A SAFETY PIN BY RADHIKA VISSANJI RAMANTAHN
Radhika is an ex-art director from the world of advertising who decided to put her interest and passion for emerging fashion across asia into a blog.
A SAFETY PIN: This blog serves as a platform for the emerging fashion talent in Asia. It simultaneously serves as an online space for discovery, perspectives, exchanges and conversations on the rise of fashion talent across the world.
All Hail The Bag Queen : Tarini Nirula
The young entrepreneur and accessory designer Tarini Nirula's clutches are a rage in the fashion world. Renowned for her fun-themed, hand-crafted minaudieres, her passion for fashion started at a very young age and manifested into her profession. An interesting play of colors, textures, prints and embellishments sets the tone for each piece.
Tuned to doing things with a fresh mind and thought Tarini cleared up her schedule to make sure she would do this interview full justice. Her sincerity, passion and commitment is reflected in her work.
Gardenia Embroidered Minaudière
Radhika: What did you want to be as a child?
Tarini: I have been passionate about designing ever since I can remember. As a little girl, I loved fashion, dressing up and accessorizing. I would ask my mother to draw fashion figures for me, which I would then color in and accessorize. I think it’s safe to say that the inclination towards fashion and the creative arts started from a very young age.
Radhika: Do you have a fashion background?
Tarini: Topping in the subject of Art in my school (The Shri Ram School), I went on to apply to NIFT, which is the best fashion institute in India. After completing a four year intensive program and armed with a degree in fashion and lifestyle accessories, I started working on projects with design studios through which I gained experience in the industry and also experimented with various styles of design. After a year, I launched my own label of luxury fashion accessories and graphics.
Love spell Pink Minaudière
Radhika: What inspired you to create your own label?
Tarini: To put it simply, designing accessories is what comes naturally to me, and I love every bit of it. Though it was not an overnight decision. I experimented a lot with various styles of design, before finally realizing that this is my true calling.
I did a bit of styling, designed clothes, worked on a lot of graphics-digital and by hand, and of course, designed accessories throughout. I think the time that it really struck me was when I noticed that I had been in a fabric shop for 4 hours, but it felt like hardly any time had gone by! Looking at all those colors, patterns and textures always leaves me with a tingly feeling of excitement, of creating something completely fresh out of an idea.
Shortly after, when I designed my first collection of bags in 2011, all the pieces sold out within a week, and that’s when I decided that I was going to take my passion and make it my profession.
Radhika: Tell us how your label came into being and how did it evolve?
Tarini: I launched my design label in 2011 and there has been no looking back ever since. After the sell out of my debut collection, I collaborated with renowned fashion designer Jenjum Gadi for the Wills India Fashion Week, where in I designed coordinated accessories to match the outfits on the ramp. I have also been designing a range of accessories for textile designer Bina Rao for her label Creative Bee, using fabrics that are all natural hand loom pieces. Apart from the various features in leading fashion magazines that include Vogue and Marie Claire, my designs are now available on Pernia’s Pop up Shop, one of India’s leading fashion retail websites. I receive inquires from all over the world, and have supplied to buyers in Paris, Milan, Germany, Australia and the Middle East to name a few.
I feel blessed to have people from different parts of the world appreciate the designs I create, and hope to spread all the joy I can through these pieces of art.
Celtic Knot Minaudière
Radhika: What's the best part about your work?
Tarini: All my collections are born with things that inspire me – vibrant colors, art movements, shapes, moods, architecture, culture, people, fashion trends, music and so on. Travelling and sourcing for different fabrics and materials, and finally holding a piece that was once just a vision in my head, is one of my favorite feelings. And when a buyer tells me how wonderful their experience of carrying that piece was - that is an indescribable feeling!
Radhika: What's your personal favorite bag from your recent collection?
Tarini: One of my personal favorite bags from my recent collection is the digital printed Minaudière with beadwork on it, called ‘Fierce’. It’s inspired by the strong, confident and stylish woman of today.
Radhika: Do you have any other passions besides designing accessories?
Tarini: Besides designing, I also love travelling. I like to visit places I haven’t seen before, and meet new people. I also enjoy yoga, it’s therapeutic for me, and makes me feel fit enough to work long hours and stay agile. I love spending time with my family, which includes my pet dog Leo, who has even served as an inspiration for a few designs! I enjoy sports and being outdoors and I am an avid tennis follower. I also love seeing various styles of performing arts especially live performances by musicians.
Radhika: What are your aspirations as a designer?
Tarini: I have a strong vision for my design label. Being an entrepreneur is essentially all about planning right and taking calculated risks. I am always aspiring to create more unique designs, continue expanding my operations and reach out to every part of the world.
Radhika: Who is the woman you design for?
