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Designer Divas

Designer Diksha Khanna (standing second from left) with her creations.


Lighting up the Goan night

Sewing fairy tales that little girls dream of, no rx three designers add oomph, glamour and edgy style to the Goan spirit of designer dressing. For the past month, gorgeous models donning the stunning creations of three Goa-based designers have lit up night clubs around Goa in the Fashion Fridays Club Nite Series. All this brought a new dimension to the concept of Goan glamour, with chic beats, delightful cocktails and a mobile cat walk making the rounds in different clubs around the state. The result was a fabulous time had by all. Now that the party’s over, let’s hear from the designers themselves, Suman Bhat, Pranjal Kadkade and Diksha Khanna.


Label: Lola by Suman B

License to Fame: Symbiosis Institute of Design, working with Wendell Rodricks

Current Collection: BLOCK – “Colour, texture and form. The building blocks of fashion are assembled with meticulous construction and innovative technique. Each piece echoes minimalism and modern luxury in a celebration of style. Cuts and styles are designed to flatter a woman’s body and enhance the personality and attitude of wearer.

I am a mould-breaker: This answer might sound diplomatic, but as a designer I feel, yes, the industry worldwide today is HUGE. Speaking in terms of designers based in Goa, no matter how many we are, I think each designer has his own voice, and whether there are too many or not isn’t the question, it’s the quality of work and the market they cater to, that matters. The market will always outnumber any number of “designers.” Give the market something to love and look forward to, half your battle is won. What sets us apart, is our collaborative design concept where ‘Lola by Suman B’ brings together my unique style with that of whomever I am collaborating with. This ensures that the basic design sensibility will be constant, while exploring inspired and imaginative ideas through the coming together of two distinct personalities; making it different, but not disconnected.

India, a fashion mecca? I think India is let’s say, ‘growing’ as a fashion destination, we’ve come a LONG way, but we haven’t gotten there yet. We are a developing country that has a huge role to play, even in an industry like fashion. I think the kind of textiles and handicrafts India has to offer has contributed largely, if not as a whole, to India being a “fashion destination.”

Goan designers a class apart? The beaches, the vibe, the serenity, tranquility, the air sets Goan designers apart … Goan designers work that extra bit and we push ourselves to be on par with designers based out of metros in terms of networking, marketing and having a larger client base… People look at Goa and admire it largely for its beaches. I’d like to point out what people generally forget or don’t know, that according to me Goa is the most beautiful during the monsoon… The patch green fields, the smell of wet soil, the whole package. Traditional Goan folk which would include performances like Shigmo and Zagor. The architecture of the beautiful old Portuguese homes/colonies. I’ve always associated a lot of joy with Goa, whether it’s my family, friends or my work. I think more than anything, when you choose a career like design, the place you chose to be centrally based out of, has to bring you pure joy.


 Designer Suman Bhat


Label: Pranjal Kadkade

License to Fame: B D Somani Institute of Art and Fashion Technology

Current Collection: Spring Summer 2014 `Boho Chic Traveller Collection’

My design-o-logy: I design keeping in mind a happy, positive and quite bubbly girl, who is modern but yet has respect for her culture. I don’t want to restrict myself to a particular style. I want to design all different styles like Indo-Western, Bridal wear, Cocktail wear, Boho traveler and so on.

Technically I got started when I was a really little kid. At the age of four, when other kids were drawing flowers and houses and their families, I was drawing women in ball gowns and saris with handbags and curly hair adorned bows. Somewhere down the line, at the age of about 16, I decided to join B D Somani Institute of Art and Fashion Technology, Mumbai.

Fashion to me is a form of self expression. It’s my own little world of fun, because it’s fun to stand out of a crowd by what you wear. For me designing is not merely a profession, but a fanatical passion that sets my work apart. And as I said, I don’t want to restrict myself to a particular style.

I think fashion is heading towards a strong sense of personal style. If you look around nowadays, contrasting colors, sheer stuff, satiny smooth, mix and match, funky stuff, everything is in fashion. There is no set-in-stone rule on what to wear if you want to be fashionable. The people who look fashionable are the ones who express themselves in their outfit.


Label: DK

License to Fame: NIFT, Delhi, Masters from Leeds University, UK

Current Collection: `It’s Party Time’ for Fashion Fridays Club Nite Series presented by Blenders Pride Magical Nights. Neon safari serenade is all about daring to show your wild side and pushing the limits. At the Fashion Fridays Nite, the first segment was animal prints judiciously highlighted with neon yellows and corals, pleated foil prints combined with crochet shorts, followed by neon riot and then resort inspired kimonos and kaftans with ivory, gold, grape-wine and classic black with hints of sunset orange.

Is there anything called too much fashion in Goa? I think Goa is a great place to be and also to put your creative energy to use. The design scene is growing and looks very promising here. My label offers diversity, goes from casual to fancy and celebrates womanhood in its every form. Goan designers have one thing in common and that is their love for Goa, which also comes across in the kind of clothes they design… Ethereal, fluid, are the keywords.

I’m inspired by: Clear blue skies, white sandy beaches, trance, tranquility and  history sums up Goa.  For me it’s absolute resort wear when in Goa! Use of natural fabrics, free flowing silhouettes, and subtle textures makes a DK ensemble best suited for Goa. 


 Suman B creation in collaboration with Srijan Jha


Ethel Da Costa is a Goa based acknowledged fashion, lifestyle, music writer, radio head, creative entrepreneur, commenter and columnist of all things politically and socially incorrect. A published poet-author of Eve’s Revenge: Stories of Nemesis (2008) with a second sequel in the making Eve’s Light: Stories of Passion (2014), she be reached at Website: