Fashion

Indian-like designs made to stand out

A potpourri design by Drishti Shruti (left) and Ms Drishti in one of her designs (right). Photos | Courtesy
A potpourri design by Drishti Shruti (left) and Ms Drishti in one of her designs (right). Photos | Courtesy 

Drishti Vohra came to Kenya as a newly-wed just two years ago. But already this fine artist and fashion consultant has made her mark in Nairobi.

Born, raised and educated in the arts in Mumbai, India, Drishti had her first one-woman exhibition last May at the Polka Dot Gallery in Karen. Her second solo show was in September.

But it’s Drishti’s fashion line, Potpourri, that’s generating keen interest among women who love original designs that are colourful, versatile and easy to wear anytime, night or day.

“Just add a few accessories and our fashions are easily worn at formal or semi-formal occasions. But then they’re so comfortable they can also be worn casually during the day,” says Drishti.

Potpourri Fashions made its first public appearance early this year at Zen Garden where she and her business partner Shruti Patel hosted the first Zen Fashion High Tea.

All her designs are original, conceived in Mumbai by Drishti’s Aunt Molly in consultation with Drishti who contributes on questions of colour, patterns and fabrics best suitable for the Kenyan climate and also sought after by her local clientele.

“Molly has the technical skill and the training to create original fashions with a flare. And I have the artistic background to lend ideas about designs that are thoroughly modern and chic at the same time,’’ she said.

Molly’s designs are mostly made with high quality linen, cotton and mulmul (a soft light-weight cotton muslin often called ‘woven wind’ or ‘wonder gossamer’), all of which are sourced from Jaipur and handmade in Mumbai.

Designed to drape comfortable around a feminine silhouette, Drishti describes her fashions as ‘empowering’. That’s because they’re not only delicate and beautifully designed; they also don’t constrain a woman’s freedom of movement.

Currently, Potpourri Fashions are available by appointment at Drishti’s studio in Spring Valley. But already, word has spread that Drishti gets new collections by Aunt Molly three or four times a year.

“We are starting small as we’re still testing the waters. I basically get three of every new design, one small, another medium and the last large,” she adds.

Asked by BDLife whether she wears her own Potpourri garments, Drishti is emphatically affirmative.

She also says her clients are not only from the Asian community. Africans and Europeans also like Potpourri’s designs.

Drishti adds that Aunt Molly is currently working on a new collection of original dresses made with mulmul and accessorised with ‘digital scarves’.

The fashions run anywhere from Sh12,000 to Sh20,000 a dress. Drishti says that given the quality of workmanship, originality of designs and versatile utility of every garment, buyers seem to believe they are worth the price.