What makes Bhamini’s hand-painted garments unique is their exclusivity and one-of-a-kind offering, as they cannot be replicated, writes Meher Castelino
Bhamini Subramaniam is an unusual designer. She has an M Phil in English Literature – her thesis was “Images of Experience – The Theatre of Kamala Das’ Poetry”. She is a trained textile designer and an artist par excellence and lovers of fashion and art have coveted her label ‘Abhinav Creations’ started in 1988.
When she was selected by me for the Collection Premiere Dusseldorf show in Dusseldorf Germany, organised by IGEDO in August 1997, she was the first Indian designer to participate in that fashion fair where her elegant garments splashed with her artistic brush strokes won her accolades.
The canvas for her garments is only pure silk, chiffon, crêpe, organza, tussar and geecha. Her other favourites are linen, cotton, khadi and jute but when it comes to home interiors Bhamini prefers raw silk. Her colour story moves artistically from soft pastels to fruity brights, depending on the Pantone Colours for the year, which fit into the design, style, season and personal customer preference.
There is a rainbow riot of maroon, fuchsia, rust, green, brown and blue of the sea and sky that brings her paintings to life. What makes Bhamini’s hand-painted garments unique is their exclusivity and one-of-a-kind offering, as they cannot be replicated. Therefore her ‘Signature Line-Bhamini’ is unique with simple, elegant, silhouettes that allow the hand painting to do all the talking making her ensembles not only timeless but also season-less.
Her inspirations for her painted garments have been many from the works of Leonard by French Designer Daniel Tribouillard to Paul Hargittai. She has been an admirer of top Indian designers like Pupul Jaykar, Asha Sarabhai and Ritu Kumar who are experts in research and style.
Bhamini works on two collections annually – Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter with the Festive collection having a hint of dazzle though an overtly glitzy look is not Bhamini’s fashion statement.
With hand-painting as her forte, the production is obviously quality based, small and selective. Her creations are available at L’Affaire, Greater Kailash, New Delhi and to a wholesaler of Tussar from Madhya Pradesh. In Mumbai, her ensembles are on display at her studio in Juhu. Bhamini’s loyal clientele moves from the young trendsetters to the sophisticated dressers, as well as children who love to wear what their parents like.
Bhamini’s collections comprise scarves, stoles, men’s ties and pocket kerchief for Rs 2,500 onwards. Tunics, Shirts, and Kurtas start at Rs 3,500. Salwar Kurta suits move from Rs. 7,500 upwards and saris with blouse pieces are Rs 8,500 onwards.
Her garments are ideal for resort and holiday wear as well as formal, party and wedding occasions. Depending on the design, detailing, size and hand painting required it takes two-three months to complete a collection, which is conceptualised six months in advance.
Bhamini is available from 11am to 6pm at her studio and her terms are only outright buying.
Rating: 4 Stars
I/136 North Bombay Society, Juhu Tara Road, Opposite JW Marriott, Juhu, Mumbai 400049
Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram: – #bhaminisubramaniam
Meher Castelino is one of India’s best known fashion journalists and commentators. Long before India was recognised as the home of style and beauty queens, Meher was crowned Miss India. Way, way back in 1964! She has also mentored many emerging divas, including a certain Aishwarya Rai. Meher writes in many Indian and international publications. For Xyngr, she stylegazes every Wednesday.