Alka Hari's fashion for the independent woman

There was no way Alka Hari could have escaped being a designer. For, that was the world she belonged to.

KOCHI:There was no way Alka Hari could have escaped being a designer. For, that was the world she belonged to. But, it took a few years, precisely until she reached Class XII, for the daughter of famous designer Hari Anand to take the plunge.

Today at 24, she has her own eponymous label, which is all about ‘casual chic’, she says.  A surprising departure from the bridal couture which Hari Anand is famous for, Alka decided to make “casual and budget” her thing.

“My line of clothing is inspired from my journey as a student and as a working woman. It’s unique, stylish and affordable. That way, I make clothes for Kochi’s climate,” says Alka Hari.And fabric, for her, is the most important part of the process. “I work on pure cotton and linen. It suits our weather the best. Fashion should be about feeling comfortable too,” says Alka, who worked with her father for two years before making it on her own.

“After my graduation at Pearl Academy in Chennai, I joined my father’s firm. That was the real testing ground. He taught me about being fashionable and realistic. I learnt quite a lot, including on fitting, colour palette and fabric. But, even then, I was clear about what I wanted and that’s how my collection happened,” says Alka.

Her store, which was opened a few days ago, is at Ponnurunni near Vyttila. The line includes kurtas, dresses, trousers and tops, an enticing mix of desi and western styles.“The highlight of the brand is its affordability. The price ranges from Rs 1,500 to Rs 4,000. My designs target women of all age groups. For instance, a kurta worn by a college student won’t be preferred by a woman in her 30s. She would want a graceful look,” says Alka.

She is particular about detailing too. Every single piece would have a unique signature to it. “It can either be its unique neck pattern, colour tone or its intricate designs,” says Alka. Though she is a newbie in the vast world of designing, Alka is quite aware of the challenges ahead. She says she would face it rather take shelter behind the big name ‘Hari Anand’. “It is a huge risk, starting my own label, especially because digital marketing has revolutionised the world of fashion in Kochi. But, I am willing to face it head-on,” says an upbeat Alka.One can view her collections on her webpage

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The New Indian Express