Partying in Silhouettes – Narresh Kukreja and Shrivyshnavi Annusha

RITZ caught up with Narresh Kukreja and Shrivyshnavi Annusha to talk about their pop-up show.

Coimbatorean Shrivyshnavi Annush of pookari.com, recently hosted in her city, well-known designer Naresh Kukreja who is one half of the designer duo Shivan & Narresh who started India’s first luxury swimwear and resortwear brand. The occasion was a pop-up exhibition that attracted the high-flying and the well-heeled set of Coimbatore in droves. RITZ caught up with Narresh Kukreja and Shrivyshnavi Annusha over a relaxing chat on the sidelines of their pop-up show.

“The South has always been an encouraging market for our brand with the demographic being extremely discerning towards cuts and fabrics, which are the two main forte of our brand. The clientele here is aware of what works best for their shapes and personalities and has a mature approach to fashion that is balanced and timeless,” says Narresh Kukreja.

Known for introducing innovative designs such as the ‘bikini sari’ and the ‘trikini’, the brand has a steady following amongst celebs like Freida Pinto, Padma Lakshmi, Sonam Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty and Priyanka Chopra, amongst others.

Kukreja feels that their clients in the South are more aware of their body structures and what works best, with their style being more subtle and more elegantly classic “with clients here wanting to invest into their permanent wardrobes, rather than just a seasonal trend. Product wise, South India loves fine-layering with capes and tunics to glamourise everyday pieces of clothing, from swimwear to even weaves,” says Kukreja.

With the South in general and Coimbatore in particular being a mighty catch for the brand, their pop-up with Pookari.com and well-known Coimbatorean ShriVyshnavi Annush, was a runaway success.

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Customers here have been keen on trying out different silhouettes before finalising a buy. The fashion-conscious women of Coimbatore are willing to experiment and try out outfits that are not typically conservative. At this pop-up, the women really liked the brand’s fringed pareos, which when thrown on your swimsuit, look extremely stylish,” says Shrivyshnavi, who curates and retails fashion from different labels. She is planning on organising more pop-ups with designers from Mumbai who are known for Indo-Western and Western contemporary designs.

“Every Pookari pop-up has been unique in terms of the collections and product offerings. This is a conscious choice while trying to curate a variety of fashion retail experiences throughout the year for our customers,” says Shrivyshnavi, who feels that tie n dye silk maxi dresses and capes in fun prints do particularly well in Coimbatore, and in the South.

“Now thanks to social media, many women in Coimbatore follow all the popular designers and are as exposed to fashion trends as women anywhere in India,” says the elegant lady who calls herself a ‘fashion chameleon’, loves classic silhouettes and finds Shivan & Narresh’s fits to be “fabulous and luxurious.”

Narresh Kukreja feels that South India loves eclectic prints that add a layer of excitement “which transcends into holiday and festive wardrobes.”

So what’s the trend for the party season this time? Says Kukreja, “It is all about art-deco inspired glamour with subtle surface techniques to bring out the effect.” Shivan & Narresh has introduced a range of cruise dresses and capes and pre-stitched saris featuring linear patent details in a geometric manner. “We recommend women to keep their style modern and introduce embellishments in new-age materials such as a handcrafted resin to even say crystals from Swarovski,” he concludes.