HYDERABAD: An attractive amalgam of the old and new, Neha Agarwal’s designs reflect the evolving fashion industry in the country. Having debuted at the recent Lakme Fashion Week Winter 2014, the student of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Hyderabad, has been clearly influenced by the regal mosques and modern high rises she grew
up with. Agarwal blends the historical with the current using the technique of ‘surface development’ effectively. It is a method of adding varying textures and contrasts to a base fabric with embellishments and embroidery.
“It was a pleasure being a part of this Lakme Fashion Week. It was my first season and my collection is made to appeal to the younger generation and will definitely make its wearer stand out,” she enthuses.
Blending age-old techniques with modern silhouettes, Agarwal’s garments are both classic and whimsical.
“Ancient techniques really speak to my sense of style. In turn, it reflects in the clothes I create,” she says. Titled the Mille Fleurs, or thousand flowers, Agarwal’s current collection employs the intricate French art of petit point
tapestry, that is quite hard to replicate. It is a 17th century craft widely practised by the royal women folk, the most notable being Madame de Maintenon, the second wife of King Louis XIV of France. The modern cuts and contemporary silhouettes make a striking canvas for this style of embroidery in Agarwal’s collection.
“It was very challenging for us to create this line. It took me almost three months to train my staff and to achieve the desired effect,” she reveals.
Keeping it Indian
From elegant peplum blouses, to flowing palazzos, fitted skirts and whimsical dresses, the pieces are awash with bright, vibrant hues, a definition of Agarwal’s preferred colour palette. “I love playing around with bold colours, that are young, lively and festive,” she tells us. The fabrics are purely Indian and extend from organic tussar, ahimsa, gicha and muga silk. `30,000 upwards.