Gauri and Nainika Karan have carved a niche for themselves in the Indian fashion industry. Having launched their label in 2002, the two sisters specialise in evening wear and gowns. Their bespoke style is minimalistic and elegant. Recently in Goa to showcase their collection at a fashion event, NT BUZZ caught up with the duo
DANUSKA DA GAMA| NT BUZZ
Q: When it comes to gowns and evening wear you’ll are generally the most preferred brand. What sets you’ll apart from other brands?
I think what sets our brand apart is that our gowns are extremely and purely Western in design. We are very true to our DNA which is all about glamour, as it is Western there is not much embroidery and Indian motif. Even the embroidery we have is all Western. These days most designers’ gowns have an Indo Western look, but we have always designed as per old world charm, old Hollywood glamour, very inspired by 1960s looks. It’s very timeless. The cut, colour and fabric are the most important when it comes to our clothes, there is no embroidery, no bling and that’s what makes it standout. We believe less is more.
Q: Femininity is the essence of your label. How difficult it is to stick to this in the ever-evolving world of fashion?
You have to be true to what you believe in. We love feminine glamour, have always loved timeless elegance, and the big ruffles and the drama which is created with the way you cut a gown. The 3D texturisation with flowers, volume and structure is what we love doing so we stick with it. I think every brand has its own strong design aesthetic and that’s what makes it standout. Fashion keeps evolving, one must also evolve and constantly reinvent oneself. With every event you must offer something new in the collection and I guess that’s the exciting challenge, whether its fashion or any kind of design. You need to stay true to your DNA or core design.
Q: Luxurious yet understated – how do you’ll conceive your garment designs?
I think we are inspired by watching old Hollywood films, even style icons like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and other old Hollywood stars whose style we loved. We liked the way the gowns were cut in the 30s and the new look of 50s. We have grown up with the style and are influenced by it. Although we have ‘modernised’, it finds its way into our collection. The understated part comes from the fact that nothing is blingy or jarring, everything has to have that understated glamour.
Q: While celebrities are the main clientele, do you believe there is a need to make big labels accessible to fashion aficionados who desire to wear your garments?
Celebrities endorse your brand in a way. When they wear something and say they love it, people who are following them buy it. They are setting an example for so many people out there and all those people get to know about what we do and they follow our brand too. I would say celebrities play a massive role in making your brand known. But the clientele who shop the brand or are loyal to your brand makes your brand survive in order to have a wider reach. When we collaborated with Koovs our brand sold out quickly because the price was affordable. It has to be accessible. Designers aspire to create a pret label eventually but it’s a totally different ball game. A lot of designers have pret labels which are affordable and that is where the big business is and eventually what big labels want to do.
Q: Has Goa ever been an inspiration for your fashion creations? If yes, could you tell us about it?
Goa is an inspiring place for anyone creative. There is so much creative energy around you when you are on a holiday and that’s when your mind is actually relaxing and not thinking about work. So the idea can pop up any time and be anything. It might be the colour, the sea, or just the company. We have got a lot of inspiration while going to the beach. Creative people do need a break and that’s what you get when you come to Goa, you have a relaxing time and return with a lot of energy and ideas. Resort wear is big for Goa, in our collection there were dresses, wraps, high-lows and floral prints, etc. Goa is about casual wear. It is resort wear and a lot of people and designers are focusing on resort wear and beach wear as it is the holiday season. Goa does play a big role in fashion.