Lina Tipnis belongs to the category of designers who steadily climb the ladder of success with hard work and have a disciplined business sense. Lina began her career by designing in 1987 for her retail outlet at the Oberoi, Mumbai.
She is quite honest about her background when she says, "I am fortunate to have an inborn desire to create garments." After having retailed for 5 years, the next logical step was manufacturing. In 1992, her label sold Indian semi formal and fusion co-ordinates to select stores in India and abroad.
In 1996, she launched her label LINARIKA that is now sold in over 30 stores in India as well as the U.K., Southeast Africa and the Middle East. While the Indian semi-formals are marketed through these outlets, the fusion lines with a very international flavour are aimed at the European markets. Today, the label has a loyal customer base amongst its target audience profile.
In 1997, Lina was invited to showcase her collection at the world's largest and most prestigious garment fair- CPD (Collection Premieren Dusseldorf) hosted by the IGEDO Company where she launched her signature label 'LINA TIPNIS'. Her collection received an overwhelming response.
Ever since, she has been successfully exporting fusion lines to stores in Europe. These fusion lines which are available across Europe are simultaneously sold in India thru' stores like Mélange in Mumbai, Folio in Bangalore, Ensemble, Amazor and Kaaya in Delhi, Elahe and Stanza in Hyderabad and Kali, Zenon & Espee in Kolkatta.
Her much in demand ethnic prêt lines are sold through various chain stores in Mumbai, Kolkatta, Hyderabad, Bangalore, New Delhi, Chennai and Pune. Lina Tipnis has been exploring fusion couture for some seasons now, and has arrived at a look, which combines classic elegance with a soft sensuality.
She has also used fashion for a cause. Post the Kargil war, she initiated and spearheaded an event with Mélange wherein she roped in other designers to sell garments and sent the entire proceeds to the Kargil Army Welfare fund.
For Lakme India Fashion Week this year, Lina has chosen earth, air, and water as the inspirational elements. The colours of sky and cloud are set against the brown of fields and sage flowers. The mood is relaxed, contemplative, and serene.
For the first collection, ivory voile is given a muddy tie and dye treatment and structured in soft layers. Lina has created surface textures in a random pattern of tucks that accentuate the feminine form. Sprays of voile flowers interspersed within this pattern sets in a dreamy idyllic mood.
The next line is an interesting combination of pure linen with Lycra and crepe in silhouettes that are a perfect juxtaposition of the fitted and 'flowy'. These ensembles are embellished with turquoise stones and skin-coloured motifs.
The mood changes dramatically with her third collection, which features striped silk in dusty blues and harmonic greens with tints of sunburnt sienna and aubergine. Bias-cut tunics and tops shape themselves to the body in an interplay of sheer and shine. With patchwork embellishments and colourful, frayed trimmings, the ensembles have a vibrancy and energy that appeals to the modern city 'tribal'.
The collection is in the form of separates, adding to its relaxed, flexible charm. "These are the sorts of silhouettes I want to develop," says Lina. "They're a whole new product category of alternative clothing."