Fashion Designing, career highlights, likes, and inspiration….

Shaina is one of the young designers in the fashion industry with a F.I.T New York graduate degree under her hat. She caters to the quality conscious women of India and the young executives of the corporate world. At her boutique 'Golden Thimble', she stocks affordable, classy, sarees.

You have to be able to visualize. If you are not able to visualise what you want to create, it is never going to work. If for instance you sketched something on paper and it looks fabulous. But when you translate it into reality it does not look the way you sketched, then there is no point. Your test as a designer is to translate your sketches into reality.

Professional training is a must in today’s world. Or else you will be left far, far behind. The knowledge of fabric, silhouette, sketching techniques, etc is utmost important. One more thing, the Indian ethic wear market is totally saturated. Branch out in to children’s wear, men’s wear, accessories, etc. The courses at SNDT and NIFT in India are quite competitive. F.I.T. (New York) was a great experience while I completed my degree from there. Fashion is one line, which has tremendous creative stimulation and one gets a lot of mental satisfaction when your creations are appreciated.

Personally, I am a very conservative designer. I don't want to experiment every single day, and come up with things like shell caps as blouse bustiers. It's just not me. Also, I've never believed that the more flesh you show, the more expensive the garment should be. My fashion philosophy is simple - wearable, designer clothing for the Indian woman, at affordable prices.

Not all of us have a body like Naomi Campbell. We have our reservations in terms of height, figure and complexion. That's why it's a bigger challenge to dress the average Indian woman rather than a model.

I am truly fascinated by the saree. It is the only garment that can be draped in 17 different styles and each one looks different from the other. You would be amazed to know that the saree is the only outfit, which makes a thin person look voluptuous and a fat person look thinner, if draped correctly with soft fabrics. Most people don’t know the potential of six yards of fabric.

Breaking into the Indian ready-to-wear market can be considered one of my career highlights. Also, I have done shows abroad in New York, Colombo, London, which I feel have catered to an appreciative NRI market. I love signing for women like Shobha De and Anuradha Mahindra. I also design for Anjali Mendes, Malvika Sanghvi, Dolly Thakore, Sathya Saran and business houses like Birlas and Ambanis.

The reason I haven’t really adventured too far into men's clothing is because men come and buy one kurta after half-an-hour, whereas women will pick up five outfits in the same time. Plus, I'm truly in love with the sari. I keep myself updated by reading a lot of international fashion magazines, travelling and of course surfing the net.