By Shafiya Nawzer
Celebrated Indian designer Nivedita Saboo is a national award-winning designer and has marked 20 years in the fashion industry. She has showcased her collections at the London Fashion Week, Paris, Hongkong, South Korea, Malaysia, Colombo, Dubai and major cities in India.
She is the Founding Curator for the Global Shapers Community of the World Economic Forum and has been conferred with the prestigious Bharat Gaurav Award for her significant contributions towards impacting life through sustainable and adaptive fashion. Warner Bros has chosen Nivedita to be their official designer for India for their couture and prêt collections. Nivedita is the only Indian designer to have created bespoke outfits for the first family of Lamborghini.
Nivedita recently showcased a fusion of Indian and western wedding collections at the Wedding Week fashion show. From intricately designed lehenga to colourful long dresses, her clothing has proven why Indian bridal fashion is known for its bold designs. The beauty of elegant Indian wedding dresses cannot be understated. From the traditional to the latest Indian wedding dresses; there is something uniquely gorgeous about each and every one of her clothing.
From bright reds to bridal whites, there were an array of colours brides can choose from, in addition to looks that are simpler and embrace crisp lines and embellishments. The collection of fabrics is worth all appraisal here, as Nivedita always goes for something vibrant yet mellow and elegant.
The patterns in gold were unique in themselves which are enhanced by the embossed embroideries. The lehenga collection with embellished long flowy skirts was tempting. These are dresses that beautify the bride and that she can twirl and dance in for most of the evening.
Nivedita stated, “I would really like to thank Sri Lanka, for the beautiful warm welcome that we have received. Not only would we like to bring beautiful creations to Sri Lanka, but we’re looking forward to meaningful collaborations with this country because we feel like we share the same roots.”
We at Ceylon Today had the opportunity to discuss with designer Nivedita her brand and the wedding collection.
Excerpts from the interview:
Your designs are renowned for their intricate and ornate detail. Where did you learn this craftsmanship and what inspired this aesthetic?
I am very inspired by architecture, movement and mould 2D into 3D in terms of patterns. I believe that every garment has to fit the body to make you the best version of yourself. Being architecturally inspired, I feel like the seams and cuts that enhance the feeling in a human body is what I like to focus on. My pattern making skills come from what I have learnt in college. My love for architecture brings the sort of the amalgamation of architectural geometry with nature, which is real-life inspired together in my collections.
How is working in fashion different today than from when you started?
I feel like there is a lot of instant visibility today, which is very different from when we started. When I first began, to even get noticed by five customers was a word-of-mouth exercise. Today, I feel like the journey that has taken me 19 years can be made with good work in a much shorter time, because the visibility for work is far more. At the same time. I feel like there is a sense of this being easy, so I don’t have to put in so much effort and technique in it, which I feel otherwise about. I feel like design lies in the details. You need to study your craft beautifully.
Tell us more about the collection that you showcased at Wedding Week 2022. Where did you draw inspiration from when creating the bridal collection?
The inspiration came from this country itself, because it was the first time we were showcasing our wedding collection in Sri Lanka. The team and I have taken the effort to curate very special pieces that show the bandwidth of the label. We did everything from a white wedding gown to a tuxedo, going into diffusion clothing, which was the jackets with the skirts, the capes with the sarees, going into more elaborate gowns, and then of course ending with the traditional beautiful bridal lehenga. Even the menswear we took a similar route from going with the tuxedos and the jackets and the bandas and into the westerns and then into the sherwanis.
I felt like we wanted to show Sri Lanka the possibilities of what we could do for the brides and grooms and how we could create these bespoke looks in different versatile ways for this country. The choice of the garments has been very specifically done keeping the beauty of Sri Lanka, what the local taste is and how they would like to experience and find the finest craftsmanship. That really inspired our showcase here, our creation and selection of the collection that we wanted to bring, specifically for the Sri Lankan audience.
How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?
I feel like the Nevada woman is extremely confident, very strong from within the perfect balance of yin and yang. I feel like our collections have always made men and women feel empowered, feel like they’re being the best version of themselves when they’re wearing the clothes and not buckling under peer pressure not having to see what another person is wearing, not having to compare themselves with other people to up their game. I feel like there is a sense of anchoring and confidence and a sense of being complete within oneself, which is through our collection.
There’s so much pressure for designers to come out with their greatest collection season after season. What would your advice be to aspiring young designers, unsure of how to take the first step to achieve their dreams?
I want to share a little experience here: this was when I had completed about 12 to 13 years in design. I felt like every colour palette, a form of embroidery, style, everything was either being inspired by or copied or done before; you kind of reach a wall sometimes. The only way that I was able to overcome that sort of feeling was to unlearn first. You know you go back to your roots, go back to your basics. You’ll be very confident about the fact that you would not have to resort to being inspired by another design, no copying or letting go of your individuality while you do this.
Go to the simplest and the most basic form. I went back to the elements of the design when I learned how to draw straight lines and shapes and I thought of what would it be for me to unlearn everything that I’ve ever learned and imagine the world differently. ‘What if a sofa wasn’t a sofa? What if I’d never seen a chair before in my life? What if I couldn’t see? How would I mention something to rest upon?’ Similarly, I think to go within yourself and to figure out what it is that inspires you. How do you define yourself and what would you do if you had to be creatively inspired? And one step at a time, like without the pressure of constantly performing.
Pix by Sandeeshwara Perera (Portrait Culture)