Dimple Shroff, Shantanu & Nikhil, Varoin Marwah and Shweta Kapur talk about festive wear and why fearless fashion is popular this time Image Credit: Supplied

Dimple Shroff

Dimple Shroff, the founder of Label D, one of UAE’s leading fashion houses that specialises in fusion wear, talks of her style sensibilities, her Diwali collection and why modest fashion is not for her.

Tell us about your festive collection. What inspired you to create these designs and why do you think they stand out from the rest?

The collection is inspired by Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter, who was renowned for her fierce self-portraits that showcased her bold feminism. She was strong artist who relied on her inner strength to survive life’s many challenges. Her art really brings out the many complexities and pain women endure, while being powerful and simultaneously independent.

Keeping her personality in view, my festive collection this year has a lot of sequins and glitter, which is an invitation for women to shine their brightest and illuminate who they really are.

I believe the collection is bold and unflinchingly sexy.

What do you think are the top 5 trends this festive season?

Fuss-free, pre-stitched drape saris: They’re the perfect combination of ease and glamour. They look sexy and are supremely convenient to drape, which makes them very popular.

Wide-legged pants with waistcoats/bralet: This Diwali is special as most people are celebrating the festival in a big way after a long break. This trend is a great way for modern women to express themselves because it’s a fusion of contemporary cut with a touch of tradition.

Ethnic pantsuits/jumpsuits: These styles not only look elegant but are very modern as well.

Kaftans: This is one outfit that is very forgiving as it makes any shape or size look glamourous.

Shararas: Classic silhouettes with a modern twist are a must have this season, and shararas are just that!

This Diwali is special as most people are celebrating the festival of lights in a big way after a long break, says Dimple Shroff Image Credit: Supplied

What do you think is your brand’s USP?

Our bold and beautiful fashion collection which is known for its high quality and uniqueness makes us popular across the world. Each outfit goes through a meticulous process of designing, fabric selection and the final finish. We cater to our clients most miniscule customisation requests and ensure that every piece of apparel is made to our client’s unique taste, body type and comfort. Our measurements are made to fit our clients, so they can spend their most important occasions in ease, and still look stunning.

Tell us, what are the 5 festivewear staples every woman should have?

Fuss-free drape sari, sharara, slip-on kaftan, lehenga and kurti with dhoti pants/ palazzo.

Varoin Marwah

One of UAE’s leading fashion designers who specialises in menswear, talks about making comfort stylish and why slow fashion is relevant.

What do you think are the top five trends in festive wear this season?

Breathable fabrics: Breathable and natural fabrics are trending for all kinds of clothing at this stage and I, for one, have started to work a lot with sustainable and breathable fabrics even for festive wear.

Comfort over style: Say good bye to ultra tight silhouettes. A comfortable fit is what everyone should embrace this festive season as it’s good for yourself and good to others’ eyes too.

Grey and metallic accents: A blend of grey with metallic accents in silver/gold/copper are doing well this season. This is a fresh combination especially when it comes to traditional wear.

An accessory can lift any look without having to change much, says Varoin Marwah Image Credit: Supplied

Layered outfits: Tone on tone in layers are a complete hit as long as you are styling it well. Try wearing a similar shade kurta with a similar shade jacket and you will be pleasantly surprised by the magic.

Bold accesories: Go big with accessories if you are keeping your look clean. You must definitely wear one bold statement accessory at the most. Ensure you do not mix it with anything else to keep the focus and make an impact.

Tell us more about your festive collection - the inspiration, the journey and the highlights. Also, what is the USP of the collection?

My inspiration is from the recent Covid times. One thing I learnt from the pandemic was the importance of maintaining balance in life and in everything. Balance is my theme for the season and that is what I am showcasing with my collection this season. You will find my outfits are timeless and can be worn by various age groups in different seasons. I have tried to strike a balance of style with comfort, and that’s the USP of my collection.

