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Verve People
December 01, 2017

Fashion Designers Neeta And Nishka On Sharing A Love For Fashion

Text by Zaral Shah

In a freewheeling chat, they talk to us about their must-haves, sharing pieces from their closets and heirlooms that are close to their hearts

An impeccable approach to fashion runs in this family. While Neeta Lulla’s National Award-winning ensembles, expertise in creating distinct costumes and decades of quintessential designs have been applauded, daughter Nishka Lulla’s youthful, relaxed and edgy patterns embody a perennial charm. In their individual spaces, Neeta’s personal style statement is power dressing that tells a story in an elegant manner, be it Indian or western wear, while Nishka’s wardrobe is defined by a more bohemian, eclectic and feminine vibe. In a freewheeling chat with Verve, they talk about their must-haves, sharing pieces from their closets and heirlooms that are close to their hearts.

Words From The Wise
Neeta Lulla: The best piece of fashion advice is something I got from my mentor Hemant Trivedi, who always said, ‘You should walk the talk’.

Nishka Lulla: Best fashion advice I have received is to dress to feel comfortable and confident, and to dress for myself.

Prime Possessions
Neeta: Well-fitted jackets, vintage and neutral-hued saris, and well-cut blouses are all timeless essentials.

Nishka: Wardrobe basics for me are a classic white T-shirt and a buttoned-down shirt, well-fitted skinny jeans, one statement accessory that reflects your personal style, a tutu skirt and a handloom sari.

Vintage Vantage
Neeta: Vintage is being revived to suit more contemporary tastes through edgy designs and fiercer cuts. Fashion is forever an evolving art and, often, being fashion-forward requires reinventing earlier styles. Today, there is an increasing awareness around the concept of vintage through the internet, and consumers want to emulate the style of the Bollywood stars that they see in films.

Nishka: Vintage never goes out of style. Trends are cyclical, latest ones are actually recycled from past decades. Style is an evolving art form that borrows concepts from earlier eras and relies on interpretation.

Tested By Time
Neeta: Vintage items bring with them a sense of belonging. In terms of fashion, I would say they have a distinctive style statement that is extremely personal to the wearer — they evoke sweet memories.

Nishka: These items are one-of-a-kind and generally have a story to tell, as certain pieces are passed down for generations as family heirlooms.

Cherished Inheritances
Neeta: Among a lot of other heirloom saris and jewellery, my favourite is a particular diamond ring that has been handed down to me from my great-grandmother. It gives me a calm and secure feeling whenever I’m wearing it.

Nishka: My most treasured heirloom has been passed down from my mother — her wedding lehnga. It’s so gorgeous that I fell in love with it the first time I saw it! It is made with silk that’s embellished with pearls and is further enhanced with resham work and dull gold zardozi. The embroidery is classy and will never go out of style. I wore it for my wedding and will cherish it forever!

Give Some, Take Some
Neeta: We share pieces from one another’s wardrobes very often. Nishka likes to borrow some items that I have preserved from the ’80s and ’90s — be they saris, jackets or gowns. In fact, her wedding outfit was created from my own wedding ensemble that was remodelled to suit her tastes and preferences.

Nishka: I find myself taking from my mother’s closet quite often. I usually borrow statement accessories, handloom saris, clutches and jackets.

All In The Family  
Neeta: Having a daughter who is fashion-forward is encouraging and something to be proud of. Sometimes Nishka inspires my creative process, as her perspective is very different from mine, and sometimes I inspire her with techniques and style statements that I have seen evolve.

Nishka: It is great having a mother who is style-conscious, because you have one great common interest. We talk a lot about trends. Whenever a fashion-related question arises, I know where to find the answer. Growing up, I observed my mother’s unique style sensibilities and how she picked trends and wore them in her own way. I’ve been inspired to find my own style, one that expresses my individuality. I very often see photographs of us from many years ago and realise that I dress a lot like how she dressed back then.

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