Tap The Indianness Beneath With Nikasha

‘Raat ki Rani’ is ace designer Nikasha Tawadey’s amalgamation of tradition and modernity. As she is all set to showcase her Autumn/Winter Collection at the Will’s India Fashion Week on March 13, Nikasha hopes to introduce her versions of ethnic, formal attire ranging from sharara jumpsuits, sadri waist-coats and dhoti inspired skirts. In an exclusive tete-a-tete with Shop InOnIt, Nikasha bears her heart about the passion and awe she feels for the Indian craftsmanship.

The Moodboard of Nikasha's 'Raat Ki Rani' Collection for Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week

The Moodboard of Nikasha’s ‘Raat Ki Rani’ Collection for Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week 2013

From a psychoanalyst to a prominent Indian fashion designer. How has the journey been?

Ever since I decided to dabble in Fashion, there has been no looking back. Following one’s dream can only bear rich fruits. Today I am happy to have experienced the evolution of my ideas to its fruition. All along this amazing jigsaw puzzle called life, I have found much more peace, regardless of being faced with the success or failures encountered. This has been quite a fulfilling experience in all areas of my life.

What was the thought process behind Raat ki Rani and why? 

Raat Ki Rani is a nostalgic collection inspired by old glamour and the baroque style of the 1920’s combined with the bohemian look of the 70’s. It celebrates the spirit of the playful femme fatale. It is meant to be a vibrant, energetic collection that reflects the flirtier side of the ‘Nikasha’ woman’s persona. This collection explores a more mature woman who is experimental, empowered and sensual. Her rooted desi-ness is injected with a dose of glamour; the shapes are sexier, the embellishments are bolder, the mood is stronger. It is a modern interpretation of traditional and historic costumes.

What do you think is the outstanding feature that sets your designs apart from the rest? (USP)

The simplicity of each of the garments is always retained. Most of the garments are not overdone; there is enough work on it to keep them exclusive and exquisite. I never shy away from mixing different colours; they somehow always seem to come together beautifully. The colours are well suited to the Indian warm tones as well. That is what sets my designs apart.

Your creations comprise of light silks and chiffon. Do you feel that comfort should be considered while designing traditional Indian wear?

Fashion was never really built with comfort in the back of anyone’s mind. But having said that, a well finished garment which is meticulously sown, breeds comfort. Traditional Indian wear is quite heavy on not just the work on the garment, but literally the weight of the garment on one’s body. I think that is the one thing we strive to lessen by working with light silks and chiffon’s  This makes it easier for a bride or even just about anybody wearing a particular Indian ensemble.

Is there an unspoken or an unsung trend that you wish to impart among fashionistas?

I know that monochrome colours have been doing the rounds these days, but there is nothing like embracing colour. Colours define moods, personalities and they look absolutely great when worn well. Fashionistas should most definitely hit this trend with an upcoming one – Ombré’s which will be massive. I look forward to the winds of fashion change.

How would you describe your creations in one word?

Never been more tempted to use more than one word, but I would say that this collection is très genteel.

Tell us about the collection you will be showcasing at the Wills India Fashion Week.

‘Raat ki Rani’ interprets traditional Indian silhouettes to contemporary styles starring sharara jumpsuits, choli tanks, dhoti skirts and Patiala pants. Inspired by styles of the 1920’s combined with the 70’s, Raat ki Rani celebrates the spirit of a playful diva. The joie de vivre of the jazz age mingles with the vibe of the disco era in a vibrant, energetic collection that reflects the flirtier side of a woman’s persona. In this collection we have explored our core work and gone further in-depth to portray the side of the woman on the go.

You have been the only Indian designer to have retailed your collection at Macy’s in San Francisco. Do you think that the West is being receptive of Indian ethnic fashion?

The western world has always sort of been in awe of our culture, and we must agree it a massive melting pot of not just religions but also precious artistic treasures. The unimaginable art forms that originate out of each state in our nation are hard to just pen down. This is what draws the international consumers in. The craftsmanship, the embroideries revolve around a lot hard-work and understanding of the art that, goes into tailoring each garment. It isn’t just fabric sown together; it is a countless number of artists and hours that go into making these almost heroic outfits. So yes, the west is far more receptive to Indian ethnic fashion today.

You’ve dressed some of the leading ladies in Bollywood from Preity Zinta to Bipasha Basu. Is there somebody whom you would want to walk the ramp for NIKASHA?

The clothes are the stars of my shows. The focus is always on the pieces and we ensure that each collection is striking in a unique way. We do not believe in the concept of showstoppers.

What is your advice to those who wish to take the path to fashion designing?

Dreams are only the beginning of the manifestation of one’s journey. Stay on course, stay focused and be yourself. Choose an aesthetic and build around it. Don’t fall prey to opinions, they are after-all just perceptions of someone else’s reality. If fashion design is for you, gear up for some hard-work.


As told to Vijayalakshmi Narayanan.

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