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How Our Alumni Came Full Circle at ‘Influence' During AIFW AW'18 - Pearl Academy

Fashion and the fashion industry have been in a constant state of metamorphosis from the very day of inception. We have come a long way from accepting the idea of conventional fashion to owning our individuality and wearing it on our sleeves. At Pearl, we believe in the same notion and hence, reinforce it to impact the fashion industry with a unique sense of creativity through the values we pass onto our students.
While this year we celebrated 25 years of nurturing creative minds, ‘Influence‘, a showcase by our alumni was organized at the Amazon India Fashion Week 2018. It is the first time in the history of Pearl Academy where the management and alumni came together to glorify the festival called fashion. It was an insightful event for fashion students, aspiring fashion designers as well as fashion enthusiasts.

This premier event brought together seventeen alumni members under five categories (Craft, Street, Bollywood, Contemporary and Warrior) for showcasing their best work. The event was initiated by a heartwarming video that triggered everybody’s soul, which was followed by a note of gratitude by our C.E.O., Nandita Abraham. The show began with a bang; Jayati Goenka’s breathtaking blue-colored outfit got everyone hooked.

It gave us immense pride and happiness to see our alumni perform exceptionally well in the show. Their designs communicated the true spirit of unconfined fashion as they were inspired by their respective personalities. Individuality is one of the values we nurture in our students. ‘Influence’ made us believe that we are successful in our endeavors. It was an event that witnessed the styles and creations of our beloved alumni and we take pride in narrating their success stories.


Jayati Goenka is a novice artist who passed out from Pearl Academy in 2012. At Influence, she showcased her ‘Folk Robe – Fall Winter’ collection, which was all about layering up for winter and warm festive nights. The hand-embroidered overlays that were featured at the event were inspired by Japanese textiles, Sashiko. Models adorned these long dresses accentuated with Aizome (natural Indigo) hand block prints and comfy olive-grey khadi pants with cute handwork. Obedient to the brand’s identity, the collection showcased comfort, the richness of Indian handmade textiles and Japanese mindfulness for detail and simplicity.

Pallavi Dhyani is an alumna of Pearl Academy. Her label christened as ‘Three‘ stresses on a contemporary mix of conceptual and wearable clothing that defies age and showcases comfortable and anti-fit silhouettes. Cotton is an integral element of all her designs. Her showcase brought forth garments that were handcrafted into timeless pieces evoking everlasting feelings and memories.

Tanya Bansal pursued Fashion Design from Pearl Academy. She has always made us proud by winning design competitions like Elle Max Design Awards and DLF Emporio Design Awards. The only quote she abides by is, “To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.”
The designs from her collection that were exhibited at Influence had flowing silhouettes, and summery, pastel colors. They were apt for anybody who appreciates fusing classic traditional wear with poised western ideas.


Sanya Suri and Resham Karamchandani were two of our students who met on the first day of college and became best friends. Through the course of four years, both of them explored their sensibilities and developed technical skills. It taught them how to work in harmony while generating new ideas. The Pot Plant, a brand launched by them, revolves around the idea of making people’s life greener in this fast-paced environment. For them, comfort and sustainability are the two most important things. At the event, the garments they showcased depicted the same values. They worked with craft without taking away the authenticity. As suggested, they created the garments in collaboration with bandhani artisans from Bhuj. They had everything, from jumpsuits to jackets; simple, wearable and comfortable!

A recent winner of Lakme Fashion Week’s Gen Next title, Sumiran creates magic with his creations. At Influence, he showcased some of the most beautiful pieces from his label ‘Anaam‘, a take on genderless, ageless, nameless and fierce fashion. His collection was inspired by the red-light area of Sonagachi. The designs showcased were for anyone who is a survivor and wants to be empowered. He terms his clothes as shields that protect anybody who has a call for identity, respect, and recognition. Shining stars like Sumiran makes us proud to have inculcated such values in our students throughout these years. We care for the artist in every individual and give them the freedom to explore their style.

Munkee See Munkee Do is the brainchild of Teresa Laisom and Utsav Pradhan. At Influence, they showcased their AW 2018 collection. It was their take on business wear that can also be worn by anybody who wants to look sharp. There were overcoats, sweaters, blazers, wide pants and shirts that were cut and created keeping in mind the locally hand-woven textiles of Manipur. The collection boasted of chunky hand knits comprising of sweaters and beanies in various colors. They depicted Manipuri motifs and weaves in an array of weights of cotton and wool. The motifs were predominantly in shades of red, blue, grey, black and white.

Mehandee Dureja has a brand known as Banjaran, which is loud and subtle at the same time. The brand is slowly becoming the talk of the town because of its impressive designs. The fancy and waggish designs are a classic example of expressing one’s emotions through clothing. The footwear collection matches the tribal motifs and lives up to its boho-chic name ‘Banjaran’.
The exhibition of her garments shaped her brand’s identity, demonstrating raw fashion that appealed to the audience, giving them major fashion goals.

Pratyush Kumar Maurya completed his B.A. Honours in Fashion Designing in 2011 from Pearl Academy. In 2016, he officially collaborated with The Powerpuff Girls, his childhood role models from Cartoon Network, to launch his label. It was only until he grew up and learned that these superheroes were the epitome of a modern woman – strong and powerful. Pratyush has always been fascinated by their innocence and cuteness, along with their superpowers. He realizes that these girls depicted what the world needed then; power, independence, and equality of women.
Therefore, through the designs he showcased at Influence, he brought back the charm and strength using sharp silhouettes, surface treatment, and materials. His collection was all about quirk, colors, and power, which depicted the label’s concept and inspiration to a great extent.
At Pearl, we have always given our students the freedom to explore and create what inspires them. We were so delighted to see Pratyush imbibing our values in his styles.


