Taking the silk route

Taking the silk route
Prathiksha Hegde, a Bengaluru-based designer, has been in the fashion industry for four years. She caters to all kinds of Indian and Western wear — saris, ‘lehengas’, embroidered blouses and more.  With her own label, Prathiksha Design House, she uses her creative fingers to customise orders and make beautiful and irresistible garments.

With an eye for detailing, she says, “I give a lot of importance to smaller details like fitting the lining. And, of course, I take my time when it comes to finishing a dress. Any outfit, even a simple one, should have perfect detailing, so much so that when someone wears it they feel good about it.” She adds that her focus is always on creating wearable outfits that can be sported off the ramp as well. “Only if it is theme-based do we go for couture wear, but mostly I cater to wearable fashion.”

It was her mother who encouraged her to get into this profession. She says, “My mother found this course interesting and she asked me to have a look at it. Art was always something I was into while growing up, especially drawing and sketching. If not a designer, I don’t think I would be working! I would have done MBA because I can’t think of anything else.”

On the challenges she faces as a designer, she says, “The biggest challenge is to maintain the workers, which includes my tailors, masters and hand embroiders. Working with them and keeping them in loop is a big task as they aren’t very committed to the job. In Bengaluru, we do not have such skilled labourers who can do this kind of work. So there is a very high demand and keeping them is a big challenge.”

Prathiksha has worked with many Sandalwood stars — Aindrita Ray, Ramya Barna, Ragini Dwivedi and Shweta Srivatsava, to name a few — and is currently working with the television industry.

She shares, “I have worked with the Kannada film industry and now I have started styling for Hindi TV stars. The stylists approach me and that’s how I get the work done.” Her new collection draws inspiration from Indo-Western wear.

She explains, “The collection has a lot of prints and Western fabrics with Indian embroidery on it. We have done a lot of half-saris, crop tops and ‘lehengas’ and simple Banarasi saris with embroidered and ‘kalamkari’ blouses.”

She adds, “For winters, it is more layered, and jacket are in styles with ‘lehengas’. We are focussing more on gowns with a lot of layers on them so that people can reuse them in summers without the ‘lehengas’; they can wear them with just straight pants — jacket style ‘anarkalis’ or the jacket style suits.”

As for the key elements she keeps in mind while designing, she says, “I try to challenge myself to do something unique. I try to come up with something new and interesting every time and not repeat anything to keep my customers interested in my work. Silks and georgettes are my favourite fabrics which we use in both Indian and Western outfits.”

She is inclined more towards Western wear, but when it comes to customisation she caters to Indian wear as well. She says, “On the rack, we have Western wear. However, I get a lot of calls for customisation of Indian wear in Bengaluru. So this balances my work.”

Advising upcoming designers, she adds, “Fashion designing is not an easy job. It looks fancy from outside but one has to put in a lot of effort to make it big. Once you get a hang of it, one can do wonders.”

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