Fashionably 'it' with Salim Asgarally

Salim Asgarally speaks to The Punekar about coming to Pune and his journey in fashion.

Name and reputation counts in India, especially in the fashion industry. With quite a few well-trained designers coming from fashion schools, you have to keep yourself surging ahead to stay afloat. Salim Asgarally has come a long way from his days at Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and University of California in Los Angeles, Asgarally designs are a great combo of Indian and western sensibilities. Punekars are in for a treat, as he will be coming up with a showcasing his collection on October 23rd at Penthouse, Koregaon Park and then having an exhibition at Sade in Koregaon Park on October 24-25. He speaks to The Punekar about coming to Pune and his journey in fashion.
What made you choose to come to Pune to showcase your collection?
Pune seems a natural extension to Mumbai and with its interesting cosmopolitan mix of people, it ranks as one of India’s fastest developing T2 cities. Fashion has now moved to the next level and it is the smaller towns and cities which are ready for the fashion march and what could be a better choice than Pune.
Please tell us about the collection which is being showcased, right from inspiration to its execution.
The collection is called “EHSAAS” which, in Urdu, means “feelings” or “emotion”. Like emotions, the collection is varied and supports and reflects the various moods of the contemporary woman. The collection ranges from sublime whites to multicoloured hues which have been aligned into 12 sequences. The silhouettes vary from short and playful to long and elegant. Saree skirt ensembles, kameezes and tunics cater to ethnic sensibilities while short mini dresses in lace and linen and long flowing Georgette dresses add to western chic. The reining thought behind was to create a range of wearable fashion that can move straight from the ramp to the wardrobe!
How do you find the city of Pune, in terms of fashion? What kind of response do you expect?
I have been retailing from Sade in Koregaon park for the last five years, so Pune is not an entirely new market to me. I am aware of the needs of my Pune clientele and let me tell you they are no different from that of Mumbai or any other metro. People in Pune love and enjoy fashion and party just as hard as anywhere else in the country and are in touch with the latest trends. I expect a sell out exhibition post the show, which is at Sade on the 24th and 25th of Oct.
How would you describe your label, right from the time you began to the way it has turned out?
My label began with two sewing machines in 1992. Today, there are several apart from three more labels under the umbrella, namely pret, couture and lifestyle. Fashions come and fashions go, what remains is the “timeless elegance” of my styles, the cut, finish and fall of my range and the attention to detail in its crafting is of the essence. The label today is synonymous with high fashion and has retained its youthful feel and cutting edge.
At present, when a lot of designers are spurting from everywhere especially from non-metros, what is your take on Indian fashion scene?
I think the fashion scene in India still has a long way to go. We may have a lot of design talent but its organisation within the retail structure has to be ramped up! Corporatisation of the fashion business is what will take the industry to the next level and bring it on par with the West.
What inspires your works?
Just back from an awesome trip to Kashmir and am completely mesmerized by the beauty of the place, the warmth of its people and the amazing arts and crafts. So, Inshaallah my next collection will be inspired by this lovely land! Amazing places, colours in nature, different cultures, the movies and legendary fashion icons like Madonna and Amy Winehouse inspire me!
A fashion faux pas being done around so commonly. Your thoughts?
The worst fashion faux pas would be squeezing into tight fitted clothes in a bid to look young and sexy!
One latest trend which you recommend for: 1. Party. 2. Festive. 3. Daily.
Party: Metallics are big this season, so bring on the gold, silver and bronze!
Festive:.Dump the Anarkali for elegant layered kameezes and saree skirts. They are happening and you can find them in my new AW 2013 line.
Daily: Streamlined A-line kameezes in earthy combinations teamed with churidaars are ideal for work or to a lunch with the ladies.
Are we going to see more of you in Pune? What next?
Pune is on my list for expansion, so retail presence in terms of a store is on the cards. Also, in the process of developing an online shopping portal for my clientele world over, so that my styles are available to them on the click of the mouse. The portal will offer design services, trousseau planning and wardrobe assistance apart from a complete ready to wear range.
Show Date: October 23rd 2013
Time: 8pm-11pm
Venue: Penthouse, Koregaon Park
Exhibition: October 24th and 25th at Sade, Koregaon park
Photo Credit:
Model Jibbie George (Miss Citadel Pune 2013)
Photos: Hitesh Kaneria
Designer Salim Asgarally

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