Indian designers have the unique challenge of integrating ethnic fashion with Western design to cater to a larger and younger audience, especially when it comes to festive wear. How do stay on top of this game?

I don’t find that as a challenge personally as this is how I am as a person who has been living in the UAE for a long time. I feel a blend of Indian and Western designs is one of the best ways of keeping the collections open to a larger market. Plus, they are great when it comes to comfort. I for one love wearing my kurtas and sherwani with pants. It’s comfortable and is chic.

It seems quite apparent that the trend of Slow fashion is here to stay. How do you include it into your business model?

It’s one of the best things I that could have happened. It’s not only a designer’s dream come true but makes sense for the customers as well. Slow fashion makes all the sense and I wish the market was ready for it earlier. Nevertheless, better late then never. I have been working on this model since the very beginning hence I didn’t really need to adapt. My clients have endorsed my slow fashion values and appreciate it.

Share 5 staples every man/woman should have in their festive wardrobe and tell us how best to pair each of them to make the most of them?

Monochrome look. It looks bold and stands out when everyone else is dressed in over-the-top prints and patterns.

Give ombré a shot. It’s beautiful and men can wear ombré too specially with festive wear.

Comfortable shoes. To enjoy a big night out.

Keep an accessory handy. An accessory can lift any look without having to change much.

Shoulder or waist bag. Say good bye to hand bags this festive season and enjoy the freedom with a nice shoulder or waist bag. It’s safe with you at the same time works like an accessory to your look.

Lastly, how do you celebrate Diwali?

Like most people, I love to meet my family and friends. Fire crackers are a complete no for me; sweets and lights are what I am most excited about during Diwali. I cherish every moment of Diwali as it’s my favourite festival.

Shantanu & Nikhil

India’s A-list fashion designers and brothers Shantanu and Nikhil talk about how the pandemic has changed the fashion narrative and why fusion is still relevant.

Tell us about your latest collection.

An ode to the fierce glamour, our collection, Oasis, offers a lineup that revels in joy and confidence. We believe it adds confidence, enough to change the way the wearer walks, their posture, and in doing so, changes their perception of the world around them.

The Ceremonial Couture collection stands out for its splendour and unapologetic glamour. The collection is a breakthrough for us and as a design house. We’ve engaged in newer methods and explored various styles which haven’t been done before.

What are the top trends for festive wear this year?

Earthy tones, unconventional silhouettes and signature attributes like off-beat details and bold drapes are definitely taking centrestage this year. We are also reinterpreting our classics and ensuring sustainable practices are put into place.

For men, we will see draped kurtas in denim or fine silk, paired with armour-like bundis and military-inspired short bandhgalas.

Shantanu and Nikhil believe in moving towards a more ethical and conscious consumerism Image Credit: Supplied

Our new Shantnu & Nikhil cowl trousers update the dhoti silhouette, and go perfectly with both the shorter jackets and longer sherwanis, all topped with jewelled brooches and regalia-inspired accessories. In addition, men aren’t far behind in donning jewels these days; we feel this trend is here to stay.

Millennial grooms aren’t afraid to take risks, and that is reflected by the choice of decadent jewels and brooches they adorn. Fashion is turning more androgynous. People are expressing themselves through their ensembles and are fearless.

For women, we have blurred the boundaries between ball gowns and lehengas, creating hybrid styles that will wear well anywhere – from New York to New Delhi.

Voluminous drapes meet expertly constructed bodices to form one-of-a-kind pieces that wouldn’t be out of place in a dark, stormy fairytale. Embellished with exquisite hand-embroideries, they shimmer with crystals, while leather appliqués lend a powerful statement to each look. Here, the signature Shantanu & Nikhil crimson lehengas take centerstage, standing out of the crowd with their softer appeal and painstakingly executed embellishments all done by the hands of master artisans.

How has the pandemic impacted the fashion sensibilities?

In the post pandemic landscape, design has become paramount. We’ve observed a lot more sentimental value in our patrons with respect to their choices. Consequently, trends will become more intimate and personal, one that celebrates you.

