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Mahran Shaukat Ali
March 07, 2013 , 8 : 43 am
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Barkha Shewakramani Nargis Fakhri wears Drama Queen
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Barkha Shewakramani is a woman of inspiration. She's a name synonymous with the social elite of Dubai, and has enthralled the trend-conscious style-savvy women the world over including the likes of Deepika Padukone, Lisa Haydon, Narghis Fakhri and many more.
The stunning designer and fashion entrepreneur launched her label 'Dramaqueen', in the UAE in 2007 and directed her focus to the UK and India more recently. The fashion designer was diagnosed with SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), a form of lupus (a condition where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy tissues), at a very young age. This was no stopping for Barkha who decided to spread as much awareness as possible about the condition and she came out stronger. To divert her mind of the condition, Barkha blended the finer things of life, mixing charity, a cause and interest in fashion which she combined to cope with the extremely chronic condition. She has draped Bollywoods A listers and is in the process of taking her line of designs to as far as Europe. None can deny the fact that one can't get enough of the dramatically designed garments to which she gives a personal touch.
How dramatic are your collections?
How would you describe it?
Every girl in her own right is full of drama and emotion and it is the everyday girl that inspires me. My muse is one longing to be treated like a princess, and every garment of mine makes her feel like a queen. I like to think I know what matters in the fashion stakes and the Drama Queen label epitomises the modern woman and her search for affordable and versatile clothes. The signature collections feature an array of design elements, from beautifully tailored day classics to retro party wear with embellishments and brocade stitching.
What inspires your collections?
As a lover of fashion from a young age, I always had an ambition to launch my own fashion line and exhibit my inner 'drama queen'. I do feel that the creativity you require in fashion design is something that is innate but it's important to learn the technicalities of the trade so I went on to study Fashion Designing and Garment Construction at The American University in Dubai. I was absolutely thrilled with the response I received when I showcased my debut collection at Dubai Fashion Week in 2007 and this encouraged me to continue in this line. And as they say, the rest was history.
Who are the celebrities that endorse your designs?
From high society international socialites and Bollywood stars to fashionistas who are in search for a chic yet wearable and versatile look. My designs have already been donned by international icons Lisa Haydon, Deepika Padukone, Nargis Fakhri and my latest muse Shweta Tiwari.
Do you incorporate Middle Eastern elements in your designs?
With the prominence of jewellery in the Middle Eastern culture, I'm truly inspired by the look and feel of jewellery! Consequently, most of my garments are rich in jewel tones and are made of ornate silk or velvet that reflects the sheen of natural gemstones. I take a lot of inspiration from my travels also as I tend to reflect my own experiences in the designs I wear. I like to mix the eastern and western design traditions to make something really different and unique.
How is the brand growing?
I have a mother and daughter range called Posh Princess that launched on the 12th of February at the Smitten Boutique in Dubai and have exciting plans to launch the designs for my AW13 (Autumn/Winter) collection. We recently tied up with an accessories designer to manufacture a small collection only for Drama Queen. In the near future we are looking to expand into exotic leather handbags.
How do you cope with lupus? Does it sadden you or has it only resolved you to come out strong?
At the age of 21 I was diagnosed with lupus which led me on a path of self-discovery and soul searching. Since then, it has always been my dream to create maximum awareness about lupus and various auto immune conditions internationally. Blending fashion and charity just makes the journey more fun and less challenging.
Will the collections differ from what is available in the India, UK Middle Eastern markets? (Where else do you have your presence in the Middle East?)
I have had interest across cosmopolitan European cities such as Milan and Paris where I'm keen to launch and also in the States. I've also had interest from Hong Kong which is incredibly exciting. The collection will stay the same as my designs are produced in order to transcend cultures as well as time boundaries.
Do you have a clientele in Oman?
What are your plans for Oman?
Yes, I certainly do. My clients come from far and wide across the GCC region. Currently clients can contact me to purchase items from my website, but expansion plans for the wider GCC is still in the pipeline.
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