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Last Updated Friday May 26 2017 03:23 AM IST

People in Fashion: The Malayali who redefines south India’s ethnic haute couture | pix

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People in Fashion: The Malayali who redefines south India’s ethnic haute couture | pix

Aparna S. was always a designer at heart. However, she was never confident of her designs. Well, not until her then-fiance Vinay asked her to design an engagement attire for his friend’s intended bride, who was impressed with one of Aparna’s creation.

People in Fashion: The Malayali who redefines south India’s ethnic haute couture | pix

Aparna wholeheartedly took up her first assignment and from then on, there was no looking back for this young designer. At 24, Aparna launched her own ethnic fusion designer wear brand ‘Praudah’.

People in Fashion: The Malayali who redefines south India’s ethnic haute couture | pix

Although a B.Tech graduate, Aparna’s dreams were never limited to a corporate job with a six-digit salary. While listening to lectures on programming, she would think of fabrics and colors.

People in Fashion: The Malayali who redefines south India’s ethnic haute couture | pix

“My mother would stitch me a frock on all my birthdays. I still remember standing in front of the mirror, admiring them. Those saree-turned frocks were an impetus to step into designing,” she says.

People in Fashion: The Malayali who redefines south India’s ethnic haute couture | pix

However, recurrent health issues restricted her from pursuing a proper academic training in fashion designing. But when the biggest fan of her designs, her campus love, Vinay entered her life, Aparna's life took a swift turn and 'Praudah' flourished with an immense amount of well-wishers, online and offline.

People in Fashion: The Malayali who redefines south India’s ethnic haute couture | pix

Settled in Bangalore, Aparna has opened a shop near commercial street where she has employed five skilled tailors, who brings alive her designs.

People in Fashion: The Malayali who redefines south India’s ethnic haute couture | pix

Aparna's interest lies in ethnic-fusion wear; she experiments linen clothing to suit Indian party wear designs.

A good illustrator, Aparna’s drawing skills helped her designing career much. “Drawing enhances imagining. I see this as an indispensable skill for a designer,” says Aparna.

People in Fashion: The Malayali who redefines south India’s ethnic haute couture | pix

Just two years into the business, Aparna is already a business-know-it-all when it comes to social media marketing. “Social media makes a huge platform for beginners to get established. My primary customer base developed on Facebook. I still choose to release the newest of my designs through Instagram and Facebook,” she adds.

Hailing from a middle class family in Harippad, Aparna has an elder brother, who is an acclaimed wildlife photographer. Apparently, it was her brother who helped her with the fashion photography for Praudah.

People in Fashion: The Malayali who redefines south India’s ethnic haute couture | pix

Aparna is now busy setting up a shop at Indira Nagar in Bangalore. Her expansion plans also includes a boutique in Kochi. “My Commercial Street boutique is my first child. I love watching the slow and steady growth of ‘Praudah’, through different platforms.

People in Fashion: The Malayali who redefines south India’s ethnic haute couture | pix

"Blending ongoing trends with traditional designs would easily win hearts. But this requires deep contemplation and keen observation. An ethnic fusion wear can turn out to be a show stopper and a fashion blunder at the same time. The designer's passion decides its destiny,” Aparna smiles.

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