Indian designers have the unique challenge of integrating ethnic fashion with Western design to cater to a larger and younger audience, especially when it comes to festive wear. How do you stay on top of this game?

We have always been strong advocates of anti-trend couture, where the focus is on neo-shapes, silhouettes, minimalism and, of course, on the wearer. Being signature drape-makers for menswear in the industry, our silhouettes like the Draped Kurta and Draped Bandhgala have become iconic staples in the menswear market today. We have transitioned from the age-old perceptions of luxury to a more accessible and inclusive outlook of ‘neo-luxury’.

Every piece has its own storytelling and significance when we introduce a new collection. While some pieces take forward our signature design elements like the drapes or Nehruvian collar, some disrupt the rhythm and bring out something new.

The trend of Slow fashion is here to stay. How do adapt it in to your business model?

As a society, we should be moving towards a more 
ethical and conscious consumerism. We need to break out of our comfort ridden habits and invest towards a healthier environment. Keeping this ideology 
in mind, Shantanu Nikhil Ceremonial Couture introduced The Buy Back Campaign – which hopes to re-evaluate our attempts to be properly sustainable across the supply chain. This aims at creating a circular ecosystem with our consumers by allowing them to exchange their old Shantanu Nikhil outfits for credit values that they can use on their next purchase.

This not only drives responsible consumerism but also ensures controlled production at our end. As a brand we have taken this small step to do our bit for the environment and become sustainable.

Shweta Kapur

Shweta Kapur, founder and creative director of 431-88, is known for creating classical Indian silhouettes, fine tailoring and luxe urban wear. She shares her thoughts on ethical fashion and how it is important to create a signature style.

What do you think are the top trends in festive wear this season?

Everyone is stepping out after really long, and being OTT is what is on everybody’s mind. Whether it’s a simple dress with statement jewellery or just a beautifully embroidered outfit.

People are taking out their heavy outfits and breaking them down with contemporary pieces to keep it more trendy and practical. For example, a heavy bridal lehenga looks amazing with a simple knotted shirt.

Everyone should have a Little Black Sari in their wardrobe, suggests Shweta Kapur Image Credit: Supplied

Pre-draped jersey saris are also having their moment. They drape better, are easier to move in and give a very flattering look to the body.

Tell us more about your festive collection – the inspiration, the journey and the highlights. Also, what is the USP of the collection?

Our festive collection is about the woman on the go. She’s mindful about her fashion choices, chooses fabrics that last and are kind to the environment. The collection started with making saris that are pre draped, easy to travel with and is a series of separates that can be paired with multiple things. The collection has all of 431-88’s signature elements: flattering drapes, bold embroideries and pop colours.

Indian designers have the unique challenge of integrating ethnic fashion with Western design to cater to a larger and younger audience, especially when it comes to festive wear. How do stay on top of this game?

Luckily for us, modern Indianwear is our forte. Being a part of that larger, younger demographic, its easier for me to design something that I feel is more relevant to my age group. Women my age don’t necessarily want to wear saris the way their mothers used to. They want it to be sexier, bolder and make it more ‘them’. With a cultural and lifestyle shift towards fitness, women are also more confident about their bodies and how they carry things off.

It seems quite apparent that the trend of Slow fashion is here to stay. How do you adapt it into your business model?

I like to call it mindful fashion. We’ve always followed the idea that one should buy less and buy better. Since our conception, the brand has focused on making strong separates that can go with multiple things. We have kept seasonal prints to a minimum and stuck to solid colours that don’t feel out of fashion after six months.

Share 5 staples every woman should have in her festive wardrobe and please tell us how best to pair each of them to make the most of them?

Everyone should have a Little Black Sari in their wardrobe. It can be paired with a well fitted blouse or can be elevated with a blazer which looks super chic.

Besides that I would recommend a white knot shirt, a pre draped sari, statement earrings, and a gold bag that can add the right amount of bling.

Lastly, how do you celebrate Diwali?

