A look at top designers who have made a global mark yet still call Bangalore home
From dressing Hollywood stars to Bollywood A-listers and retailing at global high fashion stores, city-based fashion designers put our once-small sleepy town on the international fashion map. By Rashmi Rajagopal and Aakanksha Devi
MANSOOR SCOTT is a San Francisco based label founded in 2011 by Sabah Mansoor Husain (from Bangalore) and Bethany Scott Meuleners. The pair met at the Academy of Art University, School of Fashion’s MFA programme while working as double majors in knitwear and fashion design. In 2010, both designers showcased their graduate collections at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City, after which they formed their partnership. In 2012, Mansoor Scott was awarded a one-year fashion business apprenticeship as ‘Designers in Residence’ through Fashion Incubator San Francisco, hosted by Macy’s in Union Square. Last year, Mansoor Scott was selected for Gen Art’s Fresh Faces in Fashion in Los Angeles.
Unafraid to approach design with an innovative outlook, the duo marries craft and design with the hopes of reviving artisan techniques and traditional techniques. City girl Mansoor Husain says, “I am inspired by everything around me! Sometimes in everyday simplicity. At other times, from traditional Indian crafts and techniques.” And that notion is clearly reflected in her brand. Mansoor Scott emphasises intricate textiles and tailored design, combining elements of traditional crafts, old-world artisan techniques, and modern design with excellent fit and fabrication.
“As a designer, I would always go to the back alleys of Commercial Street and Purani Market and I still continue to go there when I’m in Bangalore! They have every kind of bead, ribbon, embroidery fabric and it is so inspirational,” she enthuses, adding that a trend she’d like to see here too is the graphic black and white prints and patterns which ‘pack a serious statement’ as well as the peek-a-boo detailing of sheer which she calls ‘a sweet meets sexy’ look because it ‘adds a feminine detail to even the most severe silhouettes’. Look out for their 2014/15 Autumn Winter collection in black, whitepale pink dominated by florals, polka dots and lace.
Available on mansoorscott.com
A play on the word hue, Huemn by Shyma Shetty and Pranav Misra, has everyone from Deepika Padukone to Neha Dhupia sporting their designs. A product of Mount Carmel College and later, NIFT Bangalore where she met her business partner Misra, Shetty tells us she always had an affinity for beautiful clothes and never missed an opportunity to showcase her strong personal style. “My dad was a garment exporter and mum a fashion designer. So I was exposed to the industry very early on,” she reveals. Their label is distinctly edgy with soft feminine touches, and strikes the right balance between casual and dressy, with special attention to comfort.“When I started out, I felt the gap in the fashion industry, in terms of designer casual clothing. So we decided to create sophisticated comfort wear,” Shetty tells us, stating that, Bangaloreans have been doing comfort for the past 50 years, in style. “We’ve been pulling it off for the past five decades, so I must say we’re quite a progressive lot.”
Launched four years ago, their unique design aesthetic was soon recognised by some of the nation’s biggest trendsetters and their pieces have graced the pages of a number of magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Klick, Grazia, Elle, Vogue, Savvy, after having consistently participated in Lakme Fashion Weeks. Their designs also found place on the covers of publications like Marie Claire and Beauty Launchpad, apart from a feature in the German Style in Progress magazine.
Available on perniaspopupshop.com
From dressing Jessica Szohr on Gossip Girl to The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco and even supermodel Carmen Electra and the likes of Brittany Ishibashi, Pink, Giuliana Rancic and Tyra Banks, Michelle Salins has come a long way since she started, interning with a wedding dress designer in the USA. Changing tracks from interior design to fashion paid off when she showcased her collection at the Miami Fashion Week in 2010. “It was here that I caught the attention of the organisers, as all my 11 bags with my collection were super organised with neat labels and clear pictures indicating what went where,” recalls Salins, who is busy setting up her flagship store on Residency Road. She has since participated at the Moda Manhattan fashion show and New York Fashion Week. Her LA-based studio caters to ‘Wall Street wives, who always bring in their friends.’ Salins has also been featured in a number of publications like Front Row magazine, The LA Times and The New York Times. Her pret line retails across the US and Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Butterfly, with some of her designs also worn at the recently held Emmy’s, apart from stars like Priyanka Chopra and Alia Bhatt. Salins is also planning a trunk show with Neiman Marcus soon.Available on michellesalins.com