Neeta Lulla says that becoming a fashion designer was “not on her agenda.” However, as a child, this leading fashion designer used to spend hours reading books on fashion that her father bought for her. She’d try out various styles of draping scarves, for instance, and her passion gradually metamorphosed into a full-fledged career.
Today, she is one of the most sought-after fashion designers and stylists in the country with over 300 films and several international fashion shows to her credit.
After studying fashion at SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, Lulla started her career as a fashion choreographer and eventually moved to fashion design. “My first ever assignment was to design khadi and linen tunics with brocade. The first film I designed for was Tamacha, sometime in the 80s,” she says.
Lulla feels that the fashion industry has evolved, and so have the consumers. “Earlier, consumers would take time to adopt fashion trends. Today, though, with technology and media, even smaller towns are quick to pick up global fashion trends,” she says. The designer feels that it is imperative for beginners to qualify technically. “Creativity is crucial, but without knowledge, you cannot be successful. Fashion is not just about glamour and glitz; it has its own challenges. So one must be equipped to face them,” she says.
It is equally important to build one’s own brand these days. “In the 80s, there was no such thing as creating your own brand. If you worked well, people recognised your efforts and gave you more opportunities. There were no outlets and everything had to be tailored,” she says.
A typical day for Lulla involves planning, organising, checking new collections, themes, design cuts, fabrics, trying out new embroidery patterns, accessories, and so on.
“As a designer, you will be under media glare and people will point out your flaws and criticise you. But you must take it positively,” she says. So what’s the best part about being a fashion designer? “It allows me to project my philosophy, thoughts and emotions through my work. It helps you create something new and make a difference to society and consumers,” she concludes.
All about fashion designing as a career
A qualification in fashion design also opens the doors to allied lines such as fashion ­merchandising, choreography, styling, make-up and so on. Many reputed fashion institutes in Delhi are offering ­degree/­diploma of private and state universities which exist in other states such as Karnataka, Rajasthan, Meghalaya etc. These degrees are in violation of UGC’s notification dated June 2013. Students should not opt for these degree programmes and do their research before applying
* National Institute of Fashion Technology; www.nift.ac.in
* National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad; www.nid.edu
* Amity School of Fashion Technology, Delhi; www.amity.edu/asft
* School of Fashion Technology, Pune; www.softpune.com
* Pearl Academy, Delhi; www.pearlacademy.com
After Class 12, opt for a professional course in designing to understand the nuances of fashion design. For admission to undergraduate courses in fashion design, students should have scored at least 50% marks in their Board exams. NIFT ­conducts entrance exams for admission to its ­bachelor’s programmes, BDes (bachelor of design), BFTech (bachelor of fashion technology) and master’s programmes (MDes, MFTech) and MFM (master of fashion ­management)
Fashion designers must have a strong grounding in the basics of fashion
Average starting salary
About Rs. 30,000 per month
I love my job because...
I get to project my ideas through my work
Designers should be tech-savvy as it not only helps them draw inspirations and ideas from across the world, but also gives them more avenues to showcase their work