Always with my family, close friends and a lot of kaju barfi!

Shilpa Khurana

Baker turned fashion designer Shilpa Khurana is owner of fashion label ‘Izarre by Shilpa Khurana’. The mother of two talks of her love for sorbet colours that are good enough to eat.

What are the top five trends in festive wear this year?

The three-piece outfit: I love how you can achieve a cool, trendy look with a long jacket, blouse and pants.

The pastel fiesta: I absolutely love how the combination of pastel colors can make an outfit look super vibrant like a pastel purple and yellow/pastel green and pink. These are so perfect for day functions especially like haldi/mehendi.

The belt factor: I feel the new ‘belt’ trend is here to stay and it completes the draped indo-western saree look. Not to miss – it looks absolutely fab.

The blazer boss-girl look: This trend is just perfect for those who like to be bold. It makes one look so confident. I absolutely love pairing a blazer jacket with a lehenga skirt.

Mirror work: I love how mirror work adds the glitz&glam to one’s outfit and it easily makes you stand out. It definitely looks stunning and works well for a sangeet party outfit.

What are the highlights of your festive wear collection this time?

For our festive collection, we have a new range of lehengas, anarkalis and 3 piece indo-western outfits. We are known for our trending prints, mirror work, pastel colours.

Shilpa says outfits that can be used and reused and can be paired in a different way to change its look each time are great in incorporating sustainability in the wardrobe Image Credit: Supplied

How should we incorporate sustainability in our wardrobe?

Less wastage, pure material, sustainable wear, use and reuse kind of outfits that can be paired in a different way to change its look each time.

What are the five staple festive wear items this year?

Blazer jacket- paired with a blouse, lehenga skirt and a clutch bag.

Chunky earrings/ neck-piece- can be paired with a simple anarkali suit to make your whole outfit standout.

Small tote bag/ clutch to complete your festive look.

Heeled juttis – these embroidered juttis could go with any look, they looked absolutely ethnic and beautiful on your feet.

A lehenga/sari that you could pair with a belt/ jewelry for your Diwali party.

How do you celebrate Diwali?

I usually celebrate Diwali with my family and friends. We do a small puja at our office and our home then have a family dinner or probably party with our friends later at night.

Henna Aswani

Henna Aswani might be just five years old on the fashion scene here in the UAE, but she has already made a name for herself for her modern design aesthetics that is a stunning marriage between ethnic and contemporary wear. She shares her views on what’s on trend and what are some staples.

Tell us about yourself. When did start your journey as a designer, your inspirations, high points of your career etc.

A vivid dreamer and a fashion enthusiast, as a young girl I grew up in the energetic social vibes & the glitterati lifestyle of Dubai. I completed my masters in International Business Management and kick started my career as a Market Research Supervisor at Dubai Airports. I soon realized this isn’t what I desire to follow and that I wanted to express myself through the creative instincts in me. I had a great sense of creativity and color aesthetics from a very early age, and hence I realized my passion is to design and create garments. I decided to take up designing professionally. After completion of my Styling and designing course, I started my label at home and designed and reconstructed outfits for my near and dear ones. Much appreciated, encouraged and loved by many, I launched my label ‘Ravishing’ in 2016 at a fashion event ‘Fashion For All’. And since then there’s no looking back. In 2019 I setup my full-fledged studio by the name of Ravishing Couture.

In past two years, I have been able to empower my brand, and the brand empowered me! I have designed, created and altered a lot of women’s mindset by making them feel great about the way they look, i.e., confident and beautiful; and that’s my high point. This year we launched western luxury, resort and vacation wear; so there is no stopping where our thirst for the new is – that too is my highlight.

What do you think are the top five trends in festive wear this season? Please elaborate on each.

Festive outfits have to be emotive and celebratory. Fun silhouettes, inclusive styles, comfortable glamour, drama, experimental patterns, a sense of newness is what will define the looks of the festive season.

