Sartorial Styles: Anjali Sharma

Text by NAMITA GUPTA

They know their warp and weft and are creating drama with their simple yet stunning silhouettes. Chic, contemporary and creative, these fashion designers from Bengaluru are creating waves across the globe for their new-age concept-based couture clothing and innovative prêt wear. Aesthetic and awe-inspiring are some of the words that best describe their creations that can bring life to any wardrobe. Bridging gap between Indian and modern contemporary cuts and styles, these fashion designers are ahead of their game in designing timeless classics.

ANJALI SHARMA, FRENCH CURVE

Where did you study design? How did you realise your affinity towards fashion design and take it up as a profession?

Third batch NIFT- 1989-1991. As an Army child we used to live a lot in Army Barracks (during summer months when my father would be on a short term course for instance) and I remember drawing on the floor with a piece of chalk, from one end of the long verandah to the other. My inspiration would be Amar Chitra Katha, the Queens in different clothes!​ ​That was the start point I guess. Somewhere down the line my parents figured my creative side and steered my thought process and eventually my career path. So the credit is theirs really. And I remember the snail mail to NIFT and eventual wait for the results. Quite fascinating to recall in this day of instant gratification!

What were the challenges that came initially?

As I look behind all these 28 years, I am actually very proud and happy with my journey and how it has progressed. I’ve worked in the Garment Export Sector with the biggest global players for about 8 initial years, taught major Design subjects at NIFT for over a decade and also been able to constructively sustain my own business FRENCHCURVE for the past decade and more. I work out of my Ashok Nagar studio in Bengaluru. The challenges if any, are for us to set the bar high, defy the comfort zone and constantly evolve as a team to do beautiful collective work with input from all our artisan associates.

How did you overcome them and how has the journey been since then?

In our line, you ask any professional you’ll get the same answer. There are new obstacles every single day. And every single day you learn. By the end of it you are wise to say the least.​

What have been some of the highpoints in your design journey?

Every bride we dress is a high point. Every new line that comes out of our studio is a high point. However on a larger level, we work towards Women Empowering Women with the Intracen, Geneva, a sister concern of the UN, and to work with them is a different ball game. It is humbling to associate ourselves with the stalwarts who constantly devote their time and energy toward this cause.​

Who are some of your biggest clients?

I love my clients. Most of them turn into close friends. I like to believe all of the nicest people in this world are our clients. Ranging from some of the largest industrialists wives and movie stars to the youngest of brides, each one is special and close to our heart.​ ​And it’s amazing how they can bond with my team as well, for which I am grateful.​

​​What are some of the striking features in your outfits that set them apart from the other designers in this space? ​​

The mantra is to make it luxe and retain the minimal. We use natural silks and cottons and work with traditional handcraft. Our forte is hand embellishment and surface ornamentation and we are very strongly supported by our artisan team in the interiors of Uttar Pradesh. The thought and effort by every team member is visible in each aspect of our pieces.​ ​And how!