Ophelia, a woman madly in love, inspires fashion designer Salita Nanda - GulfToday

Ophelia, a woman madly in love, inspires fashion designer Salita Nanda


Salita Nanda's collection is a portrayal of the different sides of a woman while blending her strong and feminine aspects.

Saleha Irfan, Senior Sub-Editor/Reporter

Lifestyle exhibition Numaish will return with its summer show, hosting more than 75 designers at the Godolphin Ballroom at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai, on April 19 and 20, from 11am to 9pm.

Designers and labels dealing with apparel, accessories, jewellery and home decor will be showcasing their collections at the 24th edition of Numaish.

One designer to watch out for at the exhibition is acclaimed designer Salita Nanda.

Nanda launched her eponymous label “Not Just a Label” after graduating from the prestigious London College of Fashion, University of the Arts. The label was launched in 2015 at Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai and has since then presented her collections around the world in London, Dubai, Hong Kong and most recently at Paris Fashion Week.

This year, Nanda was chosen to showcase her latest collection, Ophelia, at Paris Fashion Week 2019. The collection is inspired by Hamlet’s Ophelia, one of Shakespeare’s most misunderstood characters from one of his oldest tales. A woman who is madly in love, her obsession was taking her into a state of hallucination, where flowers and birds talk and tease her about her lover.


With this collection the designer created her own interpretation about a character, a woman so delicate, pure and feminine but a symbol of strength and resilience. She is a representation and portrayal of the different sides of a woman blending both her strong and feminine aspects.

Nanda will be will be exclusively launching this collection in Dubai for the first time at Numaish.

We caught up with the designer to discuss her inspirations, fashion goals and the trends for this season.

Is this your first time at Numaish?

Our association with Numaish is only one season young. We showcased during the winter festive show last year and look forward to showcasing our new summer collection.

When did you realise you wanted to become a fashion designer?

Fashion has been and always will be an integral part of my life. Fashion, for me, is a form of expression and my journey began with my love affair with fabrics; my mother who is a fashion designerherselfstarteddesigning when I was much younger. I would either go sourcing for fabrics with her or simply watch intently while she designed her beautiful works of art. From very early on, different types of textured fabrics fascinated me and in time I grew fond of designing and experimenting with different technologies that produce textiles.

Salita Nanda launched her label in 2015 at the esteemed Lakme Fashion week in Mumbai.

Salita Nanda launched her eponymous label “Not Just a Label” after graduating from the prestigious London College of Fashion, University of the Arts.

Salita Nanda's Autumn/Winter 2017 collection was called Life in Pink.

The muse for Salita Nanda's Autumn/Winter 2017 collection was a blind woman.

Even though Nanda's muse can't see anything, she has a vivid imagination and is a dreamer.

Salita Nanda's muse always wonders how colours look and finds it difficult to understand them.

The blind woman's lover gifts her pink roses and this colour reminds her of him.

Through this Autumn/Winter 2017 collection, Salita Nanda depicted the blind woman's perception of the colour pink.

The muse for Salita Nanda's latest collection is inspired by Hamlet’s Ophelia, a woman who is madly in love and her obsession had taken her into a state of hallucination, where flowers and birds talked and teased her about her lover.

Through this collection, Salita Nanda tried to depict her perception of the world and her vivid imagination as she sees everything.

In her designs, Salita Nanda incorporated the ancient craft of Rogan art with a contemporary twist, which is 3D in nature along with digital prints and hand embroidery.

Another designer at Numaish, Devnaagri, represents women who are dauntless, independent and free spirited. The brand is a unique mix of design and craftsmanship making its mark on subtle sophistication.

Fearless self-expression, twisted modernity and a strong emotional current come together to make the brand Dhruv Kapoor, who is also showcasing at Numaish. The designs emphasise tailoring, an eclectic use of materials and custom-developed fabrics.

I Am Design's creations, which will be at Numaish as well, are timeless, classic and simply beautiful. The silhouettes are sensuous and fluid with a sense of classic elegance lending a certain sexiness and urbanity to the garment.

IKAI by Ragini Ahuja's designs at Numaish are rough and edgy with a hint of feminine drape.

Ragini Ahuja incorporates western style silhouettes which can easily be amalgamated into Indian society and predominantly contemporary fashion.

How do you usually get inspired?

The brand is an evolution of style that stems from an appreciation of culture, inspiration from heritage and the love of art. It’s for those who like to mix timeless pieces to match with new styles, adding a twist to the classic look. Taking inspiration from culture and heritage combined with modern designs help create a brand that understands what style is all about.

I chose to study fashion business initially at the London College of Fashion post that I took up design in Milan, two cities with a huge cultural and architectural heritage. Over time it wasn’t just the art that cities like this bring but the environment as well. So for me I would have to say travelling to different places and cities definitely helps inspire my collections.

What is the fashion trend for this season?

Summer dressing summed up: Layering and lightness are a must, day or night. The way forward is outerwear. Barely-there tones, soft and sophisticated neutral shades look light and luxurious, perfect for the reinterpreted sheer or silky satin jacket, which can be thrown over a long floral dress or a slouchy pant. Mix in a bold print or two and you will be all set

What skills are important for a successful career in fashion design?

It is the time to experiment and fashion today lets one do that as there is no right or wrong, minimalism and the use of colours can be mixed and matched and used together. Don’t be afraid to try new innovative techniques in terms of fabric manipulations and the use of modern technology coupled with fashion in textiles as that is the future of fashion.


Most glamorous fashion icon in the world?

Iris Apfel.

Your personal style in three words?

Feminine, classic and understated.

Favourite designers?

Zuhair Murad and Alessandro Michele.

Favourite colours to work with?


Celebrity muses?

Beyonce and Deepika Padukone.

One thing about you most people don't know?

I studied to be a doctor but found myself drawn towards my creative side and decided to study fashion.

What’s next for your brand?

I hope the coming months bring more scope for innovation, which is the key to staying relevant. Working on different techniques, using different technology, developing more textiles and sourcing more fabrics are my upcoming plans for 2019.

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