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An interview with fashion designer Rishu Sharma

Rishu Sharma is a fashion Designer, based in Gurgaon & she also works in USA based MNC. Rishu is NIFT Delhi alumni & she will showcase her collection in Uttarakhand Couture Week. In a recent conversation with Himalayan Buzz she told us more about her personal life & work.

First of all tell us about your childhood, education and family background?
I come from an Armforce background – my father was in the Airforce and we spent a lot of time traveling to different places and finally settled in Delhi NCR back in 1997. I was always very fascinated with helicopters and aircraft as my father used to train fighter pilots. I’d often visit the hanger just to see the majestic birds. At an early age, I decided I wanted to be a fashion designer and went ahead to pursue Fashion designing from NIFT. I also have a bachelor’s in English from Delhi University.

What sparked your interest in fashion?
Creativity comes naturally to me. Don’t remember the exact thing or person that influenced me and/or steered my focus to fashion designing, but I remember I started sketching at an early age (9-10 Yrs). I loved redesigning my dresses, I’d alter and design them myself. I was always very particular about what I wore….

What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?
Back in those days – Fashion designing was NOT a career choice, it, in fact, didn’t feature in the list of aspirations of any of my schoolmates or friends. They either wanted to be an engineer or a doctor or a lawyer or something on those lines. I got a lot of pushback from my parents, especially my mother because she wanted me to be an engineer or do MBA or take up something more respectful. But when they saw my determination and never dying dedication to get into NIFT – they eventually gave in.

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?
Times have changed – When I started working as a designer, we’d have clients come up to us with pictures of movie stars or some magazine cutout asking us to replicate it. There was no social media and people had lesser options and ideas. In the current times of social media – everyone is a designer in their own way! Now they come to us with their own ideas, people are more aware of the trends, everyone wants to look different.
Social media has made our jobs simple and difficult at the same time – everyone is copying everyone. Out of 10, 9 online stores have the same styles but at different prices. This market is more competitive than ever before.

Have your pieces become more appealing to people as a result?
Yes, they have – mainly because we custom make, We have no intention of running the rat race.
We keep it simple yet fun. Our clients know that if they walk out wearing us, it’s a single custom made piece.

What do you think of Indian fashion?
India is rich in culture – I think Indian fashion was always a notch over the rest of the world and we have come a long way not just in styling but techniques – our fabrics, dying, embroideries, silhouettes inspire one’s creativity.
Designers are more experimental because there’s a lot of competition and the consumer is very aware.

Are there any types of clothing that you avoid wearing?
I personally don’t like leather garments a lot, but a leather Jacket and blue jeans can always save the day!

How fashion is important for us?
I’d not say it is Important but it is one of the key ingredients that allow people to express their personality.
It’s in itself a statement to the world of who you are before you even start talking. When we look good we automatically feel good. You know anyone that hates looking good?

Does your approach differ when designing menswear compared to womenswear?
Of course – Indian Men’s fashion is still far from experimental. A regular Indian man still sticks to the basics.

What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
It’s impossible not to be mesmerized by the arts and crafts of India. I have always been fascinated by the Indian heritage – Indian monuments, forts, Indian motifs, and embroideries. My work has always had an Indian approach in styling, silhouettes, embroideries.

How can a woman dress sexily without showing much skin?
I fail to understand why some women think – the shorter the dress the sexier they look. Fashion is NOT about showing skin – you can look extremely fashionable in a simple white shirt and blue jeans if you know what kind of shoes, belt or any other accessories to pair it with. Sexiness comes from within. If you feel good about yourself and what you are wearing, that’s only going to reflect on the outside and make you look and feel fabulous!

For example – If you want to show legs, cover up on top. If you want to show cleavage, cover your legs more. At the end of the day, you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard–or worse, wind up looking like a wannabe.
If you go with smokey eyes, wear nude on lips. It’s a No-No to have bright lips and dark eyes.

What advice would you give to young designers?
Create your own style and specialize in it. Don’t try too hard, simple is great sometimes

What would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
Have a styling booth up & running!

What expectations you do have from Uttarakhand Couture Week
Kudos to Himalayan Buzz for putting this together, I am coming to have some fun !! Honestly.
But I do believe this region from India is an untapped market, people are beautiful and they need more local designers that can step up the game for them.

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