I keep track of what Bollywood stars are wearing at the latest parties and catwalks, by following one of my favourite blogs, Bollywood Style Diaries. And one thing that seems to be glaringly evident, is that most of these women can't accessorise for peanuts. Beautiful vintage saris and salwar kameezes, Balmain-style mini dresses and on trend blouses are offset with vast clutches, tacky leather purses and that ubiquitous Louis Vuitton handbag that screams: "I have money, but sadly no taste." I came across designer Meera Mahadevia, who has been designing since 1985, but the nature of her incredibly intricate, elaborate pieces means she's been flying under the radar. With a show at the Vendome in Paris approaching in October, I thought this would be the perfect time to interview her. Brides take note, this is a woman who designs pieces of art, that look like they belong with a bridal outfit, completing the look seamlessly. Bags: more than just a place to store your lipstick.
Describe your style. What inspires you?
It's about my roots. I am strongly inspired by and always champion traditional Indian craftsmanship. My bags are crafted by hand, and I employ craftsmen from different states - they each have their own heritage, tradition and style. Inspiration - I'm a classical dancer. When I dance, I'm transported to a different plane and it's very calming. I create better after dancing. I'm also inspired by nature and the ebb and flow of life.
Do you have plans to take your collection to a international market?
Yes, definitely. We're showing in Paris from the 1-4 October.
Bridal outfits tend to already be quite elaborate. How do your bags complement, rather than compete for attention with them?
I create bags that are an extension of what the bride is wearing. My bags are ornate, but not garish, and they are crafted so intricately. We use 24 carat gold and precious stones, and so it's a real investment.
Do you think some people overlook the importance of the right accessories?
Sometimes, yes, It's so important to get it right because it can enhance or completely kill the outfit otherwise. You hit the nail on the head with some of our Bollywood stars - that's my anguish too! We really need to educate about aesthetics. It's about having a complete vision. I see women carrying leather bags with wedding outfits and it is just terrible.
How can I get one?
We're revamping the website at the moment, but when we finish, you'll be able to place orders online. At the moment, you can contact us directly.