• A trend that many are experimenting with this season is the exaggerated statement sleeves! Crop-tops with statement sleeves paired with a lehenga or pre-draped chiffon sari create the right amount of drama and daze. Apart from crop-tops, tunics and kurtas are popular choices for statement sleeves

• Another idea trending is mixing and matching! Notch up your festive look by mixing and matching western and ethnic elements. Add on some prints and patterns like stripes, florals or abstract prints to your basic solid coloured outfit. Prints are light and most fun way to uplift your wardrobe. Printed lehengas and dupattas with plain raw silk crop tops are perfect blend of modern festive wear. These are versatile pieces that can be worn in multiple ways and hence fashionistas love this trend.

• Short-cuts are trending as well this festive season. Modest kurtas get a chic makeover by going short. Be it in traditional style or strappy numbers, clients are giving their Shararas, Ghararas and skirt a stylish short frame.

• One-piece wonders are trendy too this season. Be it wide-leg pants jumpsuits or dhoti style jumpsuits; they are definitely making an effortless addition to the festive wardrobes. Changing the festive fashion norms, these jumpsuits are a perfect mix of traditional fabrics with modern-contemporary designs. These jumpsuits are what exactly every new-age girl needs!

• Festive ethnic outfits with belts are unsurprisingly popular, and I personally love the new trends that have come with them. Not only have they become a style statement, but also give your outfits a fresh new look. Any outfit adorned with jewel belts makes it extremely chic and contemporary. These Belts can be styled with sarees, or dresses.

Shilpa says outfits that can be used and reused and can be paired in a different way to change its look each time are great in incorporating sustainability in the wardrobe Image Credit: Supplied

Tell us more about your festive collection – the inspiration, the journey and the highlights. Also, what is the USP of the collection?

I like to believe that each and every design I create should make a statement. I try to make it special, both for me and for the individual who will eventually possess it. I believe a true Ravishing woman is a wonderful blend of a refined personality with a fabulous couture.

This year we are looking at outfits that are fuss-free, allow freedom of movement and have delicate detailing. I focused on different fabrics, from traditional weaves and soft-to-skin silks to lighter-than-air chanderis and organzas, juxtaposed with a smattering of intricate workmanship. I have introduced one-shoulder slip-on sarees, an uplifting fuss-free piece with chunky yet light-weight chains pallu and cut-dana embroidery belt, that makes it a great conversation starter at cards parties. Whether you’re attending a puja or a festive dinner, our signature dhoti jumpsuit and slip-on sarees promises to be fail-safe.

I’m a great observer and I have my own static when it comes to getting inspired by other designers. I try to inspire myself with other collections that are similar to my intention and find my train of thought. A few Indian designers that inspire me are; Gaurav Gupta, known for his sculptural couture of fluid yet sharp designs, Masaba Gupta for her fun, happy and mood-lifting designs, Manish Malhotra for his Regality in his work, and Anamika Khanna for her art and meaningful style.

Ravishing is known for it’s fusion wear, where I design clothes that are very different but traditional at the same time. I work a lot with draping and that’s my brand’s highlight. The cuts are often loose and more quirky. I like to play around with my garments, be it with the silhouettes or texturing while also keeping the wearability aspect of the garment in mind.

Indian designers have the unique challenge of integrating ethnic fashion with western design to cater to a larger and younger audience, especially when it comes to festive wear. How do you stay on top of this game?

Well in today’s ever changing fashion scene, I keep my research going to stay updated on the trends. All the fashion-savvy insta handles is what I scroll at my breakfast table every day to keep in check with the industry. When I plan my clothes, I think of a woman who is 16, a woman who is 65, and a lady who is in her late forties, all of these people should find something in the brand.

