Beauty & Fashion >> Indian Fashion Designers >> Rina Dhaka

Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla I Aki Narula I Arshiya Fakih I Anuradha Vakil I Anamika Khanna I Anita Dongre I Anjana Bhargav I Anshu Arora Sen I Aparna Jagdhari I Arjun Khanna I Ashima & Leena Singh I Ashish Soni I Azeem Khan I Deepika Govind I Hemant Trivedi I Jattin Kochhar I JJ Valaya I Kiran Uttam Ghosh I Krishna Mehta I Lalit & Sunita Jalan I Lina Tipnis I Manish Malhotra I Manoviraj Khosla I Meera and Muzaffar Ali I Mona & Pali I Monisha Bajaj I Monisha Jaising I Niki Mahajan I Payal Jain I Poonam Bhagat I Priyadarshini Rao I Puja Nayyar I Ranna Gill I Rina Dhaka I Ritu Beri I Ritu Kumar I Rocky S I Rohit Bal I Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna I Shahab Durazi I Shantanu & Nikhil I Sangeeta Chopra I Savio Jon I Tarun Tahiliani I Vandana Roy I Vijay & Shobna Arora


As a child Rina Dhaka was always a dreamer, and not it is that very quality that is an asset to her work. A visual person, for her images are more important that words.

After college, Rina did a training project with Intercraft, and with designer Evan Grandhal. She also set up a 'Salwar Kameez' boutique for one of her acquaintances. Around this time 'Mutiny' and 'Ensemble' were just coming up as fashion houses and she made a line of designs for them. Her clothes were well received, and she entered the fashion fray.

Rina Dhaka has been a part and parcel of the Indian fashion scene for the past fifteen years. Early in her career, one of her designs for the Miss India events caught the eye of Rohit Khosla, the only fashion designer back then known for his innovativeness. She was encouraged by his appreciation and has striven to keep up the spirit of innovation. She is best known for her theme collections - sheer trousers, crochet, stretch jersey, woollens and spider web motifs. Her forte remains western wear and she prides on the fact that her pieces can be worn as separates. . "I personally feel fashion for women is about giving options. It is about severity and seduction," says Dhaka on the charge that clothes reveal too much.

Designing, for her, is basically a lot of fun. She loves to give shape to her inner feelings, and she believes in being true to her creativity. She has also opened a studio in Hauz Khas Village for Lycra.

Success is what counts and Rina Dhaka seems to have it all! Appreciation for her work has extended Indian shores and international fashion magazines 'Vogue' and 'Elle' have featured her work. Her recent show in Singapore, which was attended by their President, was an astounding success. She says, "My strength lies in designing knits. I love doing it for Western wear. Now I've also started doing Indian garments in knit and other fabrics. Indian wear basics support my western wear creations; a purely western line is otherwise, difficult to sustain."

Indeed, with Indian women beginning to work in the outside world and becoming more independent, there's a market for both western and Indian clothing, party wear and office attire. As Dhaka points out, "We need both clothing. I'm not going to go to an Indian occasion wearing my pants; I'm not an angrezi mem. We have beautiful Indian clothing, antique Indian shawls and old sarees and now we have us, Indian designers, who will try hopefully to keep the culture intact and make a strong fashion statement."

Rina Dhaka emphasizes silhouettes and is willing to take risks. In one collection she mixed fur and boots with her Indian outfits and always gives five or six looks in each collection.

She says she is impatient with the shapeless jackets and lenghas, which are worn at all weddings. "I'm bringing back a lot of the fitted clothes, the churidhars which were done earlier, in the sixties. Nothing comes back exactly the same; it's just a reference point. I'm bringing it into my Indian clothing too. You know, the jilmil sitare look, like Mumtaz had. Bollywood can be very glamorous, it was so trendy then. Now of course it's so confused."

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