Fashion is one of the biggest booming industries of the 21st century. It’s now enmeshed in the pages of everyday life, consumed and emulated without a second thought. It’s a line of work where creativity and anthropology mesh together. So, if you’re an aspiring fashion designer, or simply someone who wants some style-spiration, you’ve come to the right place. We have a guest here today who might help you with your questions.

   Nidhi Mantri is a nineteen year old fashion designing student at Pearl Academy. She has worked at the Lakme Fashion Week and is an aspiring designer.

nidhi mantri fashion designer


So, Nidhi, tell me about your background. Have you always been inclined towards fashion designing?

I completed my HSC in Commerce from SIES, but I had very much made up my mind to pursue fashion designing. You must be wondering “Why commerce, and not arts?”
I want to be an entrepreneur. So, I thought of taking basic knowledge of commerce and then, pursuing fashion designing along with B.com.

What sparked your interest in this field?

Like every girl, I loved dressing up my Barbie dolls in my childhood. In those days, when kids around me used to say they want to become doctors or engineers when they grow up, I used to say ‘I want to become a fashion designer.’

This was assuming that my role would be to just design clothes for Barbie dolls. Considering my childish behavior, my inclination towards designing was always ignored by my parents till Grade 11, when I finally spoke up about my real ambition to become a designer.

What skills do you require for the job? Do you need to know computer software to create your designs?

 As a designer, you need to be hardworking and passionate about the craft. It is an assumption that fashion designing is just about sketching pretty garments and getting them tailored. In reality, the role of a designer is much more than just sketching a conceptualized design.

In this world of high technological demand, CAD (computer-aided design) is totally taking it away. To save time, today 90% of the pen and paper work is done digitally using software like Adobe Illustrator, Indesign, Coral Draw and Photoshop. In the coming years, I think the process of constructing garments will be digitalized with the help of 3-D printers. I wouldn’t be surprised if we wear digitally created garments by 2050.

manish malhotra on set with Alia Bhatt
Manish Malhotra is one of Nidhi’s favourite designers

Who are your favorite designers? Inspirations?

 I’d love to work with Dior, Manish Arora, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Manish Malhotra.

Your style icon?

I don’t really have a particular style icon, I believe in creating my own style, and not following another’s. Moreover, I love to experiment with new pieces every season.

When it comes to wearable fashion, do you rely on current trends, or do you stick to your own style and sensibilities?

I stick to my own style, keeping the seasonal trends in mind. I do add a touch of drama to my simplistic looks.

pantone color of the year 2016 rose quartz serenity blue
Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue are this year’s Pantone Colors of the Year

What are the comeback and current trends of 2016?

If we talk about colors, the Pantone color for 2016 – Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue are trending.

If we’re talking about silhouette, it surely is wearing loose shirt dresses and organic/sustainable clothing.

brown tan shirt dress from koovs White maxi shirt dress from the label life

Click on the image to buy these shirt dresses from Explorate

What statement pieces according to you will never go out of style?

I think statement pieces and trendy dresses keep making brief appearances. What remains is your confidence in carrying a non-trendy dress.

What designer – approved looks would you suggest for the following situations:

  • COLLEGE FEST: If you’re organizing the fest, make comfort a priority. You could convert your oversized T-shir into a loose comfortable dress by adding a belt to it. Tie the look together with canvas shoes, sporty shades and a high bun.

grey oversized sweatshirt dress beige brown womens belt from yepme Knee High Lace-up Gladiator Sandals

Click on the images to buy from Explorate

If you’re going to have a good time, dress for it!  Just don’t go overboard so that you might receive the comment, “kisi ki shaadi mein aye ho?”

  • FORMAL EVENT: Any formal T-shirt with pencil skirts or formal trousers. You could accessorize with a bow or tie. For shoes, go with black or nude stilettos with your tote and most importantly, the rocking red lip.

monochrome striped bodycon skirt from forever 21 formal feminine white shirt posh peep toe stiletto platforms

Click on the images to buy from Explorate

  • CASUAL DAY OUT: Loose shirt dresses, with or without prints. If you go with a plain shirt dress, add any oxidized statement necklace and for shoes, go with canvas shoes or flats.


Women Light Blue Denim Shirt Regular Fit Dress Golden Twisted braid necklace geometric gold layered neck piece fusion desi mojri flats

Click on the images to buy from Explorate

  • CONCERT: You are here to dance and party. From shorts to denims, tunics to kurtis, all goes well when you photobomb your favorite celebrity out there.

White Spaghetti Strap Floral Tassel Playsuit Blue Ripped Fringe Denim Shorts bohemian chic head chain Navy Blue Colored Printed Skater Dress

Click on the images to buy from Explorate

What websites and apps would you recommend?

I personally love online shopping. Because I hardly find clothes my size, I stick to Koovs.com. You can totally explore other online stores like Stalkbuylove, Sewberry, The Classy Gaze etc.

Annoying misconceptions people have about jobs in the fashion industry?

If you’re an aspiring designer, you will come across comments like “Oh, did you score less in 12th standard?” , “12th ke baad tailor banoge?” or “How much will you earn after becoming a tailor?”

It’s very disheartening.

Is it all glitz and glamour? What are the less glamorous aspects of the industry?

“All that glitters is not gold,” is a quote meant for designers. Usually, teenagers choose to become designers because the fashion industry seems glamorous. The moment you actually start working, you realize that it’s exactly the opposite. The only glamorous part about being a designer is when you walk the ramp with your showstopper after months and years of hard work done in making those “glamorous” outfits.

Briefly describe your Lakme Fashion Week experience.

I have worked at Lakme Fashion Week twice this year and with different designers each time. My experience so far has been absolutely amazing. I spent every second learning and exploring there. I have worked from conceptualizing the design to fittings. Backstage, everything is more challenging, but inspiring nonetheless. After being there, I can’t wait to start my own label and become an individual with an entity there.

nidhi 2 nidhi mantri creations

Nidhi’s wearable creations

Your goals for the future?

I plan to start my own label internationally, not just for Page-3 clientele, but also for the common man.

Advice to aspiring fashion designers? 

Be passionate about your work; treat it like your religion. Most importantly, work hard and never give up. Put your heart and soul into designing and designing will never leave you alone.

Words – Pari Tavate 
Edited by Chantelle Menezes

Explorate.in is the ultimate online shopping wishlist. This blog features the collective ideas, inspiration and random musings of the Explorate team and guest writers.

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