Atelier Diva: Work, Play, Love
Happy Realisation
February 01, 2022 COMMENT comment
Happy Realisation
By Priyanka Chakrabarti
She always thought that being a doctor or a politician was what fate had in store for her. Sakshee Pradhan's family was up for the biggest surprise of her life when she announced that her true calling lay in designing beautiful clothes. An endless string of 'convincing' sessions with the family followed, eventually leading to a happy ending.

Tell us about your background.
I hail from a traditional Rajput family, which has its roots in politics since forever! My mother is a Punjabi and she comes from a family of medics. So I grew up amidst heavy aesthetical influences of both Punjabi and Rajput culture. Nevertheless, it came as quite a shock to both sides of the family when I chose a career that was neither politics normedicine, but (out of the blue) fashion (smiles). 

What is Schon all about?
Schon as a label is very feminine yet chic and spells out luxury. The label for now has dresses, cocktail gowns and ball gowns on offer, mostly inspired by the 'ever-so-luxurious' era in fashion – the twenties to fifties – but with a modern edge. My target audience extends to every contemporary woman, who is versatile, practical yet very much in love with her feminine side and believes in elegant dressing.

When did you know that fashion designing was your chosen career path?
Deep down in my heart I always knew that this was 'the' thing I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but it could only dwell as a hidden hobby in my formative years, as politics or medicine were the obvious and ideal choice for me. But the actual realisation happened on a vacation to Sydney, when I was 17, and newly admitted to a reputed medical college in Delhi; at that point of time I got to attend a fashion show. Sitting in the front row, when I saw the designer walk the ramp and take a bow, I instantly fell in love with the awe and happiness on his face amidst the round of endless applause. That was the turning point of my life. Thereafter followed by a series of arguments and hunger strikes. My shocked family finally gave in to my decision and I got myself enrolled at NIFT.

Can you name a couple of designers you looked up to during your formative years?
I did and still look up to Coco Chanel and Paul Poiret. These two designers revolutionised women's fashion for eternity.

What is your designing philosophy?
I design clothes for modern-day woman who is driven by practicality yet is not afraid to flaunt her feminine side with much pride. I would never send any garment down the runway that I don't see myself wearing or that fails to impress me.

Do you follow any particular aesthetic pattern?
There is no particular aesthetic pattern that I attempt to follow; just that my designs are always inspired from the by-gone era of twenties to fifties, with a dash of quintessential modern edginess to them.

Who would you say was most instrumental in your growth?
My father has been most instrumental in my growth so far. After he understood and saw my dedication towards fashion, he stood beside me like a rock in all my endeavours and failures. He is my worst critic and my best supporter.

What are the obstacles you have faced in your journey?
The first obstacle was to make my family and friends understand the choice of career I opted for. Post that, it was tough to make a mark in the overtly crowded and saturated fashion industry, especially because I didn't have any godfather in this sector. But I was lucky to have met the right kind of people at the right time. I am still struggling to get myself noticed here. But I truly believe in myself and the work I do.

What are the professional lessons you have learnt in this industry?
I am still in the process of learning, but the biggest lesson I have learnt is that as a designer you should not only do justice to your design aesthetics but also your client's satisfaction.

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