A label by Pranami Kalita, Pariah By Pranami is only about a year old and it is already generating a lot of interest in the local and national fashion circuit. It would come as a surprise to many that Pranami does not have any formal training in designing. A psychology graduate, she completed her Masters in International Public Relations from Cardiff University. She also worked with NHS as a Communication Analyst in London before ‘Pariah’ happened.
‘I strongly believe that it isn’t always about the degrees that we earn, but what we learn from our experiences, and where our passions lie, that shifts us towards envisioning and achieving our dreams. Psychology has taught me that ‘we are, what our emotions are’ and in any creatively inclined platform, it always trickles down to the artiste’s emotions. Fashion, especially is about knowing, embracing and expressing your innate creativity, your thoughts, which is unique to you. It is an extension of who you are and expressing that through your clothes,’ shares Pranami.
Through Pariah By Pranami, the debutante designer wants to convey that uniqueness should be embraced. ‘There are so many communities, people, beliefs, that might not strictly adhere to what is considered the ‘norm’. But I have always felt, ‘normal’ is such a subjective word. Who decides what is and what isn’t? ‘Different is good’ because it is unique and adds new flavours to the plate.’ She also hopes that the label will help people understand the region better. ‘I feel, Northeast India has so much to offer, the rich culture, the beautiful landscapes, the food, and the beautiful fabrics and handicrafts, but somehow mainstream India have neglected it in some way. Therefore, with Pariah, I am putting out a hand of friendship to share the beauty.’
Pranami has launched two collections so far, Majuli and Pariah (the first collection from the label). ‘Both collections compliment women of any colour, shape, and size. The designs are feminine and romantic, mixing the old with the new.’ The Majuli collection was inspired by the river-island it is named after. ‘Every monsoon the great rivers swell, and half the land lies in water. Majuli almost disappears. Every year, it breaks a little yet, re-emerges like a phoenix, inspiring flickers of hope. It has an undying spirit of rising. The colours are all inspired by the island, the browns and the golden hue of the Muga represent the sand of Majuli Island, deeper green refer to shades of the vegetation and the blue hue of the Brahmaputra river.’
She uses indigenous Assamese silk fabrics like paat, eri and muga in her designs. She also makes use of Gaadi, a contemporary fabric made by the combination of handloom cotton weave and Paat silk.
Pranami shares that she finds inspiration everywhere. ‘Everything inspires me, the people I meet, a stranger I might see on the road, a beautiful shade of colour I see on a bird, the way a petal curls or the structure of a building. Everything around us is so alive, if you look around, there is so much to see and get inspired from!’
People can check her designs at the official label website. In addition to that, her designs are sold at AZA Fashion (online store), and Anantam, a Delhi-based multi-designer brand store.
Of course, this is just a beginning, Pariah By Pranami has a long way to go. ‘ I guess, I will take one baby step at a time and hope that the label can keep producing beautiful clothes, showcase beautiful Northeast Indian fabrics and handicrafts with a contemporary twist, carry forward the label’s visions and what Pariah By Pranami embodies to every corner of the globe and get recognised and appreciated.’
By Meeta Borah
This article was first published in Eclectic NorthEast June 2017 issue