/ Designer Profile: New Delhi Fashion Designer Charu Parashar

Designer Profile: New Delhi Fashion Designer Charu Parashar

Jul 29, 2013

A Designer For Today’s Woman

What's in a name? For, the answer begins with imagination, a love of haute couture culture and prêt-a-porter Indian fashions. Since 1993, Parashar’s self-titled label has been a parade of luxurious and inventive ensembles that dazzle the eye and revive the best-kept secrets of traditional Indian craftsmanship on modern-day runways.

Born and raised in the cosmopolitan city of New Delhi, this gifted Indian fashion designer understood her creative calling very early. At the age of five, she was naturally drawn to fabrics at her mother’s workplace, spending entire days studying textures while mixing and matching patterns. But accompanying her mother on jaunts to silk mills in Bangalore and block printing shops in Banaras was how this Delhi designer first began honing her creative instinct.

Flash forward to 15 years later, before fully completing her education in fashion design at SDPT and merchandising at NIFT, Parashar unveils her self-titled homegrown label, confessing, “The creative soul in me could not wait long to put my designs on the world map.”

Today, in India and across the world, Parashar is recognized for her signature style that encompasses a blend of modern silhouettes with ancient block printing techniques, giving rise to her revivalist reputation. “I draw inspiration from the craftsmanship and age-old techniques, which has kept the richness of Indian culture intact. To every stunning piece I create, it is inspired from the rich heritage we have.” With a deep-seeded connection to her Indian heritage, Parashar saturates every garment and accessory with the richness and luxuriousness of her culture. Though time-consuming and labour-intensive, her prevalent use of the block printing technique is worth every effort. For Parashar, it’s like creating “art on fabric” — each individually crafted wood block stamp evokes a timeless masterpiece.

So who wears Charu Parashar? “My designs are for the women of today. She is strong-willed, sexy and eternally romantic.” Parashar’s Autumn/Winter 09 collection draws inspiration from women of impact and generates new life for the Charu woman of today. The collection speaks to her signature style, using ancient Indian detailing and craftsmanship to add luxury and intrigue to the modern silhouette. It is a medley of block and fine-textile prints on a colour palette dominated by dark green, red, beige and brown earth tones. Her use of luxurious fabrics thrives with a sumptuous assortment of woolen silk, silk velour, satins, chiffons and birla. Whether long and flowing or short and flirty, full-length, form fitting or cropped, Parashar has something for every one of her sexy, strong-willed contemporary women. And as Parashar knows, no woman is complete without her silk-woven scarves, hats and turban headdresses for that extra pièce de résistance.

Appointed the New Generation Designer and Ambassador of Indian Fashion by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), this ambitious fashionista hopes to see Indian fashion evolve beyond bridal and festive wear internationally as “Indian fashion has not been able to make its presence felt in the international scene in spite of having the rich heritage and cultural treasures,” according to Parashar.

In between her regular attendance at Dubai Fashion Week and the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, Parashar’s luxurious garments are no stranger to the runway. Her Utpala collection has shaken international catwalks in Manhattan, Philadelphia, Toronto, London, Jakarta and will visit Barcelona later this year to encourage Indian fashion worldwide. Continually expanding, the Charu Parashar label is currently available at high fashion boutiques in 54 stores throughout India, Canada, England, UAE, Singapore and Kuwait.

When not immersed in lavish Indian designs, Parashar is busy with other meaningful endeavours. In an effort to restore and revive traditional, but fading Indian techniques, Parashar collaborates with non-profit NGOs to conduct block printing training workshops for women. These efforts generate a two-fold effect, enabling female designers to embrace a part of their heritage and gain financial independence. Parashar is also taking an environmental stance working with a group called Aditya Birla to develop a green label and create international awareness of eco-fashion. Going one step further, Parashar is incorporating eco-friendly material into her own Fall/Winter ‘09 collection.

Not stopping there, this innovative, self-proclaimed Delhi girl is also putting her creative vision to work for a number of design projects for hotel suites and fine dining restaurants in India as well as her own line of home furnishings that will hit the market in September.

A revivalist, an ambassador for Indian fashion, a skills trade teacher, an environmental activist, an interior artist and a renowned fashion designer: Charu Parashar is a name that holds limitless potential.



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