Exclusive Interview with Farha and Deepak from IFE-Deepak Shekhar.
About Brand IFE-Deepak Shekhar
Brand IFE-Deepak Shekhar is a joint venture between IFE-house of vintage fashion– and the designer Deepak Shekhar. The label offers couture lehengas & kalidars and is inspired from ethnic & haute-couture reference into the Indo-Persian era, the Nizam period & the Renaissance. Established in 2012, the brand offers uncompromised quality, attention to detail in its designs, and thus an ever-increasing clientele Worldwide. Their work studio based in Kolkata is best defined as an ‘invention and innovation hub’ with an ensemble of creative artisans & seamstresses that amalgamate to form a unique design family with a vision to revive vintage Indian fashion.
1. Tell us something about your Fashion Brand.
Farha – Deepak & I share an interest in couture fashion, especially when portrayed in a vintage outlook. As an entrepreneur dealing in fabrics (Indian Fabric Emporium-IFE), I am particularly fascinated by the Indian handloom & its contribution to the global fashion market. Deepak is a graduate of the prestigious National Institute of Fashion technology (NIFT) & over the years has gained extensive experience as a couturier. In 2012, we combined forces to establish our first fashion consulting workshop & were officially open for business! A year later, the eponymous label ‘IFE-Deepak Shekhar’ came into existence.
2. What is the essence of your Fashion Brand?
Deepak – Our major objective is to revive the culture & ethnicity of vintage Indian fashion, both locally and internationally, to once again spread the global appeal of Indian fashion.
3. Which area of Indian fashion do you specialize in?
Deepak – Currently, we are focusing on couture kalidars & bridal-contemporary lehengas.
4. What is your favorite aspect of Indian fashion?
Farha – For me, it’s definitely its distinctiveness, or if you like, its character! Over the years, we have maintained the finesse of art work by human hand, which is often considered a luxury in the West. In Indian fashion, human ingenuity hasn’t been replace by machines and unlike the international fashion world, fashion in India is not a slave to general globalisation. A perfect example is the Indian Sari; a silhouette that has retained its ethnicity over the centuries. In my opinion, our biggest strength is that Indian fashion & its traditions share a similar platform.
5. As a designer & an entrepreneur, what are your biggest challenges?
Deepak – Being a designer, I strongly believe in experimenting with silhouettes & aesthetics. I feel that Indian fashion is restricted for a number of reasons, including the rather unfortunate conception of what constitutes a beautiful body, constraints imposed by social ethics & a general media portrayal of the body image. To me, the Indian woman can grace many silhouettes & I consider myself very fortunate to have the creative freedom to experiment with this. Another point to highlight is that our concept of a ‘modern’ look is more often combined with International brands. This reflects why luxury brands such as Christian Louboutin, Salvatore Ferragamo and Gucci among others are thriving in India. The question is are the Indian brands not luxurious enough? Are they not engaging with their people & fulfilling their demand? Or is the perception of the brand ‘Indian’, being less elitist, maybe a factor? Something clearly is holding us back.
I believe that our label should have a classic Indian status with a strong domestic & International presence. Why not integrate pencil-tight skirts with zardoz & dabka motifs or use exaggerated sleek silhouettes in bias-cut styles? As a designer, addressing these issues are perhaps my biggest challenges.
Farha – I would like to add to what Deepak just said. India is a goldmine of assets – handcrafts, artisans, and the works! We need to start focusing on the beauty of it, harness and utilize it. We have to flaunt it! For example, the latest Dolce & Gabbana autumn-winter collection in Milan, introduced embroidered chintz & filigrees into their collection. The entire workmanship is a breakdown of zardoz & Golden pitta motifs. The question is, why should I buy them, when the craftsmanship & the origin of this craftsmanship is right here in India? As an entrepreneur, I would like our brand to develop a product that focuses on these Indian excellences. The challenge would then be to gain global visibility for such a brand.
6. Where can one find your Collection?
6B Allenby Road, Elgin, Kolkata
No 44, Cathedral Road, Opp. Stella Maris College, Chennai
Karol bagh, New Delhi
Online: Indian Hanger – http://indianhanger.com/shop/category/ife-deepak/
For client abroad, we offer consultations via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Our team is happy to oversee all details of your trousseau and assist you with high-resolution images and arrange for shipment of fabric/embroidery swatches”
7. Tell us something about your latest collection
Farha – ‘The Alampanah’ is a eulogy to the past grandeurs of the Hyderabad’s nawabi culture & graces of the old-world ‘tehzeeb’ in the throes of changing times. By the choice of resham emboss & detailed zarkas, the clothing line revisit the aura of regal Hyderabad heritage in restrained aesthetics.
8. Do you take up custom design requests?
Farha – All our outfits are colour customized & made-to-measure fit. If the clients requests, we can also tweak the style to suit them – change the fabric, embroidery pattern, silhouette, neckline, etc. We happy to personalize the outfit just for you!
9. Any Fashion/Style Tip for our readers?
Deepak – Dress for style, dress for comfort, be yourself, experiment & more importantly, be confident!
Farha Shaikh Oka & Deepak Shekhar can be contacted by email at: email@example.com
Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Indian-Fabric-Emporium/228116280577069