The idea is to make it more and more inclusive. It should be fitting for all body types. I try to play with my styles by giving new life to the traditional fabrics. For example, I created a stylish contemporary version of the traditional classic lucknowi chikankari fabric with gotta patti work into a dhoti jumpsuit. This silhouette was a hit amongst my clients and turned out to be one of my signature collections. I try to score equally on style and comfort, in a way that they are both future-proof and festive-appropriate. Even for sarees, it may be a staple in every Indian woman’s closet—but draping it may not necessarily be everyone’s cup of tea, and hence I design the nine-yards with modern and pre-stitched versions in different yet classy styles. More and more innovation and re-invention is the key to stay in the game.

It seems quite apparent that the trend of slow fashion is here to stay. How do adapt it in to your business model?

Fueled largely by Covid-19 changes, fashion is simplifying, both in its styles and in its delivery. Fast fashion, which was popular for its ability to quickly and inexpensively reproduce runway looks, is in decline in favor of slow fashion—pieces that are more eco-friendly and designed to be longer lasting. At Ravishing, we try to create pieces with longevity and that can last beyond a single owner or use. I launched two collections this year, spring/summer (westerns) and fall/winter (festive), instead of four. This simplified approach puts customers at the center by creating pieces when people will actually be shopping for them.

For us designers, simplifying fashion saves us time, money and the environment. Instead of moving through clothes so quickly and having to produce a new collection, marketing campaign and fashion shoots every six weeks, simplified collections helps us designers reduce waste and the amount of clothing produced. I try to keep my designs fashionable and trendy, yet durable with a long-lasting value. I experiment with creating versatile pieces that are functional and can be worn in multiple ways to create different looks. This helps bring a sense of excitement in my clients when I customize their outfits.

Share five staples every woman should have in her festive wardrobe and please tell us how best to pair each of them to make the most of them?

Benarasi Dupatta: It’s rightfully said that any ethnic wardrobe is incomplete without at least one Benarasi weave. They can be worn with salwar suits, anarkali’s, lehengas and even sarees. You can pair this precious weave with a monotone or solid kurta and pants or throw in your grand benarasi to a brocade kurta and sharara set to elevate the whole outfit. Even though your base outfit is simple, that dupatta will steal all the attention. If you’re looking to maximise the versatility of your dupatta, opt for standout hues that can be easily paired with neutrals and contrasting colors alike. Styling it right is what matters the most. Add a pair of jhumkas or maybe even a choker and you are good to go!

A classic sari: There’s no denying that the timeless six yards are a wardrobe mainstay. One must have the precious weaves such as brocades and silks for a trans-seasonal sartorial investment. You can choose to pair the hand-woven Kanjeevaram gold drape with a full-sleeved ivory blouse, or with a metallic blouse for maximum impact. If you prefer modern versions, you can try an ephemeral floral sari or a monochrome number in tulle or organza. It’s a fail-safe option for a poolside mehendi party. Plus, you can style it in different ways, double draping it with a lehenga or even pants, or elevating it with a belt, blazer or jacket.

An Ivory Anarkali: An ivory flowy anarkali is one of the most loved ethnic wear outfits out there. We often spot many Bollywood and Tollywood celebrities wearing this for their airport looks or casual gatherings at home. These Anarkalis are super versatile and will stand out in a sea of heavy ethnic wear. It’s classy and can be styled with different types of easy breezy chiffon and georgette dupattas. Pearl jewelry, antique gold and silver jewelry, oxidized metal jewelry, quirky thread jewelry and almost all different kinds of accessories pair really well with an ivory anarkali. You could pair it with contrast bottoms in bright colors of pink, orange, yellow and much more. To make it more appealing, you could style it with half jackets and achkans that will transform the whole look of this outfit. One can wear this to different kinds of events ranging from occasional festivities, office parties and celebrations.

A white shirt: If you have a soft spot for unconventional fusion pairings, you can add a traditional white shirt into the ethnic section of your closet. The virtues of a classic white button-down are many and varied, including the ability to serve as the perfect companion to an array of scene-stealing flared palazzo pants and lehenga skirts. Pair a pastel lehenga skirt with tucked in white shirt. Add a kundan neckpiece to elevate the look. If you’re looking to amp up the look, a tailored silk shirt should help you create maximum impact.

