Fashion Conversation – Mithi Kalra
Mithi Kalra is an MBA from IIPM and a pass out from NIFT Delhi 2015 has an eponymous label. Her new collection exhibited as The Indian Disney Story has dresses and gowns suited inspired by the traditional art of Madhubani and is hand embroidered on pure silks and organza. The collection wonderfully and imaginatively combines the grace of a bygone era with modern day fashion sensibilities. Incidentally, Madhubani painting is practiced in Mithila, Nepal and in Bihar, India. Mithi recently showcased her collection at the India Runway Week. Mithi says the collection is named as such as “Disney is every child’s dream. Every girl relates to Disney and its princesses and imagines herself in one story or the other. I was inspired from the art form of Madhubani from a very early age in my life so I thought why name my collection based on a dream.” She tells us more in this exclusive conversation.
When did you first realize that you would like to work with clothes?
It was not exactly clothes as I was very creative from my childhood and just after schooling, I decided to join fashion industry. However, because of my family background I did my graduation in BBA and then did my MBA. Then I had did a desk job too but I found it impossible to do a 9 to 5 job so I convinced my parents and went ahead with fashion.
What you love most about fashion?
For me fashion is about being comfortable in your own skin. I love the comfort that comes with fashion and for me classic is always a fashion statement.
When did you get your first break in fashion designing and how?
I started pursuing a fashion career from my own house and my mother is my inspiration she is the one who introduced me to the field of fashion. We started our venture together about 4 years ago much before I went to study in NIFT. I had started exploring this field with my mom and she encouraged me a lot. Her support and experienced advice always make me more confident and enthusiastic.
Tell us about your collection?
This is called the Madhubani collection and all the designs are hand-made and so original that one will fall in love with them. This collection talks about the crafts of Mithila with a twist of western cuts to suit the new generation.
Who or what inspires you?
My biggest support and inspiration are my parents as they have always given me the freedom to explore and understand things in life. All the experiments that I do to create new things are encouraged by my parents who have always appreciated my good work. My whole family is like a team that I can rely on any time.
If you were to describe your label in 5 words, what would it be?
Elegant, Modern, Festive, Classic, Comfortable.
What according to you are the five fashion rules that a woman must always follow?
Unfortunately in India many women do not dress according to their body types, perhaps due to lack of knowledge and proper guidance. While there are certain things that are trendy, it may suit one body type but not necessarily suit another so you must keep this in mind while making choices. Secondly I would like to suggest that do not go over the top when you are styling yourself. For instance, like if you are opting a heavy dress than make sure you keep accessories at a minimum.
How challenging is it to come up with something new all the time?
It is very difficult to make something new all the time as the market is very competitive. However, luckily being a creative person, bringing out something new is not a challenge for me as it is like making my dream come true with every new collection.
How do you balance creativity with practicality in a garment?
When I design a garment, comfort is the utmost priority in the design. So, whenever I sketch any new design, I always ask myself whether I will buy this and wear it. Only if the answer is yes then I go ahead, else I revise my design and see what best can be done.
What are your future plans?
For now yes, expansion is something that is always on cards and I am looking forward for better opportunities and good people to work with.
This story appeared in the March 2017 issue of Femina Karnataka Twin