It was her parents’ anniversary last year that got Masumi Mewawalla thinking. ‘Why not gift a customised saree to mom,’ was the question, and donning the hat of a designer for the first time in her life was the answer.
So she went hunting for a fabric, the most expensive fabric she thought would be the best, and she settled for a pink and red satin georgette fabric. Black velvet and a pearl border to go with it and Masumi was able to make a ‘statement saree’ for her mother. For those wondering what her mother’s reaction was on that gift from daughter dearest, it was a ‘wow’!
To say that Masumi was happy would be an understatement. “I created it from nowhere and then to be complimented thus was fabulous,” says an ecstatic 23-year-old designer Masumi. A child actor till a few years ago, Masumi turned designer with her signature label, Pink Peacock Couture last year.
An unusual name for a designer brand? Masumi cares to explain the connection. “Pink is my favourite colour and peacock stands for royalty, also the bird has a religious, pure angle given its association with Lord Krishna, thus the name,” says Masumi.
The initial thought was to re-do her mother’s wardrobe, but given the wonderful feedback she started getting from people around her after she made few sarees for her mother, made her sit up and take note. That is precisely when she gave a serious thought of becoming a designer.
A commerce graduate from Mumbai, Masumi was inclined towards fashion and loved everything grand, even in attires. A regular in the K-serials, where she mostly played the daughters’ roles or even the protagonist’s younger versions, Masumi even did 300 shows of Jalpari, conducted by the Indian National Theatre.
Hindi and history chapters on the sets
It was lessons in Hindi and history that she found most difficult and her curriculum books would always accompany her on the shooting sets. “I used to mostly study in between shots,” says Masumi.
The good student that she was, she always ensured that her passion for acting never interfered with her studies.
Name any K-serial and Masumi would have done some role in it. So be it the hugely popular Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi to Kutumb and Kalash to Kabhi Sautan Kabhi Saheli, Masumi was an integral part of all daily soaps.
No design school for Masumi
To think in this era one does not go through a formal design school curriculum before launching their brand, comes as a surprise. But not so for Masumi, who thinks it perfectly alright to not go to a design school and yet become a successful designer.
“Nothing can substitute practical experience and I believe am good at learning the job,” says Masumi who is happy that her management degree has held her in good stead. Nonetheless, she agrees that training at a formal design school can help with the technical side of learning it, followed by doing it practically.
This designer’s favourites
Masumi admires the stylish Kareena Kapoor, who she thinks can carry off any outfit with equal elan and grace. Be it a style-oozing bikini to a traditional ghagra, Masumi thinks Kareena is the only person who does justice to all possible outfits.
Talking of the design trends, Masumi swears by the Indo-Western dresses which have become a rage of sorts in the recent times. And they are here to stay, if Masumi is to be believed.
“Nothing beats a Western cut outfit complete with Indian embroidery. My karigars, therefore, are from all nooks and corners of the country, for me to customise the dresses accordingly,” says Masumi who is fascinated by the e-commerce boom in the designer industry but feels that the personal touch of a designer to understand the person’s requirement simply cannot be substituted.
Young girls personally sit with Masumi for two long hour sessions just to explain what exactly they are looking for in their wedding dresses, and that is exactly what goes missing in case someone is ordering clothes, even designer labels, online.
Talk of her favourite fabric and she lists velvet and silk over all. “I am particularly fascinated by these two, they have such a royal and sheen feeling to them,” says Masumi.
The USP of Pink Peacock Couture
The uniqueness of Pink Peacock Couture is perhaps the fact that they design signature outfits. From a wide range of zardosi and resham work or even gota work, Masumi says she doesn’t restrict herself as a designer. It has an advantage for the buyers as well – they can pick and choose anything according to their requirement.
Ask her who her favourite designer is and pat comes the reply, ‘Myself’.
Designing and acting
Given that she has not much experience of working for the small screen and loves facing the camera, would she give it all up for designing?
“I intend to get back to acting but it might take a year or two before I decide to get back. At the moment, I need to work hard at honing my designing skills further,” concludes Masumi.