Tarini: My label is targeted towards women who are fashion conscious, have a keen eye for chic and classy designs, and at the same time have the desire to experiment and carry off their accessories with confidence and panache.
Radhika: What makes your design distinctive from other designers?
Tarini: Each piece of my collection of handcrafted Minaudière Clutches reflects my inspirations as well as my design philosophy. The art movements, the beauty of nature, optical illusion patterns, Mughal Architecture – Each collection has a story, an inspiration behind it, which may be directly or indirectly represented. Various techniques like applique work, artisans who create each piece by hand have explored embroidery and use of embellishments. Each Minaudière is like a piece of art, which is why all the ranges have a limited number of pieces, to add a touch of exclusivity along with an aesthetically strong design and functionality.
Radhika: How would you define your design aesthetic? What excites you about accessories right now?
Tarini: Tarini Nirula- my design label, is synonymous with exclusivity, style, and a passion for the creative arts. My love for a high contrast color palette highlights the various hand made embroideries and surface ornamentation, making each piece a work of art. What excites me about accessories is the continuing evolution in their forms and their ability to completely transform an outfit.
Radhika: If you had to design one thing which you haven't tried to, what would it be?
Tarini: An exclusive range of bags for men.
To shop for TN Accessories - www.tarininirula.in
To read the full interview on Radhika's Blog - A Safety Pin, please click on the link below-
Posted on Mar 07 2017
The process of creating an exclusive Tarini Nirula Accessory is a meticulous one. From inspiration and ideation to sourcing and execution, it’s a culmination of passion to create, promote Indian craft and spread happiness. Today, we’d like to talk about the beautiful embroidery that adorns each accessory and what goes behind the making of the designs.
We sat with one of our many star artisans, Karigar Chand, to talk about how he came to be part of this rich tradition of handwork and how his role pans out with Tarini Nirula Accessories.
Tell us something about your family and occupation
I have a family of 7 people, comprising 3 sisters, an older brother, mother, father and me. My father is into agriculture and it’s his source of income.
I was 13 years old when I realized that making my name in hand embroideries is my ultimate goal.
Tell us about your journey, your story, and your inspiration
Everyday while going to school, I crossed a place on the road where artisans used to work on embroideries. Watching them create such beautiful embroidery made me curious to learn them. I was never much into studies. As soon as my studies of the day used to get over, I went to embroidery workshops to learn all the different styles. At the age of 14, due to shortage of money at home, I left school and started working in a factory as a Karigar for hand embroidery, even though my mother never wanted me to leave my studies at such an early age. I started working on a salary of Rs.200 a month. At the age of 15, I moved to Delhi.
What styles of handwork do
Aari, Zardosi, Beadwork, Tille work, Dabka work, French knots and other embroideries depending upon requirement of the design.
What is your favorite style
I love to create Aari embroidery, and zardozi is a quick follow-up to that.
Since how many years have you been creating embroidery?
It’s been 11 years for me.
Do you think this is a profession that doesn’t have too many women in it?
There are plenty of women Karigars working in Gujarat and Lucknow. Sometimes, you may not see as many women as it is often a family decision.
I love this profession; I enjoy doing embroideries, playing with material. Till the time my eyes and hands work, I'll work. I do want to pass this art of embroidery to my future generations too and want to provide them with the best of education.
How do you feel working with Tarini Nirula and her team?
It’s great because she knows her embroideries and vision – I like seeing how her ideas are so different and modern and yet she uses handwork that has been passed down from generation to generation. Her success helps me build my livelihood and her personal encouragement with guidance from her and the team means a lot for me to continue working.
TN Accessories is deeply grateful to the Artisan community for their talent, hard work and hands through which magic flows!
Posted on Jan 08 2017
What do prisms of light and Rajasthani forts have in common? Tarini Nirula is here to explain with her latest collections of occasion-wear bags.
Tarini Nirula, one of my favorite accessory designers, who I have previously collaborated with on my blog, recently launched two new collections. True to the TN brand, these are no ordinary bags – each exquisite statement piece has a story behind it.
Iridescence: Prisms of Light
Iridescence, the phenomenon of bright colours that change according to the angle of light, evokes imagery from one of my favorite songs from the Sound of Music:
“Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes, silver white winters that melt into spring.”
Yes, these are a few of Tarini’s favorite things. If you didn’t get the reference, educate yourself here).
I shall write (or sing) no further, but get straight to the pictures that can shed more light on Tarini’s iridescent bags
“Iridescence is inspired by the natural elements around us,” Tarini explains.
Meticulous handcrafting is the hallmark of Iridescence, and Tropical Bliss, one of my favorite pieces, is a testament to that. This piece took almost 9 hours to complete, officially making it the most intricately designed piece of the entire collection.
