Home to many young, promising designers, Hyderabad is fast making its mark on the fashion map. Classic saris rub shoulders with opulent Indo-Western wear even as young designers are going green with recycled materials or luring the modern fashionista with experimental and creative innovations. Join us for a tete-a-tete with,Home to many young, promising designers, Hyderabad is fast making its mark on the fashion map. Classic saris rub shoulders with opulent Indo-Western wear even as young designers are going green with recycled materials or luring the modern fashionista with experimental and creative innovations. Join us for a tete-a-tete with some of the city’s coolest, most innovative designers.Uber chic: Sagar TenaliHe launched his label, Sagar Tenali in 2006 and since then, has been on a roll. A NIFT graduate, he worked with the brand XLNC in Hyderabad, designing men’s clothing before he started his own studio in 2008.With his creations displayed in most leading studios throughout India, he’s carved a niche in the genre of western wear, club wear, resort wear and wedding trousseau. ‘Confident subtlety’ is his mantra and his latest collection titled Oh Bahamas reflects that rather stylishly. Essentially resort wear with a lot of linen jackets, chinos, ponchos and kaftans thrown in, he’s experimented with the embellishing and has used European style stones, crystals and other such adornments. “Expect to see a lot of silver, and black this season is blended with other shades,” he says. Other hot colours this season are slated to be dark emerald green, olive greens, brick red, shades of yellow, and blues like ultramarine and midnight. Layers are back. Like a kurta emerging out of a sherwani, paired with churidars.Style tip: Men can do away with the stoles and dupattas and go in for the pagdi or turban while sporting ethnic wear.advertisementUrbane hues: Asmita MarwaAsmita Marwa’s creations fuse the traditional with the contemporary, producing a chic urbane sensibility. An extensive traveller, Asmita draws inspiration from anything ranging from exotic spice markets to things lying on her desk in her studio. In 2008, she was featured among ‘Nine Designers to Look Out For’ by Vogue and now she’s already got a number of fashion weeks to her credit. Though having received no formal training in fashion, Asmita, a Psychology graduate was always interested in clothing design and has learnt designing through observation and experimenting besides her numerous travels abroad. Besides clothes, she also designs spaces and furniture as a hobby. Her label Asmita Marwa was launched in 2003 and for a few years following that, she retailed from a few stores.Her big break came in 2008 when she showcased her kalamkari collection at Lakme India Fashion Week, Mumbai. “One of the most fascinating aspects of contemporary fashion is the liberty of expressing yourself the way you like without any rigid set of style mantras,” says Asmita. Her latest collection, titled La Vi En Rose, showcased at the Blender’s Pride Fashion Tour this month is all about viewing life through rose tinted glasses even though everything around is affected by corruption, recession, violence and negativity. Her inspiration for this collection came from Woodstock and the times of the 60s and 70s that she keeps going back to.Her designs reflect a hippie chic look with a kaleidoscope of colours and prints. There are two distinct looks for this season-a boyish androgynous look and a more feminine bohemian kind of look,” she says. “Solid colours are the ‘in’ thing with a focus on deep tone shades of primary colours-burnt red, indigo, dirty mustard or military green. The last season’s obsession with purple is certainly over. The silhouettes are more structured and no-fuss. In India, a draped look still works. This translates into kaftan dresses and stuff like that.”Style tip: For evening wear, go in for a crisp white asymmetrical shirt with a pair of black leggings or pyjama pants or even palazzo trousers.Natural pizzazz: Sashikant NaiduEngineering didn’t quite agree with his more creative inclinations and Sashikant Naidu decided to follow his calling when he took up a diploma in designing at NIFT and debuted on the fashion week circuit at Lakme India Fashion Week, 2010. Listed among the top 50 upcoming designers of India in the Femina Book of Fashion 2003, he launched his label, Sashikant Naidu in the same year, but not before facing his fair share of struggles. He still thinks of himself as a struggling designer since he isn’t a cut throat businessman and can’t be one. “I like doing things my way and it’s been good so far-step by step with no overnight breakthroughs.” He started out really small in his father’s garage and not only had to work hard, but also face jibes like ‘After all you’re just a tailor!’ Inspired by Indian culture, heritage, tribes, and colours, Sashikant’s designs are subtle and classy. This season too he continues to work with ikat and kalamkari in silks apart from khadi that keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. When it comes to trends he says, “Burnt oranges, reds, deep purple, dull gold, royal blue, deep teal, primrose yellow are hot on the ramp and peach is the new neutral this season.” According to him, prints and colour blocks with structured cuts, carrying just a hint of sparkle and layering sums up the current look.Style tip: Aclassy shirt dress will always work since you can dress it down for work and up for the evening.advertisementClassy appeal: Archana RaoShe’s among the youngest of the lot and among the most promising too, going by the impressive looks in her look book. Archana Rao made a stunning debut on the fashion circuit this year, launching her label Frou Frou-a name inspired by the rustling sound of fabric-at the Gen-Next show, Lakme Fashion week, March 2012. After a bachelors degree at NIFT, Archana attended Parsons school of Design, New York and was selected to showcase her graduation collection at the prestigious Parsons Line Debut 2009 at Lord and Taylor, New York. That was followed by an internship at Kaufman Franco, New York, and after getting back to India, she started working as a menswear designer. The look for her latest collection Prologue is very