Tag Archives: Deepika Padukone in Ridhi Mehra

Luxemi Talks To Designer Ragini Ahuja of Ikai


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There is no stopping Ragini Ahuja. The Delhi-based designer who debuted her label Ikai at the Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013 Gen-Next show has gone from being a newbie to fashion frat darling in no time at all. The testimonies to this are many, but consider this: she was the first runner up at the recently concluded Vogue Fashion Fund 2014, a prestigious win for the young designer indeed.

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Not your basic designer, Ahuja’s creations feature a touch of edge, an inherent uniqueness that sets them apart. Think unexpected mixing of textures, leather detailing, hand woven fabrics and prints that strike a balance between look-at-me and subtle. Her latest collection ‘Metal’ focuses on sheep nappa and brass strips ingeniously appliquéd in flora and fauna shapes while using feminine fabrics, sheer chanderi and cotton marbled in corrosive colours with a hint of oxblood and gold.

Luxemi: Tell us about your foray into fashion designing. Is this something you always wanted to do? 

Ragini Ahuja: I was more inclined towards illustrating and graphic art than fashion initially. But I ended up pursing my Bachelors in Fashion Design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, which is how I got here. Though I do make boxy silhouettes that work as a canvas for my edgy illustrations and animated graphic details.

Who is the quintessential Ikai woman? Tell us more about the label.

The Ikai woman is real, curvaceous, fearless and confident. The label aims at creating highly wearable clothing by reinterpreting the traditional Indian aesthetic in a non-traditional way. So think boxy anti-fits are adorned with edgy artwork and animated details. The label has carved a niche with its unconventional use of leather and use of age-old techniques in the offbeat ways.

Shibori Leather Applique' yoke shirt SS14

Your creations always feature an offbeat element, with a lot of texture play. Is this a conscious move? What are some of the label’s signature styles?

Our design process starts with artworks, textures and mixing new with the old, traditional with the modern. The surfaces are then translated onto fabrics. The shibori box maxi (seen on actress Esha Gupta) with beautiful shibori stripes, appliqué leather belt details and leather roll up detailing at the hem is one of our hot sellers. It is big boxy, easy-to-wear and cinched beautifully at the waist.

Shibori Box MaxiOur big, boxy anti-fit shirts are also a signature style.

Antler Reverse Applique' Box Shirt FW14

What are the coolest/chicest ways to wear a sari according to you?

I love to pair traditionally hand-woven chanderi saris with leather bustiers, crop shirts and belted appliqué jackets.

What are the key traditional wear trends this year? What should be avoided at all costs?

Neon and anything that doesn’t flatter your body type should be completely avoided. As for Indians, wear classic saris, anarkalis and lehengas, as they never go out of style. For those who don’t mind experimenting, give our edgy leather floral applique and chanderi double layer reverse appliqué tunics and kurtas a go.

Who are some of your favourite designers and why?

I love Alexander Wang and Abraham & Thakore.

A style advice that never fails?

Find what looks good on you and stop following trends blindly!

Which are your favorite pieces from Luxemi’s latest collection? 

The Rustic Gold Triangle Necklace with Black Ribbon and Gold Pinky Ring by Amrapali are my top picks!

Untitled-1 What’s your take on the designer’s work? Tell us in the comment box below! 

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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Filed under Designer Radar, Designer Style, Indian-Inspired, Luxemi Style, Runway Shows, Trend Update

Luxemi Talks To Designer Ridhi Mehra

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Delhi-based designer Ridhi Mehra’s creations stand out in a sea of edgy and offbeat Indian wear owing to their demure chic vibe. The young designer, who has quickly catapulted into a name to reckon with makes sure that her ensembles are a happy marriage between European influences and Indian aesthetics…a throwback to an era gone by, if you will.

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Her elegant signature silhouettes have many fans especially Bollywood fashionistas (read everyone from Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Parineeti Chopra to Madhuri Dixit, Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Huma Qureshi and Sonakshi Sinha) and India’s fashion blogger royalty.

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L to R: Ridhi Mehra with showstopper Lisa Haydon at Lakme Fashion Week WF ’14

Fresh from the success of her Lakme Fashion Week debut, the petite designer talks to us about her foray into designing, her signature styles, favorite Luxemi pieces and more!

Luxemi: Tell us about the launch of your label. Did you always want to be a fashion designer?

Ridhi Mehra: Designing is something that comes to naturally to me now but back in the day, I never really thought I’d pursue this career! Destiny has played a big role here. I started out as a business student and completed my education in management studies from The University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. My mother and aunt were already established in the garments and retail industry in Delhi and I came back and joint their venture in the management department. That’s when I was drawn to designing. So I pursued a fashion design course at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in 2010 and launched my label in 2012.

Who is the quintessential Ridhi Mehra woman?

The Ridhi Mehra woman is one who believes in making a statement with simplicity. She is one who prefers her traditional wear to have a modern update, and that is my focus while designing too!

How would you describe your aesthetic and signature styles?

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Ridhi Mehra’s signature placements

My label is associated with strong European influences, intricate and meticulous handcrafted detailing and an emphasis on fine tailoring and cuts. Our draped dupattas as well as shoulder and waist patches are our atypical touches. My new collection continues to feature our side placements and retains the stitched dupattas but also boasts of newer placements. We are also experimenting with traditional and sharara jumpsuits, embroidered shorts, capes and dresses. In the end, it’s all about dark romance with a clear partiality for all things vintage.

What are Indian wear must-haves for this festive season?

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Short anarkali with salwar

An Indian embroidered jacket is a must as it can be paired with everything from anarkalis and shararas to lehengas and pants. A short anarkali with salwars is a trendy break from its voluminous counterpart but a classic full-length anarkali is a must! A stitched concept saree, though a tricky option, looks incredibly chic. Our embroidered crop tops are extremely versatile and easy to mix and match too.

Ridhi Mehra crop tops

Ridhi Mehra crop tops

Who are your favorite celebrity stylistas?

Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone are my all time favorites; they carry everything with élan!

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A style advice that never fails?

 Never overdress! Ever.

Which are your favorite pieces from Luxemi’s latest collection? 

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The Mango Salwar with Gota Embroidery by Nikasha, Gold Plated Silver Elephant Bangle by Amrapali, Navy Blue and Magenta Embroidered Flower Clutch by 5 Elements and the Orange Salwar with Asymmetrical Hem by Nikasha are my top picks from Luxemi.

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What do you think of Ridhi Mehra’s creations? Tell us in the comment box below!

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

 

 

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