Tarini has a team of skilled artisans working across Delhi. In Tropical Bliss, a bead has been hand-stitched onto the end of each pipe to embellish the wings.
Iridescence is a departure from Tarini’s earlier collections in its innovative usage of textures and dimensions. The collection uses a wide palette of colours to give the feeling of iridescence. The bags go best with vibrant plains.
You can even transform your everyday work outfit into evening-wear like I have done here with Majestic.
Jaipur: A Tribute to India’s Architectural Heritage
Lattice work, mirrored mosaics, and intricate carvings adorn the historic forts of Rajasthan. Jaipur’s Amer Fort, which is one of the city’s largest forts, was the main inspiration for this collection – and thus its name.
'Rani', which I have my eye on, can be styled with almost any outfit. It is inspired by the intricately carved windows that are characteristic of Rajasthani architecture, through which rani's (queens) viewed the world.
'Appliqué' is inspired by the famous patchwork of Jaipur – a complex needlework technique in which patterns are created by stitching smaller pieces of fabric together.
I have styled 'Applique' with Indian-wear, though its versatile enough to accessorize a casual western outfit too.
'Ferozi' is an interesting interpretation of the Latticework in Rajasthani architecture – the usage of sequins also gives the feeling of depth.
'Amer' is another classic, which uses simple textures and colours to create a beautiful design.
“I wanted these collections to be different, she says – and different they truly are!
Posted on May 07 2016
Though clutches recently came back into fashion, few of us know that they have been around since the 1920s, then referred to as the pochette. With the growing number of boutiques and design labels, the variety available today is obviously unmatched in the history of clutches. The challenge is now to stand out from the crowd.
While I don’t have brand loyalties when it comes to most accessories, clutches are an exception. That’s why I’ve decided to dedicate this post to Tarini Nirula, whose clutches I specialize in collecting.
Minaudières: arm candy love
Let me introduce you to the minaudière, which the French designer Charles Arpels invented in 1930. Tarini’s collections are an ode to the minaudière – a metal plated mini-clutch that was designed as an evening accessory to fit the basics: make-up and your keys. Remember that 1930s was the pre-phone era, not all these babies are cut out for your Nexus 5.
From the beaded to the bejeweled, to the floral and the patterned, each minaudiere is exquisitely handcrafted by skilled Indian artisans (#MakeInIndia) and exudes elegance, and exclusivity. Each bag has a story behind it. The Phoenix Red/Gold is one of my favourites.
Though it best stands out on plain black outfits, I have found that it works well with vibrant hues, such as peacock-blue and purple. Paired with plain colours it is bound to grab peoples’ attention. And it sure does, because I’ve received several compliments on it.
Apart from the aesthetics, each bag is highly functional and can transform from clutch to sling purse in a second – an option that not all clutches have. Though it may take a little time getting used to the clasps, innovation is the hallmark of any new enterprise, so you can be rest assured that the customer experience will improve over time.
So, coming back to the sling purse look, though it is less formal, it saves me from several awkward moments juggling way too many things in my hands while at an event. If any of you have experienced the frustration of trying to balance your bag, a wine glass, a phone, and god forbid you’re at a dinner party, where you’re constantly shaking hands, you know what I’m referring to!
Another minaudière that is part of the latest collection, is the Wild Rose Peach. Its light and summery look is perfect for the season. Paired with nudes and neutrals, it completes a cute Sunday brunch look.
Satchels: The bigger the better
While minaudière are the hallmark of Tarini’s collections, I am personally a big fan of the satchels. If you’re the kind of person who finds it difficult to just leave the house with a pair of keys and a lipstick (like me), then you may find these more practical. For iPad owners, this bag was in fact designed keeping in mind these dimensions. Say hello to your uber-stylish new iPad sleeve!
‘Hypnotize,’ true to its name, is precisely the reason I bought it. It also seems to have captured the attention of many around me who have asked me where it’s from.
Though I’ve styled it with a very casual outfit here, you can use this bag as part of an edgy night-look as well, since the black adds a formal touch. Once again, the chain lets allows you to carry it effortlessly, and works well for a day look.
What I like the most about Tarini’s work is that her designs are subtle, yet statement pieces. Somehow, you manage to stand out, but without looking like you’re trying too hard – an art that isn’t easy to master.
As a testament to the lasting impression that these bags create, when I had my collection of Tarini Nirula bags laid out for this blog post, it was my man who noticed that one of them was missing. ‘Where’s the gold clutch?’ he asked me to which I was dumbfounded. But then it dawned on me – you don’t forget a Tarini Nirula bag when you see one.
So, for all of you fashion-forward women who carry your bags with confidence and style, and the men who remember them, here’s presenting the chain clutch, which I recently carried for a friend’s wedding.
Posted on Mar 27 2016