While she was preparing her fashion week debut, 30-year-old Mrinalini Gupta had the Looney Tunes playing in her head. But not just the Looney Tunes. Comic strips, graphic novels and cubic sculptures all inspired her Autumn/Winter 2011 collection, “The Line,” which she described as light, youthful and linear.
Angular skirts, boxed dresses and structured shapes define her label, Mrinalini, which features the sort of cuts a buyer might expect to come out of Tokyo, rather than Delhi. Ms. Gupta admits her style is influenced more by Japanese designers–she mentioned Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto –than by Indian ones. A notable exception is Rajesh Pratap Singh, with whom she trained before starting her own label in 2007.
In her collection, Ms. Gupta consciously stepped away from draped and embroidered textiles, a common feature of Indian fashion. “I’m not an embroidery kind of person, I’m more about cutting and subtraction,” she said. “The intention is to eliminate curves and keep it as graphic and linear as possible.” Ms. Gupta said that today there is more room for high-end casual wear in India than ever before–especially among younger, urban women. “Bridal, ethnic and saris are no longer the only things that qualify you as a designer in India,” said Ms. Gupta. “That’s great.” But she draws inspiration from some local aesthetic traditions too. Bright colors and Rajasthani patchworks, for instance, have shaped her style.
Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week – Shrea by Shreya Sharma