Eshaani Jayaswal is the Sonam Kapoor-approved designer who's upping the drama quotient in millennial fashion
You’re obviously going in the right direction if Sonam Kapoor wears your design on her film’s poster and Vidya Balan wears it to St Tropez; but Kolkata-based couturier Eshaani Jayaswal hardly needs her creds introduced. Jayaswal’s intrinsic appliques and masterful silhouettes have won her major renown all over; they are distinctly empowering with a relaxed, accommodating memo.
The designer’s line-up is surprisingly diverse in terms of detailing and is also size-inclusive. As her label steps into its 10th year we catch up with Jayaswal to look back at her thoughts on the Kolkata fashion scene:
How has the language of your label has changed since you started out?
A decade ago, we were catering to a more commercial market, we had a focus on ethnic numbers, but with the changing market trends and shifts in the industry you also grow as a designer. There came a phase, when people in the city were looking for a distinctly Indo-western finish and there were very few designers catering to this niche.
Our entire concept revolves around an element of drama, no matter the detailing or the genre, we aim to make every client feel good about themselves and about what they have chosen to wear. In the last decade, we have developed a strong bend towards couture so we had more room for drama, and we made people come back to us.
Your label has always catered to curvier women...
Yes, we have always catered to all kinds of body types. And today, women want to try different silhouettes out; in fact, we pay a lot of attention to the waist because that gives us more room to work the drama. We work with the strength of each person's body, and since we customise as well, we can afford to listen to what our clients are really looking for and this helps us understand them better.
Indian brides are still often asked to lose weight...
I've always said no one can dictate what an individual is comfortable in, or should be wearing. And a wedding needs to be fun, brides are under a lot of stress anyway, as designers we can't pile on to their anxieties. Plus, there is only so much a designer can do to enhance your look, we all really need to focus on working around what each bride's body type.
Of course, you can choose to lose weight for any occasion, but there should never be that kind of pressure on anyone...
Your label is a hit with some of the leading Bollywood fashionistas. What is young Bollywood looking for?
Oh, the numbers have to be well-finished, it is crucial because it shows. My usage of applique has always been appreciated and our attention to detail never goes unnoticed. I've noticed Bollywood either wants to go for something solid, tailor-made or something rather over-the-top.
One significant change you’ve observed in Kolkata’s fashion spectrum...
I think people here are looking to spend money on something different and fresh; people here are very conscientious about how much they spend on a number they can only wear twice in a season, especially in the same social circles.
But the one thing I only see in Kolkata is the appreciation of our designs, people who walk into my store always take time to feel my fabric and pay attention to the detailing, it’s incredible.