Free Press Journal

West has strong influences on our fashion sensibilities: Designer Karishma Luharuwalla

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While she showcases her creations on the last day of Fashion Week, designer Karishma Luharuwalla takes out time from her maddening schedule to talk to Boski Gupta about everything fashion

Her drapes are simple yet majestic; her creations do not shy away from use of heavy zardosi works but also are beautifully interspersed with modern silhouettes; her style is mostly traditional yet she appeals to the generation next like no other when it comes to choose an outfit for the special occasions. That’s designer Karishma Luharuwalla for you. Though she started working very young, her inspiration – in her own words – has always been her mother. Her brand Faabiiana is a hit with all age groups, and while she makes last minute preparations to showcase her designs on the final day of Lakme Fashion Week, Luharuwalla doesn’t fail to keep her word of an interaction. Excerpts from the interview…

What’s in store from Faabiiana this Fashion Week?


I am showcasing my new collection ‘Desert Rose’ which is a perfect amalgamation of grandeur and glamour with the supreme craftsmanship of Rajasthan. Contemporary cuts combined with traditional sensibilities add a bit of romanticism to the unconventional yet classic designs of ‘Desert Rose’. Moody, moonlit florals in dusty shades of ash rose and blush, slate grey, olive green showcases the lighter side of the day.

How does a fashion show help a designer? Especially a new one?

Reputed fashion shows give credibility and visibility to a designer. New designers get to showcase their talent to a wider audience and also get industry insights on what will work and what not.

What inspires you as a designer…

Growing up I have seen my family dress up very royally. I always wanted to be a fashion designer and I remember how I used to style everybody at home. This apart, my mother started a small boutique studio at home when I was studying, that kind of inspired me more. I joined her after my studies and that’s how everything fell into place.

How does the West affect our fashion sensibilities?

The West has its strong influences on our fashion sensibilities. The trends from the Victorian era continue to resonate today – the chokers, puffed sleeves, exaggerates styles of sleeves and so on.

Do you think film stars and movies play a major role in boosting fashion?

Film stars are the biggest fashion influencers in India. Bollywood and fashion have become inseparable elements. And most of our leading Bollywood ladies are extremely fashionable and carry around themselves rather graciously. Trends from movies have become extremely popular in the past like Kareena Kapoor’s Patiala and t-shirt in Jab We Met and that being not the first one to be so popular. In Bollywood from Deepika Padukone to Alia Bhatt, from Salman Khan to Varun Dhawan, people are looking forward to their airport looks to films to their holidays. Bollywood celebrities are always in the limelight, what they wear is always talked about.

What does your label ‘Faabiiana’ signify?

Faabiiana signifies the grandeur of the supreme craftsmanship of Rajasthan.

Please tell us about the style of your work…

I primarily work with silhouettes that are traditional yet have a modern outlook. I blend the two worlds to create a refreshing and stylish couture wear for the new-age brides. Embroidery works like ‘Lucknowi’, ‘muskaish’, ‘chikankari’ and ‘zardosi’ in pastel neutral hues like jade green, pistachio green and dusty pink are the colours I go for. Our style of work is deeply rooted to our origin and we don’t follow any rules in fashion. We work on different silhouettes and embroideries.

Please tell us something about your first design…

It was a ‘zardosi’ embroidered long kurta. It was about five years back and I remember when my mom started the studio, it was sold out the very first day.

What are your thoughts on Indian fashion industry today?

It is definitely one of the most versatile industry. Indians like to experiment and fuse Western wear with designer clothing, adapt Western trends and Indianise them as per local needs. They constantly look at celebrities and designer for inspiration. Fashion has become an inseparable part of our culture; that being said the millennial is more learned today and not afraid to experiment with changing trends. India’s fashion scene is changing and we get to see a lot of experimental fashion on the streets!

What are you tips for young fashionistas of today?

In this competitive times, be yourself and unique.