Sleepwear lookbook with a hint of luxury and romance
Suman Nathwani loves her romantic tales, a penchant which has translated into Suman Nathwani Sleep, her more than three-decade-old line of sleepwear. The veteran designer believes in comfort as well as luxury when it comes to this often-neglected category. On the sidelines of this shoot with Suman’s proper sleepwear collection after 2013, she settled down for a chat with t2 on the need to “keep the fire burning”.
What kind of a woman comes to mind when you think of luxury sleepwear?
The story started way back in 1987. When I started making sleepwear, I used to read Mills & Boon... all romance. I have started doing loungewear like pyjamas only recently, but today I showcased how even your pyjamas can be luxurious. Whenever I see a woman in a gown or a nightsuit, I feel they look masculine. For me, it has to be all about romance. I always get inspired by love stories.
How has this category evolved?
Previously, it was fun because the girls were wearing it for themselves and their partners. It was sexy and sensuous. Then a big shift happened in 2000 when they went big on pyjamas. They were all working and they would come back home tired.... Women stopped wearing sensuous designs. In one of the exhibitions, at least 10-15 brides-to-be asked me if I had cotton pyjamas and that too for the first night, which they wanted to pair with old T-shirts! It was killing my romance and ideas.
So, romance has gone out of the window...
Yes.... I feel the relationship of love between two people is so important and that is fading away because they don’t have time and a breakdown in communications is happening. It took me a couple of years to adjust to that and then I started making sensuous pyjamas like spaghetti with pyjamas or shorts with robes. I did not give up on romance and mystery. I feel the garment has to be personal. I also got the compliment that I was the one responsible for the population boom! (Laughs)
What is the trend now?
It is mixed now. From the last couple of years, girls are wanting to wear sensuous designs again. They have realised that it boosts their confidence. That also inspired me to come up with this collection.
So, is it self-love or social media influence?
There is self-love and the influence of Instagram. There is a demand for short gowns and spaghetti slips.
What are your top tips to buy good sleepwear?
Get your size. I always say that there is a thin line between sensuous and vulgar. I always tell my brides not to copy celebrities. Sometimes they also have the wrong information. This is exactly like buying shoes. It has to fit you well and it is personal. Flaunt the part of your body which looks good. I have noticed that women who are above 45 or 50, have nice legs or back. Wear high slits or low back. I always suggest to the bride to wear the long styles rather than the short ones. On your first night, go slow. I am almost counselling them! (Laughs) For the honeymoon, go as naughty as you can. I plan which day they can wear what.
The mood: The Elgin Fairlawn was laden with a fairy tale charm and the vintage romance of bygone eras. Hair and make-up pro Don Hsiao was also our musicman for the day. Jazz, saxophone and lounge music added to the vibe.
The looks: Don gave the girls “sun-kissed looks with the choices of colours being monochromatic in the hues and tones of flesh, ochre and bronze”. The hair was beach waves, “very laid-back lived-in”. Round two saw them wear “more classic and sensuous looks, incorporating the ever-popular smokey eyes, which was done keeping in mind the halo effect of blacks and greys”. The skin was dewy, the lips nude and the hair loose with soft waves.
- Juhi Ghosh sported a negligee with gown and Tanisha De got into a pyjama set with a lacy spaghetti top.
Suman suggests: “Juhi’s is a dreamy set ideal for wedding night and Tanisha’s for the honeymoon.”
- This frame made for such a happy postcard. While Diti Saha got into a robe-collar shirt with pyjama, Juhi sported a boy-collar printed shirt with pyjama and Tanisha was in a shirt with a “classic shirt collar”, paired with shorts.
Suman suggests: “Ideal for lounging around with family and friends and on holidays and girls’ trips!”
- Juhi look portrait-perfect in this draped negligee.
Suman suggests: “Perfect for your honeymoon or wedding night.”
- Diti was a picture of decadence in this kaftan-sleeved tulle robe with embroidery, teamed with a bodysuit.
Suman suggests: “This is ideal for the wedding night.”
- Tanisha got into this dreamlike frame in a silk satin number with French lace with cutwork embroidery on it.
Suman suggests: “For the wedding day, honeymoon and special occasions.”
- Colourful and glamorous was this frame with the girls sporting gorgeous kaftans. While Juhi got into a deep V-neck printed kaftan with a slit, Diti sported an orange off-shoulder kaftan with contrasting combinations and Tanisha wowed in a mustard kaftan with contrasting stripes.
Suman suggests: “Pack these for a girl’s holiday or lounging at home.”
- Sensuous and how! These frames were fire alert! Diti put on a robe with Kashmiri embroidered kimono sleeves with “exotic” lingerie. Juhi wore lacy boy shorts with cowl-neck top.
Suman suggests: “This is a super-luxurious collection, for honeymoon only.”
- Tanisha channelled Parisian vibes in this spaghetti doll set in tulle and handmade lace.
Suman suggests: “This is ideal for the honeymoon or wedding night.”
Pictures: Pabitra Das
Hair and make-up: Don Hsiao, assisted by Sonia Budhia
Location: The Elgin Fairlawn, Sudder Street