passion for fashion
An alumnus of Karnataka College of Fine Arts (Bangalore), Jyoti always nurtured a passion for fashion. “I was always creatively inclined. I had a flair for design and I loved putting different things together. It came to me naturally and I knew where my future was headed,” she recalls. After the degree, Jyoti decided to specialise in designing and the next stop was NIFT Delhi. Her retail story started with a studio in Delhi’s posh South Extension. “It wasn’t an elaborate boutique… it was cosy and just what I needed at the time,” she adds. With the birth of her label –– Sayesh –– in 1998, she ventured into Indian wear — Anarkalis, saris and lehngas.
Attention to detail and a surprise burst of colours are Jyoti’s two pillars. “My garments are heavy but sober; pastel shades but with a splash of colours. The nudes are brought to life by the neons.” But to connect with her clients, she has to go beyond the arts. “I love to analyse clients, their personality… understand their likes and dislikes, anticipate their needs… and I find inspiration from what they require,” explains the designer.
Bangalore and beyond
Marriage closed one door and opened another. After closing her Delhi shop, she opened a store in Jayanagar (Bangalore). During a visit to Paris in 2004 she made an appointment to meet the design team at Celine. Though their meeting did not translate into a collaboration, it indirectly helped her land an interview with Fendi! “They loved my prints and textures and instantly signed me up to collaborate on their latest collection. I worked on suede and leather skirts and trousers,” continues Jyoti.
And there was no looking back. Kenzo, La Perla and Marie Claire followed. For a fashion show in Barcelona, Jyoti swapped Indian fabrics for a Spanish favourite — linen. She worked her signature embroidery and prints onto it. “Foreigners are intrigued by Indian culture and fusing it with their own was unheard of back then…”
Her clientele also included the design-conscious Maharaja Wodeyar of Mysore. “He manufactures a range of silk and wanted to create a brand. He has a vibrant personality and knows his mind… I simply executed his plans,” says Jyoti.
She arrived last year to explore business opportunities. “There are several big designers here. But many designers here lack originality. There is a handful who have a vision… the rest simply copy it!” Her style will be new to the market but Jyoti is confident that it will be well received. She has already launched her label at a private do and is looking forward to hosting an exhibition till her store on Southern Avenue is ready next month.