Inspired by the vast cultural heritage of India, Pariha celebrates the past while looking to the future. We caught up with designer and founder Parinitha Mn, to talk style, substance and sensibility.
How did you get involved in fashion design? It actually started off when I was in 5th grade. I would tell everyone who asked me that's what I want to be when I grow up and it just stuck. Slowly, with time, it intrigued my interest a lot more than I had imagined. I graduated from National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore in 2012. Soon after, I started working as a Designer for Manchester United. I knew I wasn't cut out for this. There was something bigger I had to do. I quit my job and started working on setting up my label Pariha. I'm passionate about bringing about a difference; a way of living with more authenticity. I believe in personifying our culture across the world. When I noticed that art forms were dying a slow death I felt like their story needs to be told in whatever small way I can. Thus began my design journey.
What materials do you most like to work with? A lot of it depends on the theme of my collection. For the previous collection I had a lot of eyelets and metal sequins and for the current collection I'm working more with threads and buttons for Surface Development. So it's never very conventional. Personally, I love checks and polkas the most. They always make for an interesting pairing with solids. I like a lot of drama in my garments and that usually means use of a lot of fabric.
How does your geography influence your aesthetic? I believe that India is so culturally rich and people have so easily forgotten it, as we're all running so quickly into the future—new replacing the old. I want to make people stop and think. I want people to know how amazing our roots are. I want to make a difference to people, one person, anyone or anything. Pariha's philosophy is 'Cultural Rediscovery.' Reminding ourselves that we are part of something bigger. My collections are inspired by the vast cultural heritage of India. Folk art forms, crafts, history. Creating an eclectic mix of unique identities with a blend of modernity. Each ensemble has a story to tell. My label now just over a year old wants to tell stories that are quietly losing out.
What's been your greatest professional achievement to date? The day I walked out on the ramp after my first show at Bangalore Fashion Week. I made all the outfits myself. Every one of them. It's something that will always make me proud, to be able to put out something like that. And the look on my parents face when I saw them.
What's one thing people would never guess about you? I'm Batman's sidekick.