Archana Rao’s nostalgic but young label, Frou Frou, is now at Collage
Traditionalists be warned, the young and bold are creating a niche in the fashion world. One of them Hyderabad-based Archana Rao, whose two-year-old label Frou Frou is being hailed as a hit among Gen Y. Fascinated by the infinite possibilities of fabrics, Rao named her brand Frou Frou—French for ‘the sound of rustling cloth’.
Armed with degrees in fashion design from NIFT Hyderabad and New York’s Parsons School of Design, the 27-year-old’s internships at Kaufman Franco and TSC have indeed paid off. But the turning point was working at menswear brand NSL Textiles in Hyderabad. “Though I’m primarily a womenswear and accessories designer, menswear proved a challenge because you can’t really do much there. You have to make do with what you have and keep it simple.These lessons are helping with my work now,” she shares.
Her old-world wooden clutches with cross-stitch embroidery turned heads at this designer’s first showing at the Lakme Fashion Week—and it has only got better from there. Winning the Vogue Fashion Fund 2013 pushed her artistic limits, improved business and attracted recognition. “There was no looking back. I love the shuttling between cities, the motivation to deliver something innovative and I’m busier than ever!” she says.
Colour me contrast
Who is Frou Frou really for? “For the sensible urban woman who doesn’t take fashion too seriously. She isn’t looking to follow trends, and brings her own individual style to my pieces,” she states. Her aesthetic revolves around contrasts. With a penchant for the quaint, Rao uses cross-stitch, crocheting, pearl strings and quilting with modern cuts and lines. “The Autumn Winter line is inspired by carpets and petticoats, and western with kurtis, waistcoats, blazers, saris, shirts and accessories,” she says.
At Collage on December 23, 11 am onwards. Pricing from Rs 5,000 onwards. Details: 28291443