Inspired by the regal past of her home country, Melbourne-based designer Roopa Pemmaraju looks to India’s Nizams for her upcoming ‘Royal Edition’ collection as showcased at fashion week. Her second “rewarding” showing at RAFW was marginally less stressful than 2010’s debut. Last minute drama ensued when the model’s footwear was held up in customs. Luckily it works perfectly with the range’s resort vibe that they walked in bare feet. “You just have to go with it or you’ll go crazy,” assures Roopa.
Of her inspirations; “I like to reference my native Indian culture in my collections…They [the Nizams] were the rulers of the Hyderabad state of India in the 18th Century, and were patrons of literature, art, culture, jewellery and architecture. The decadence of that era is reflected…in my collection, which uses rich silk blends embellished with gold and silver foils and crochet detailing. The colours used in my prints are reminiscent of the artworks and architecture of the time.”
“Decadence” is an apt deswcriptor for a range of kaftans and floaty resort cover-ups that are encrusted with gems at the neckline and drenched in sunburnt colour. ‘Royal Edition’ is a dose of instant heat, leaving us pining for summer’s speedy return, during dreary Melbourne seasons such as these. Tropical colours like banana, palm-leaf greens and hot reds punctuate kaleidoscopic prints, while the addition of chunky crochet nod to the 70’s mega-trend.
Watch out for an online store opening in June when ‘Royal Edition’ along with a ready to wear range ‘Sea Buttons’ will become available.