ASMITHA AND ASHITA
Carrying on the legacy created by their mother in the 90s, Asmitha and Ashita now run Sameenas, a brand established in the 90s. With similar sensibilities and vision for the brand, the sisters are on a mission to put Chennai on the fashion map. “We focus on well-made tailored garments that have the aesthetic of the North (India) with a South Indian flair. Our collection at the Madras Couture Week was inspired by the flower chembaruthi (hibiscus); the tones and hues of it. The silhouettes were vastly different. We realised that nowadays, brides wear different clothes for different occasions. Our collection was such that all outfits could be worn at all occasions,” exclaimed Asmitha. The brand also places emphasis on functionality, with each garment adorned with a pocket; a feature much loved by their showstopper, says Asmitha. “We want the brides to be able to keep their room keycards, lipsticks and mobile in it,” she adds. Furthermore, the designers chose raw silk fabric, something that is “very South Indian” and shows off Indian skin tones well.
Designer Fathima finally manifested her dream of a bridal collection that has been in the pipeline for quite some time. Starting her practice in 2018, the engineering student-turned-designer featured her ‘Forever’ collection at Madras Couture Fashion Week. “It is the start of a bridal journey. The bridal wear is sacred to them since it is one of their big days and thus, I named the collection so. The colours are inspired from nature. I also draw inspiration from aquatic fish with their stripes and lines,” she explained. The whole concept of the show and the design was inspired by Indian culture, she said. With elements of Jaipuri mahals in the embroidery and intricate zardozi and kardana work.
Founder of 7 Creations, Syed Shahid specialises in wedding wear for men. The collection he displayed at Madras Couture Week, however, features three separate themes — one for ceremonies, an English Men collection and an Indian Ethnic collection. “The first collection is one that describes the groom on their special occasion. It features looks for weddings, engagements and red carpet wear. The second collection showcases pieces that are reminiscent of winter wear in England and Russia with fur-covered collars and fronts. The third is the Indian Ethnic collection with bandhgalas and sherwanis,” shared Syed. He added that he was deeply inspired by the crowd that was present at the event and while used to shows on rooftops and small banquet halls, the professional scale of Madras Couture Fashion Week was mesmerising.
Bringing Cannes Film Festival to Chennai, Rubeena Afroz wanted to create something that was extravagant and unseen in the city, she informed. “There were two sequences. The first one featured bridal wear and the second one with western wear. I am someone who believes in cuts. What is very important to me is the way the fabric drapes over the woman’s body. It has to have a little sensual touch. It has to look like something Indian but with a little drama of Rubeena; whether in the blouse or the sari, somewhere people would not expect,” she explained. While she wouldn’t call the designing process difficult or easy, she admitted to enjoying every bit of the challenge. “Whether it is a simple linen kurta or a bridal lehenga, I am extremely passionate about the clothing. If there is something wrong with the outfit or draping, I contemplate on why I can’t do this and (take it on as a challenge),” she said.