Couture Craze-Dharani Reddy and Likitha Pachigolla talk with You & I

Fashion and style come quite naturally to London-educated Dharani, who’s had the interest and passion to dress well from a very young age. This tendency was so evident to her family and friends that they urged her to make a career of it, and the results have been nothing short of exemplary for the brand – Dharani Reddy Label. With the wedding season in full swing, the designer, who specialises in Indian bridal wear, is kneedeep in her passion, which she is proud to call her work. Dharani works alongside her close friend and business partner Likitha Pachigolla. The USP of the label is ethnic wear for brides and bridesmaids, made with exquisite handloom fabrics.

What made you realise that fashion was your calling?
For most girls, fashion is just inborn. There’s something about my love for fashion, and the power connected with the transformative quality of dressing up, that I’ve always been extremely passionate about. Growing up, I remember dressing up for various occasions and events at school where I took enormous pride in having the best outfits, or at least putting massive efforts into it. Of course, all this did get noticed, and that’s when I had my family and friends asking me to design clothes; this gave me a huge insight to do what I was good at. That’s essentially when I decided to pursue it further and bag myself a degree in fashion that helped me get a grip on professionalism and technique.

What inspires you in your creative process?
Inspiration for me comes primarily from my clients, and I’m sure a lot of other designers would agree. It’s a different experience working with each client, because every outfit designed has a story of its own. Sometimes customers walk in with an extremely vague idea of what they want, and at the other end, some customers know exactly what they are looking for. For me to execute that, as much as it is challenging, it keeps me going, and that’s where the drive comes from.  

Who are your favourite style icons and why?
Actress Rekha is undoubtedly my all-time favourite style icon. Her incredible ability to carry herself off with so much grace and poise has made her an extremely stylish and personified “Indian” woman, one that I have always looked up to. She brims with elegance, and has clearly shown us how to age with grace. Another one I really admire is Kangana Ranaut, who is all about that oomph and panache. Be it her bold and edgy looks or a burning hot red carpet look, she’s always channelling her experimental streak and setting a trend.

What tips do you have for women buying clothes for the wedding season?
Many speak about how stressful wedding shopping is, and how paranoid new-age brides are these days. But when done right, wedding shopping is a lot of fun. Planning early can really cut out all the stress. It’s very important that one understands what suits their body type; wearing the right clothes isn’t always about following the latest fashion trends, but is essentially about what actually suits them and makes them comfortable and confident.

What’s the most exciting part about your work?
Experimenting with colours, fabrics, and cuts has always been my thing. What is most exciting about my work is the extremely progressive palette I choose – a blend of muted and neutral tones with a sudden pop of colour infused with groovy patterns and cuts. The collection at Dharani Reddy Label is slouchy yet sophisticated, traditional yet groovy; it’s sure to excite every customer who comes to us.     – as told to Suneela