I broke rules, went beyond the norms to create a place for myself in the country, says the Guwahati native who was part of Blenders Pride Magical Nights held in city recently
Guwahati: With a plethora of stylish designs, Blenders Pride Magical Nights 2019 enthralled fashionistas in Guwahati on Friday. The evening came alive with unique designs from ace designers like Varun Bahl and fashion sculptor Pallavi Mohan, who is a native of Assam.
An extension to the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour, the theme of the gala fashion show was ‘Pride’, where designers depicted through their styles and legacy. The event also recognized individuals who stood out with their distinctive style creations and have garnered a positive vibe across through their achievements.
EastMojo caught up with Mohan to know more about the designer and her creations. Excerpts from the intervew:
EastMojo: How is your experience in Assam?
Pallavi Mohan: I was born here in Assam, I am from Guwahati. I studied here for a while, then moved to a boarding school and did further studies outside. I also got married and settled outside. My parents and entire family live here and Guwahati is my hometown.
EM: Have you presented the fabrics of Assam? And how?
PM: Strangely, my thesis in final year college was on Muga silk. I was also in Guwahati last week when I met some weavers. After this show I am doing a small capsule collection where I am going to use the Eri, Muga silk and weaves from Assam to make kurtas that are more acceptable to people from north, from the south, from Mumbai. So, I am going to introduce a capsule line with Assam fabric soon after this show.
EM: Tell us about your collaboration with the Blenders Pride Magical Nights.
PM: It is a first time that I will be working with Blenders Pride Magical Nights and it has been fantastic. They are very professional and I have had a great experience so far. And nothing like bringing me back home, this is my first show in Assam ever and so it is more emotional and personal than anything else. It is a big thing for me -- bigger than my first show ever.
EM: Regarding the theme ‘pride’, what does ‘pride’ means to you?
PM: Pride for me is that I am proud of the fact that I am from Assam. And I am not a 20-year-old. The time and the age when I was born, girls were not so progressive, girls were not given that opportunity. So, I broke those rules, I went beyond the norms of how girls were seen in the city and in this part of India. And I have created a place in the country for myself coming from Assam, I think that’s what I take pride in.
EM: What inspires your creations?
PM: If you see whatever I have created till date, there is always been floral. I have always been close to nature, having been born here. My naani’s house is in Dibrugarh, so I spent large amounts of my summer vacation there in tea gardens. Flowers are always something that you will see in every single collection of mine, no matter what it is. It is always floral.
EM: Your label name is ‘Not So Serious’. Any reason for that?
PM: Starting my label was not the planned thing, it just happened in my life. I ran two businesses -- an export house which I have been working with for the last 16 years. I collaborated with lots of bigger brands like Cavalli and Armani for designs. There were lots of embroideries or artworks which I used to create and these brands used to buy. So, some of my friends suggested me to start my own label as I was doing good work during that time. But then I was not serious about starting my own brand. So they said that’s exactly what I should call my brand -- ‘Not So Serious’ by Pallavi Mohan, with fun elements in it. So, that is how my label came into being.
EM: Tell us about your collaboration with the ‘Made in India’ label.
PM: Everything that I do is made in India. We have so much talent in our country, it is a vast talent hot spot. I think no other country has that much talent as much as India has. It is just immense. So everything we do is handmade, there is no machine work. Everything is made in India.
EM: How would you describe your personal style?
PM: My personal style is very classy. I am not flamboyant at all, I am very simple. I love whites, you will always see me in white. I don’t overdress and don’t follow fashion blindly. I like whatever I am comfortable in.
EM: You have recently launched a kid’s collection. Tell us about it.
PM: Yes, I have done it. Kids wear is a huge, evolving market in India. I have done kids wear for the past eight years, but only for friends and family. And I have had great response.
EM: What are your upcoming projects?
PM: The Assamese capsule collection is something that I will be launching soon. Apart from that, we have just had a fashion week. We are trying to finish all our orders from the great response from fashion week. I have two more exhibitions coming up in Delhi. We have tie-ups with a brand in London who is going to start storing ‘Not So Serious’. We have also been working with this brand ‘Anthropology in the US’ who have taken the last collection very well. So, there will be a lot of ‘Not So Serious’ in the US too.
EM: How has been your experience in the international markets?
PM: International market is actually my biggest market. I supply to almost 80 boutiques around the world -- in Middle East, the US, the UK, Singapore.
EM: What fashion tips would you like to give to people?
PM: You should wear whatever you like to wear and are comfortable in. If you want to wear a sari, wear a sari elegantly and beautifully. Wear everything with a lot of confidence. You should not think that ‘this dress is in fashion’, so I should wear that and all. Please do not follow fashion blindly.
EM: What do you have to say about fashion sense of Assam?
PM: You know Northeastern people, not only Assam, the people of the whole region are very forward. I think here fashion arrives in the Northeast fast and first. Be it music, art, Korean television shows, trends or whatever, Northeast region is very fashion forward in everything. I think Northeast is way too forward from the rest of the country.