Stalked: Aarabhi Sivaraman, Fashion Designer. AARABHI

8 July 2016

I recently met the lovely Aarabhi, the British designer behind AARABHI. Inspired by her Indian heritage, Aarabhi uses embellishment as a form of print creating bold statement pieces which can be seen in her first collection. I caught up with her on the streets of Notting Hill to find out more about her exciting launch into the fashion world.

Why did you decide to go into fashion design?

When I think back, I don’t feel there was ever a point where I made the decision to go into fashion, I almost feel as though it just happened. My entire life, I’ve been a creative person and in school, the creative subjects were what I enjoyed the most so progressing into a creative field was exactly what I wanted to do. My earliest memory of my interest in fashion, is being obsessed with the Spice Girls and what they wore, I must’ve been 4 or 5 at the time, so I started young! From that point on, my love for fashion, art and pop culture grew. I was constantly doodling and sketching designs and knew that fashion design was the natural next step. After watching a documentary as a teenager about the ethical issues surrounding the production of clothing, I knew exactly what kind of designer I wanted to be and that I wanted to start my own brand. Studying on the BA course in fashion design gave me the opportunity to explore different ways of designing and as a result, helped me find my own style.

What inspires you and what is your latest collection about? 

My latest collection, ‘Trapped in Blue’ is based on women’s rights in countries where they have no voice. The inspiration came from reading A Thousand Splendid Suns. The many rules and violence that these women have to face, obviously frustrated me, which is why I really started to look into the subject, especially the enforced rules of dress. I wanted to find a way to liberate the female body whilst still having the body “covered” in fabric. The bold, beaded designs were inspired by the history and culture of Afghanistan. When I start to design a collection, I always look at my research first and then try to come up with print ideas. From there, I try to develop these using beading and embroidery and that is how I put the different elements of this collection together.

I can be inspired to anything, each collection is something completely different. Sometimes it’ll be from a film or article I’ve read and I’ll start researching into it and eventually become obsessed. Sometimes it is from a place I’ve been or an image I’ve seen. I like to really delve into subjects and ideas and I try and learn something new from each and build a collection from that point. When I’m thinking about what direction I should take my collection, the moment I start to feel a little excited, I know I’ve found my inspiration.

Who are the designers you love? 

I don’t have a designer that I consistently love, I feel like I change my mind everyday! At the moment I love Dolce and Gabbana because their style is so distinctive, bold and beautiful. Although, if I had my way, I would love to walk around head to toe in Moschino, just because it is so fun and outrageous! Clothing should be practical but fashion should be fun. Brands that have this element are the ones I enjoy seeing the most.

What's been the best moment since starting out? 

I can’t really decide! Showing during Milan fashion week as part of my university show was incredible because it is something I never thought would happen and I didn’t think I would have been selected in a million years! Also, getting the email from Not Just A Label telling me I’d been chosen as a Black Sheep was amazing for me because I’ve always been so unsure of my work and I feel like being seen as innovative and striking by them, really helped my confidence and encouraged me to really go through with working on my brand.

Five items you can't live without? 
1.     Green Tea
2.     iPhone
3.     My black ink pen
4.     Wi-Fi

5.     Real Housewives (Please don’t judge…I just can’t help myself!)

1 comment

  1. Great going Aarabhi and all the best. Look forward to attending your launch.��


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