The Mirror's Edge

Celebrity designer Poornima Indrajith on her Onam collection, inspired by the vaalkannadi

Published: 28th August 2015 06:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th August 2015 06:01 AM   |  A+A-


Heads turn whenever Poornima Indrajith is spotted on the red carpet, in one of her creations. But the actress, TV host and model-turned-fashion designer—who opened her boutique, Pranaah, in 2013—is used to the limelight. This year has been a special one for the fashionista, especially after social-media posts showcasing actress Manju Warrier in a simple-yet-elegant Pranaah creation (a hand-embroidered black sari with digitally-printed mural paintings) went viral.

edge.jpg“Though we do have a long list of celebrity clients, including Priyamani, Jacqueline Fernandez and Amala Paul, over 90 per cent of our clientele are women from all walks of life (including brides from Mexico, Vienna and the UK) looking for that special dress,” begins Indrajith, who has just launched her signature Onam collection. Inspired by the vaalkannadi, she says it was traditionally used by aristocrats for good luck.

Old-school cool

edg.jpgKeeping in-tune with her personal design philosophy of ‘experimentation’ and ‘blending hand-embroidery with fabric’, the new collection is a back-to-the-roots journey. Indrajith’s worked with authentic Kerala handloom (off-white, pure-soft cotton mundum neriyathum with gold brocade), besides adding the vaalkannadi motif to each of the 15 designs in her collection. “Just like the much-adored Aranmula vaalkannadi, each one of my signature pieces is inimitable,” claims the designer, who is also adding a hand-embroidered nettipattam to her designs soon. “One accessory I would advice people to pair with my Onam collection is gold jhumka earrings,” she smiles.

Playing with gold

Crafted by a team of five in-house artisans from West Bengal and Bihar, Pranaah’s new line includes an off-white handloom dhothi with a kasavu border, paired with a sleevless crop-top with mirror work and neriyathu; an angrakha-style kurta with a kasavu border, embellished with the vaalkannadi on the yoke; and an offwhite sari with green mirrorwork, a handloom blouse with a kasavu border and mirrors on the sleeves. “To keep abreast of what’s happening in this fast-paced industry, I interact with industry experts like Ramesh Menon from Fashion Design Council of India and, of course, travel to attend the various fashion shows around the country,” she shares, adding, “Though I really want to showcase my line at the Lakme Fashion Week (which she is currently attending), I feel I have a lot to learn before I take such a step,” she says.

(Courtesy: Indulge,


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