With creativity as her tool and a dream to start her own line of garments and accessories, city-based designer Archana Rao, embarked upon her journey in the world of fashion in 2007 soon after she graduated from NIFT Hyderabad. Post which she pursued a masters degree from Parsons The New School For Design in New York and then started working as a men’s wear designer at NSL textiles in the city. But, her big moment was when she was chosen to showcase her collection in the Gen-Next category at the LFW Summer/Resort 2012. “I always wanted to get into the world of fashion. After completing my masters in NY, I worked with a few design houses there and then returned home, post which I started working with NSL Textiles,” explains Archana, who is thrilled to bits as her collection has been chosen for the LFW. “LFW is like my window of opportunity to start my line of garments, which is what I eventually want to do,” confesses the 26-year-old designer.
Here’s what the young designer has to say about her latest collection, style statement and more:
Men’s wear into women’s wear
The collection titled ‘Prologue’ that I will be showcasing at LFW is all women’s wear, but inspired by men’s garments. I have named it Prologue because it is a debut of my collection. Taking basic men’s wear garments like a shirt or a trouser and turn it into a dress or a jacket for women with a feminine fit--- this has been the basic idea behind the collection, which I am yet to give a title to. I have used high-tech fabrics which are contrasted with the use of traditional textiles (handloom) for a deliberate course hand feel. The garments are contemporary and wearable. Also, I have experimented and played around with fabrics in this collection.
Designing for women
I primarily want to design for women. But when I was offered the opportunity to work as a men’s wear designer at NSL Textiles, I decided to accept it. Reason was I wanted to explore that side of my creativity and I am glad I did so --- the experience has helped me develop my style further and also has taught me the beauty of subtle designs.
Wants to design for ...
I want to design for smart women, who don’t blindly follow a catalogue, but personalise it and have effortless style and charm. Celebrities I would love to style for include Chloe Sevigny, Alexa Chung and Lakshmi Menon.
My favourite designers are Stella McCartney, Rajesh Pratap Singh and Marc Jacobs.
My style statement is understated and contemporary
I am fascinated by people and places. I think of fashion as functional art and I want to make things that one can touch and feel. My aesthetic is minimalistic, contemporary and understated. I like playing with the structure of the garment and experimenting with various proportions. Texture and prints are also something that I am interested in developing. To me every design should have a purpose so I prefer making clothes that are wearable, useful and efficient.
I want to start my own line of garments. Apart from designing garments for men and women, I also want to venture into accesory design (bags and shoes). Furthermore, I want to develop prints and get into textile designing as well.