November 30th, 2005
Straight on the heels of our recent fashion show coverage, we’ve decided to showcase local design talent. This week, we caught up with Shivani K, whose women’s clothing collection debuted at San Francisco Fashion Week. The line, which began in 2004, offers an impressive array of dazzling pieces, from a crinkled long-sleeve shirt with diamantes to a silk-lined gold lace top with chiffon ties in the back.
A Shivani K design
(courtesy of SF Fashion Week)
Omiru: How did you get started in fashion design?
Shivani K: At the end of my first year in law school, I decided to take a break because I knew I did not want a career in law. That summer I [went] to be with some relatives in Bombay, India. I needed something to pass the time, so I taught myself to create outfits. Friends of friends started to take notice, and eventually I was making so many pieces and enjoying it so much that I decided to put my efforts and resources into doing [fashion design].
O: What is the inspiration behind your current collection?
SK: Personality and feminine strength, based on the energy emitted by women in my life, from my mother to my best friend to colleagues I admire. There is a commonality among them. Each top was inspired by a different person.
O: What is your design philosophy?
SK: Luxury, glamour, versatility and longevity. [Luxury because] each piece is lined with premium fabrics such as silk charmeuse. Clothes should feel good as well as look good. Glamour because every day is important. Versatility because I believe clothes should blend into your wardrobe yet maintain their unique character. Longevity because the quality is important, and there should be an air of timelessness about piece. I also try to make pieces that can be worn throughout the year without looking silly.
O: What are your thoughts on the San Francisco design scene?
SK: I wish more well-known boutiques that carry bigger brands would also support the local design community to boost visibility…Not a lot of national attention is paid to San Francisco. There isn’t a glitzy or internationally appealing scene in this city. [Because] a lot of designers get overlooked for better-known brands, one feels forced to move somewhere like L.A. or New York.
O: Who are your favorite designers?
SK: I love the original works of Coco Chanel and Christian Dior. Their work was completely unprecedented, but what they did set them apart and steered the entire concept of fashion in a new direction. More recently, I admire the work of Rochas, Lanvin and Armani. I saw a documentary on him [Armani] once, and he said he didn’t put superfluous buttons without a buttonhole on his clothing–that pared-down and practical approach to clothing really impressed me.
O: What trends do you foresee for Spring 2006?
SK: As a caveat, I am the worst person to ask about trends because I firmly believe in the importance of dressing for your body. For spring I would like to see variety as a trend, an increase in casual flattering trousers, a continuation of tasteful lace detailing, delicate prints, pencil skirts, the return of the seamed stocking, lower necklines and sexy details on the back. The back is what it’s all about in ‘06!
For more information on Shivani K, visit www.shivanik.com