Fashion's 'It' Girl: Pernia Qureshi

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From starting her career as an intern, to styling magazine editorials and the Bollywood film ‘Aisha’, to more recently opening a one-of-a-kind online fashion store-Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop, Pernia Qureshi has come a long way. Here is a look into the life of this fashion prodigy

When and how did you realise you wanted to work in fashion?
I was always very interested in fashion. That interest grew into a huge passion and it was then that I decided to seriously pursue a career in the field. But if I have to give credit to anyone, it has to be my mother; she is always a huge source of inspiration, and following her footsteps I developed a keen interest in fashion.

How did your experiences working with fashion magazines and designers help with your personal career?
Working closely with designers and fashion magazines helped me immensely. It helped me understand the nuances of the industry by which I grew in terms of my career. I have learnt to be more adaptable as every designer or magazine is different and the work you do for them has to be in accordance with their personal aesthetic. I’ve always learnt to walk the thin line between unique aesthetic of a designer or magazine while staying true to my own sensibilities, which has been very crucial in developing my career. And of course, styling the movie Aisha was a turning point in my life as it was during filming that I had the idea to open an online store to house Indian designers.

Having worked in USA and India, how different is the fashion industry between the two countries?
India and USA are different in their own light. One of the main differences is in the way fashion is approached. In India, fashion is still viewed as something that is to be indulged in occasionally, and that too when it is a special occasion. In USA, however, fashion is woven in with lifestyle. But the scene is slowly changing in India and I am very excited about it.

How has your experience styling in films been? Do you have plans to streamline further down the same career path?
Working as a stylist is an experience that I greatly treasure. Undoubtedly, it is a tough job as you have to source clothes, jewellery and shoes which is not easy. While sourcing, it is important to have a vision while also adhering to what the director wants for his characters. You may like quirky printed Atsu shirts, but you can’t have a character who is a businessman wear them.
Therefore, Aisha was a huge game-changer in my life. I would love to style more films. In fact, I have a few projects in the pipeline that I am excited about, but we will see where it takes me.

Why did you decide to start up Pernia’s Pop-up Shop? What has the response been since its launch? Do you plan on bringing international designers into the offering?
I wanted to build a platform where Indian designers could showcase their work and reach a broader international audience–this led to the birth of Prenia’s Pop-Up Shop. The response for Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop has been phenomenal and I am very happy and satisfied about it. That being said, Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop is India’s first true fashion website, the concept is to offer Indian designers to a global clientele, hence bringing international designers on board would conflict the original idea.

Do you think fashion changes across Indian cities? How do you address Indian fashion through your personal label Pernia Qureshi?
I do feel Indian fashion varying across cities. For example, a Mumbai girl is more relaxed in her fashion choices whereas a Delhi girl is all about mixing a sense of luxury in her styling. Mumbai is more bohemian where as Delhi is more preppy with traces of a bohemian style.
Every designer has their signature style aesthetics, and you attract audiences who feel their aesthetics align with your own. As a designer I aim to stay true to my style because I feel that is the only way to stay true to my audience.

How has your training in the traditional dance form Kuchipudi influenced your styling and design aesthetic?
My training in Kuchipudi has influenced my aesthetic sense greatly. It has taught me grace and I constantly try my best to incorporate that into my work whether it is in styling or in designing. But more importantly, training in Kuchipudi has taught me discipline and that is something which has helped me the most.

Do you have plans to branch out into affordable high street fashion?
My website offers a wide variety of affordable high street fashion from designers like Shivangi Sahni, Jelin George, Nishka Lulla, T-Republic, etc. Besides, we ensure that an affordable prêt-â-porter (ready-to-wear) line from  every designer is made available on Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop, hence there is an attraction for every kind of shopper out there.

Having launched your first book ‘Be Stylish with Pernia Qureshi’, do you have plans to write another? What will be the focus of that book?
I’m very happy with my first book and the response it has got. It would be too  soon to think about a second book, however, if a good idea comes along I wouldn’t mind writing another.

YOUR STYLE IN THREE WORDS
Minimal, chic and classy

YOUR FAVORITE ACCESSORY
I absolutely love earrings, whether they are delicate or bold, they always add style to an ensemble

THREE DESIGNERS WHO INSPIRE YOU
Atsu Sekhose, Amit Aggarwal and Christian Dior

CELEBRITIES YOU WANT TO STYLE
Scarlett Johansson and Rekha

FASHION PREDICTIONS FOR 2014
Sartorially tailored and structured garments

YOUR FASHION MUST-HAVE
A basic and stylish black leather handbag is a must have for any fashionista

 

Volume 3 Issue 8

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