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Kitsch goes chic
Designer Nida Mahmood, young and quirky, creates an imaginary Begum Butterfly, who celebrates the quirks of Indian colours, finds Ankita Jain
A mix of floral elements in sepia washed colour palette to some bright happy hues. From strong indigo and white cutout flowers to old china roses in shades of rich blues, all interspersed with geometrics like checks and stripes. Can’t make the association, right? That’s what Nida Mahmood is hoping to do with her begum butterfly, as she likes to call it.
“The collection is a creative girl’s imagination, named Begum Butterfly, which runs into crazy nooks and crannies, weaving colourful stories and spinning dramatic yarns. Her entourage of pigtails and ponys pick colourful flowers and blue mushrooms from the blue mountain. She rides across the blue constellation on her blue circus elephant named blue Pushpa. It is a melange of vintage and bright colours, indigo blue and some classic black and white,” she smiles, her glittering nose ring and bindi as quirky as her collection. She further adds, “I do ‘attitude’ clothing. It may be a tunic or a sari. I do fusion, a bit of Indo-Western and a bit of men’s clothing.” Nida is launching her new collection at the ongoing fashion week as a part of Satya Paul’s first ever pret label Club SP.
Known for her distinct designs and eclectic usage of colours, Nida puts her design aesthetic in her capsule collection for the new label that includes 20 distinct styles from her. “It caters to the modern Indian woman looking to follow trends without compromising on her comfort and sensibilities. Using some of iconic Satya Paul prints and colours, the label offers leisure, work and evening wear selections. The ready-to-wear line offers choice of wearing the styles in multiple ways in colours that are lush and soft mixed with bright hues.”
Her saris are fodder for much more conversation. Inspired by the colourful quilts that people living in the streets use, these panelled six-yards have a strange mix of blended fabrics like butter moss, moss crepe, textured moss, snake moss, bauble georgette, laser cut georgette and poly voil. “As a designer I like to dramatise. I don’t like to ‘match’ things.” Earlier she had also gone a step ahead and created a rage by getting her models to wear a sari-blouse over a pair of jeans. And it was such a super-hit idea that she has Indians, NRIs and phirangs lining up for it for their beach-side or on-the-cliff weddings. “They want to wear Indian clothes, and also Western…they want to dance…” and her do just fits in right. “But it’s more exciting when an Indian client wants to wear this — there you know you’ve broken through. Nida’s breakthrough is quite something considering she’s from a family of doctors who were quite aghast when she opted for fashion designing. Her parents stood by her.
Nida, known for her quirky style sensibilities, is all praise for those who dare to unleash a personal style statement. “It is a refreshing change to see someone display their taste, instead of following the herd. It speaks of confidence and individuality, which are important in any space. Your outlook makes a lot of difference,” she says. With no godfather in the fashion industry, she’s worked her way till here, learning hands-on with top designers like Hemant Trivedi, Manish Malhotra and Aki Narula, Kavita Bhartia, Ranna Gill and Puja Nayyar. Before foraying into the design world, Nida was expressing her thoughts and innovative ideas through painting.
“For someone who didn’t know what her design sensibility was, I’ve managed to come a long way and defined Indian kitsch in a lot of ways,” she says. But what her future holds, she chooses not to define.
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