Vaishali S. has an eponymous label that features contemporary and traditional Indian wear, Indo-western and western wear. Her collection was inspired by ‘Yathavat’, which literary means ‘an unchanged.’ It is a saga of the profound, subtle and intuitive change that she has seen over the years. It is a voyage of her experiments while experiencing the unseen, consistent reality.
Her latest collection that was showcased at Influence was about the evolution of key pillars that defined the arc of her creative journey. It was interesting to see how she used the elements from today’s perception, which were left unnoticed. The designs were based on an array of traditional weaves from the Indian subcontinent, with a minimalistic approach and silhouettes that conformed to the idea. It was an easy mix of drapes that didn’t intend to change the true nature of the textiles, and the color story and textures conveyed reference in time.

Amrit Kaur is a graduate of our academy who gave birth to a brand known as ‘Ank‘. It is an innovative and experimental label that creates cutting-edge, sculptural clothing. She likes to work on contemporary fashion, which she believes is a fusion of western cuts and tradition. This is what her designs at the show portrayed. At Pearl Academy, we make sure to imbibe a sense of entrepreneurship in every student. Amrit is an example of that!


Sahill Jaisingh from the class of 2011 has made his mark in Bollywood and also launched his signature collection known as ‘Main Chor Hoon’. He works on the idea of fusing the long-established Indian heritage with innovation. The collection that he exhibited during the event was inspired by ‘chor ke pas har taale ki chaabi hoti hai’. Keys were embroidered throughout his garments, echoing the same thought. He said that he could not have achieved this level of excellence without Pearl Academy’s good hold in the fashion industry.

Astha Narang from the class of 2012, is a new age designer, a favorite amongst brides who are all about chic and minimalistic couture. A winner of Vogue’s Honours, she started her eponymous label in 2012.
At Influence, her collection subtly echoed class defined by beautiful drapes, fine tailoring and innovative forms that are elegant and opulent. She worked with ‘silma’ and ‘sitara’ designs on different silhouettes, keeping the traditional handwork alive. It gave her label an image of the ‘modern day shimmer and sparkle while keeping it close to tradition.’ The designer retails her collection at exclusive stores in Ahmedabad, Delhi, and Mumbai.

Mandira Wirk, after completing her graduation from Pearl Academy, started her designing journey with her label ‘Mandira’. At the event, she felt nostalgic and recollected the memories of her time spent at Pearl. Back then, the institute was in Okhla and from there we have come a long way and evolved, all for good. Coming back to her showcase at the event, she proclaimed her throne as a queen of exude class. It also reflected in her garments, which had easy silhouettes, minimal embroideries, and sophisticated pastel colors.

Leon Vaz, co-founder of brand name Karleo, became a part of ‘Influence’ to get back to his roots. He recalled how studying at Pearl Academy transformed him completely. The collection he showcased at the event was called ‘Garden of Eden’, telling the story of a mythical world. His designs captured the magical elements of Eden while infusing the dark side of fashion.
The designs were tasteful with artfully-treated illusions of the nude, in colors like cream, pale grey, ivory, muted pink, white, soft yellow, and mint. The temptation of knowledge and exposure to nakedness was captivated in embroidery on sheer with serpent gracefully strengthening its hold through the multifaced mesh of sinful indulgence. All of this together became the mystifying Eden. This is where the silhouettes of dramatic proportions met simple forms. Just like the forbidden tree and fruit; the outfits were paired with sinfully beautiful capes, jackets, shoulder pads with ruffles and feathers, along with extravagant headpieces. The gala statement was made by the gown that was the centre of the entire creation, yes, the tree of knowledge!


Karan Torani, from the class of 2015, has his label called ‘Torani‘. Major parts of his garments are inspired by the Indian mythology. Likewise, his collection at Influence presented an alternate reality of his grandmother’s fables about ‘Airavat’. All the garments reflected the memories of his grandmother that were weaved along the chanderi handloom. The color of ecru silk, all the greens, and golds that he chose, were to bring variations in his collection; from summers to shenanigans with semi-Indian silhouettes.
The fabrics that he used, embroideries that he did and colors that he chose, were all motifs behind weaving a story. He had a bigger purpose!

Shantanu and Nikhil is an invincible team of brothers, which has taken the fashion industry by storm. Nikhil joined Pearl Academy in the early 90s while Shantanu did his graduation in Economics. The former one was always the one with a creative notch and the latter one was always business-minded. It did not take much time for them to realize their potential as a powerful duo. Thereafter, they launched their label in 2000, with the evolved sense of ‘progressive fashion’.
The label showcased their latest collection, ‘Tribe – The India Story’ at Influence, which was all about millennials and their ideas of #IndiaOnTheMove, an ideology that breeds on the grounds of equality. The young generation is breaking the barriers of borders, and changing the physical, social and psychological norms, which is exactly what the collection stood for. “There’s a Tribe out there for everyone.”

Rimzim Dadu, an alumnus of Pearl Academy, has her label known as ‘My Village‘. She has a minimalist approach to fabricating chic street style. She has hands-on expertise in working with different fabric textures and often mixes them to create extraordinary designs.
At Influence, her label featured futuristic garments, which had traditional Indian ideas but very modern and western silhouettes and cuts. Her designs were global, and not purely western or Indian. The sarees from her collection that were exhibited on the ramp, were modern and very structured.

Influence‘ was a successful event altogether. Everybody, from the alumni to the faculty and audience loved the show. It was a real celebration of the 25 years of legacy. Our alumni moved beyond fashion and presented the scope of innovation and technology in the fashion industry. It was a great experience to see how our students are creating a niche for themselves wherever they go!

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