androgynous. Classic masculine designs have been tweaked with a romantic, feminine twist. The structured, uniformed style of menswear has been made fluid with the use of oversized garments. “Inspired by the basic principles of line and form, silhouettes this season will be streamlined,” says Archana. Structured clothing with bold fabrics and simplistic style details are the forecast for the season.Style tip: Women should experiment with detachable collars, embellished neck pieces, oversized cuffs and metal belts.Ethnic elan: Ganesh NallariGanesh Nallari’s passion for fashion may have been a late discovery, but is certainly enriched with all that he’s done before, in line with his design philosophy of varied styles and inspirations coming together eclectically. Since art is known to show up in unexpected and often unpredictable ways, the painter, trained Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancer, theatre actor, and once even a qualified dentist eventually took to dressing up the fashion conscious in the city. After having studied at Domus Academy, Milan and NIFT, he launched his label, Ganesh Nallari in 2007 that specialises in wedding trousseau for women and men. Over the last few years, he’s designed clothes for weddings, styled for several Telugu movie projects and dance productions and also finds his creative expression in theatre. “My brand celebrates the luxury of clothing, originating from the classic Indian art forms,” he explains. Ganesh finds Indian ethnic wear dominating this season in India. Apart from saris and anarkalis, which have been safe bets all through, the half-sari is becoming popular for its mix of fusion elements and diversity in style, allowing women of all ages to adapt to the new interpretation of this traditional attire with easy grace. Traditional fabrics like chanderi, kota tissues, kanchivaram and shaded Benaras georgettes are evergreen and the year 2012 celebrates color in contrasts, with warm hues like golden yellow, cadmium orange, Indian red, bright hyacinth, hot pink, light fuchsia, sea blue-green and royal ink blue dominating.Style tip: Pick the style and colour of your outfit based on your body type. Ink blue, for instance, can make you look slimmer. Larger prints on a bigger body type should be avoided. Shaded colours tend to give you a leaner look.advertisementEarthy femininity: Ishita SinghChic, elegant and comfortable-the words that best describe Ishita Singh’s sense of design. It’s the mantra she follows when dressing film stars and style divas. A NIFT graduate, Ishita has already been around for a decade in the fashion industry and her label, Anhad is all about the use of lots of colour, loads of Indian sensibility, style and simplicity. Ishita has also been designing extensively for films and her designs for actor Genelia D’Souza Deshmukh got her quite a lot of recognition. A socially conscious youngster, she happens to be the first designer in south India to have single handedly organised a fashion show to promote breast cancer awareness in Hyderabad in 2008. Talking about the trends this season she says, “A lot of bubblegum colours like pinks and oranges along with neutrals like dull grays will be in. More fitted silhouettes and sleek cuts will also be seen this season.”Style tip: Let accessories be minimal. A pair of big earrings should be good enough. Or a set of bangles in gold or silver are equally good.Clean cuts: Shravan KumarShravan’s self confessed “ramp to road” creations are a hit with wedding households and high society wardrobes alike. A NIFT graduate, he has been in the fashion industry for about 18 years now with his first breakthrough show being Design 04 at Pragati Maidan, Delhi in 2004. His re-diffusion couture with a definite love for traditional fabrics like kalamkari and namikari has earned him clients all over India and several shows; the latest being the Punjab and Kochi International Fashion Weeks. His collection showcased at the recently concluded Kochi Fashion Week has been inspired by the female matriarchal system in Kerala. While he works closely with weavers, he’s also associated with two NGOs-Passionate Foundation that works towards better education and Impact, which is associated with the treatment of cancer among children. Talking about this season, he says, “There seems to be a colour confusion of sorts, with shades from last season lingering on. So there’s a little bit of everything happening. The look, however, is a clean one with straight lines. Asymmetry is surely out. Frills and flounces are back and so are sheers, laces and net. For the future, the focus is quite certainly shifting rapidly to health fashion.”Style tip: If you’re wearing earrings, do away with the neckpiece; if it’s a statement clutch, go easy on the wrist-allow the focus to be on one eye-catching accessory.The saree soiree: Gaurang ShahHis designs are all about celebrating India and the sari. Perhaps that’s why actor Kiron Kher walked the ramp for Gaurang Shah at the Mumbai Fashion Week Winter Fest by Lakme in August this year. It was a rich collection which won him the Best Indian Designer Award for his kanjeevarams, kalamkari and zardozi saris in festive reds, yellows, pinks and oranges. At the July 2012 Berlin Fashion Week at Lavera Showfloor -Eco Designs Platform, he used a lot of whites and off-whites with splashes of colour. “I cannot work without colour. It’s how we Indians are and it’s who I am.” With no formal education in fashion or textile design, Gaurang learnt pretty much on the job, growing up among saris since his father had been running a textile business for years. Gaurang Shah was raised in Hyderabad and although his roots are in Gujarat, he draws immensely from the aesthetics of the south. Floral motifs are his all time favourite. Another signature motif is the peacock that he uses often in his creations. He believes in first understanding a weaving technique and then coming up with a design accordingly. The result-a healthy dose of texturing that his saris are enriched with. Expect to find unusual creations like a khadi Andhra sari with a pure silk border.Style tip: Choose simple, no-fuss blouses to go with your saris since the focus should remain on the sari, rather than shift to the blouse.