, converting fish scales, and mermaids into embroideries which will stand the test of time. This won them 100 retail stores all over the world, including Spain, Egypt, and Ireland. Kashmiri embroidery, badla, chikankari to fabrics woven in Phulia, Paras from Bihar and Shalini from Chandigarh, made sure each region was well represented in their offerings, as they now support 150 craftsmen.

For the last 18 years, they have been doing trade shows in Paris as well as New York, India is their last stop. Their buyers range from Zurich, Turkey to Lebanon desire pure luxury, while New York is mostly ready-to-wear. Campaign images and a combination of social media reach has expanded businesses, but fashion is now about “picture moments” in turn accentuating consumerism. But having said that, Paras admits special pieces, embellished yet offering value-for-money do well.

With the advent of “Insta-memory books”, he believes, making a wide array of clothing in the various verticals of the brand increases footfalls. Geisha has —resort, couture, Paras and Shalini heritage line (traditional meets European and Renaissance looks—think Versailles and French aesthetics) to Geisha Designs the mothership, each one is distinct in its one-of-a-kind pieces. “Subtle and never attempting to overpower the wearer is our oeuvre,” he admits.

This year white weddings are at the core, even though consumers may be from different cultural backgrounds, the want to look unique is common. “Our focus is on hand detailing and personalized effects (little messages hidden in the veil or trail), creating pieces of legacy,” says Paras.

Geisha Rose, their most recent arm, pays homage to florals, where they customize from logos, invites to table décor, as well as food, serenading indulgence. “Saturday Shenanigans”, their new concept is about connecting with customers through the mediums of an intimate party, and the designer believes, flowers are statement pieces, as well as the other ingredients they play with whether it is cheese, chocolates, or the art of mixology. Despite being in the business for two decades, the duo believes it is young at heart due to their constant innovations. “Today the mom-in-law is as conscious and well kept as the bride, thus the USP of our brand is that we service the product for life, if you bring it back to us,” he confirms.

This year for LFW 2023, they have mixed many embroideries, changed motifs as well as the colour story. “We weave our motifs in Baneras, but not the predictable ambis, or pattis, but we have replaced them with fun ones like pineapples, and combined it with Victorian needle work executed by nuns in Kerala,” he says.

Largely a womenswear brand that works mostly with corsetry, for the first time they have forayed into menswear, as there is a growing demand for coordinating outfits for the bride and groom. “Men are the interesting new demographic, they aspire to dress well, so our take is somewhat unconventional with peaches, and pinks bidding goodbye to greys and blues,” concludes Paras.

Tagged: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fashion Design Council of India