Antique Gold Kurta and pants: A simple, plain, solid antique gold kurta and pants speaks of elegance and class. This set being my personal favorite can be styled in different ways with different design elements. I personally love them in silk blended fabrics or raw silk. These fabrics will give extra sheen and add to the whole look. Now you can pain the gold kurta set with a variety of silk dupattas in black, bottle-green, hot pink, rust orange and dark blue. Of course you can pair these up with the whitewashed pastels like lemon yellow, mint blue, mint green, blush pinks too, depending on what works for you. As the outfit is minimal, go the extra mile with your jewelry styling. Look for statement earrings or neckwear that will define your final look and set it apart.

Lastly how do you celebrate Diwali?

Diwali for me is all about sparkle and joy. It essentially means contemplating the good times with family and dressing the best for rituals. The excitement of this festival is irreplaceable and the vibes of the gleaming lights around me is over-whelming. The decors, the diyas, the dressing up, the laxmi puja, the sweets, the gatherings, the laughs with closest of family and friends, the happy festive vibes; are the elements that make my Diwali a perfect one.

Gayathri Vazirani

Gayathri Vazirani established The Arab Crab after leaving behind a career in banking. She talks about the transition and what makes her festive collection stand out.

Tell us about your journey as a designer, your inspirations and high points of your career.

During my banking career in Dubai for over 10 years, I decided to follow my passion with strong motivation from friends socially who complimented my eye for fashion. Fortunately, I started off in the Year 2019 with a fairly decent response and gradually figured out the gap in the UAE market and started focusing in that direction. In a short span of time I was fortunate to have a few celebrities wear my clothes. I also dressed a few TV Stars in the most popular Indian TV series Big Boss.

What do you think are the top five trends in festive wear this season? Please elaborate on each.

1. Capes and dhoti – A must in everyone's wardrobe, the dhoti pants are lightweight and are comfortable textile fabric with elasticated waistbands which fit comfortably to all body shapes. Capes are the easiest, which are asymmetrical neck with cape sleeves.

2. A drape saree – A ready drape to front and looks glamorous at all occasions.

3. One-shoulder dress – These are statement dresses, which are one shoulder dress style, flowy and lightweight fabric, with asymmetric neckline adjustable to self-tie straps to waist.

4. Silhouettes in bandini and batik – Different kinds of drapes and asymmetrical styles.

5. Printed kaftan dress – Textured and comfortable v-neck with puffed long sleeves, which is adjustable drawstring detail to waist.

Tell us more about your festive collection.

My Festive Collection this year is capes and dhoti, one-shoulder dresses and tie and dye dresses. My USP is the sizing and my pricing. My Silhouettes fit from a size from small to extra large. The dramatic drapes are flattering once worn.

My pricing starts from Dh350, which are easily affordable to all segments and age groups.

Indian designers have the unique challenge of integrating ethnic fashion with Western design to cater to a larger and younger audience, especially when it comes to festive wear. How do you stay on top of this game?

I give my clients a unique feel of festivity in my clothes, but add a unique Western sway to it, so that it can be worn beyond. I cater to free styles and sizes to reach a broader women horizon at an affordable spend.

It seems quite apparent that the trend of slow fashion is here to stay. How to adapt it into your business model?

By catering to styles on modules one size fits most and yet keeping the price at reach.

Please share three staples every woman should have in her festive wardrobe and how best to pair each of them?

1. Dhoti – These can be worn with crop tops, capes, and even your basic Ts.

2. Pleat capes – Style it with your dhoti skirts or pants. This will be your go -to this season.

3. A bandini one-shoulder dress – Bandini will keep you in the spotlight throughout the festive season. Team it with chandbalis to glam it up.

Lastly, how do you celebrate Diwali?

Celebrations go on for a week to 10 days at times. Without fail, I attend the pooja in my most ethnic wear, to later be followed by fireworks and parties, which require my attire to be the most trendy yet reflecting my festivity.

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