FASHION FRIDAY: TRUE LADY BOSSES WHO MADE THEIR DREAMS INTO REALITY EDITION PART I
Happy Friday Loves!!
For my Fashion Friday’s, todays edition will feature two fashion designers. This SFBFashionFriday Edition will be broken up into two parts. The first will feature my Q&A session with Fashion Designer Lavandya Coodly. Where she tells us all about her designs and how her passion for Fashion came about. To learn more continue reading!!
Ever wondered what it was like to design clothes and what goes into it? How to make a garment from start to finish? Continuing reading my Q&A session with Fashion Designer Lavanya Coodly.
Q. What is your name?
A. Lavanya Coodly, of Indian decent.
Q. Give us a little background of yourself, how did you get started in jewelry design?
A. My start in design came very early in life and inadvertently. Growing up in India at a time when we did not have mass production in clothing that could be purchased off the rack, designing one’s garment was not unusual. My aunts living in the USA would send me Sears and McCall’ catalogs. Outfits I saw in these catalogs were my original sources of inspiration. I began designing my clothing at the age of Seven or Eight.
Q. Did you have any formal training for clothing design? How did you come to realize your talents?
A. I have had a lot of formal schooling but none in garment design! To that extent, I am self-taught, learning through experimental trial and error. With the help of my talented team members. The brand aesthetic and design ideas are my own.
Q. What lead you into the direction of designing?
A. I have always been interested in textiles, weaves, colors, prints and personal presentation ever since I can remember. I could never get tired of being engaged in any of these. After spending many years in bio-medical research, I wanted to work in a different area. Designing clothes was a natural second career choice because firstly, it’s my passion, my hobby. Secondly, I felt that I had a point of view which could be expressed and thirdly, I would be addressing a void in the market.
Q. Where does your inspiration come from when designing your pieces?
A. Inspiration comes from many sources- travel, walks on the beach, music, films, engaging with nature and the world around me. I am particularly drawn to fabrics places that I love or spent my childhood. I welcome the challenge of using what is available to create a look. After all, designing should solve a problem and a good designer must be able to create something unique from unexpected findings.
Q. What is your process when you design your piece? What are things you incorporate or don’t?
A. I use natural fabrics as much as possible. Handwoven silks, cottons and wools are my favorite mediums. Our cotton prints are hand blocked by skilled artist using non-toxic, environmentally friendly dyes. Our embroideries are also hand executed by skilled workers. Each design begins with a sketch that is worked on until the idea become coherent and the design flows smoothly, from my perspective. I am open to incorporating most ideas EXCEPT anything that would make the garment uncomfortable to wear or would knowingly harm those that lack a voice in our society-environment, child, the poor or animals.
Q. What were your first design pieces that you created? And how has your brand evolved over the years?
A. My very first piece was a dress created from imported blue lace when I was 7 or 8. Professionally, I began with making embroidered silk tunics. Since then, we have incorporated pants dresses, evening gowns, jackets, skirts, night wear, and bridal gowns. I am also pleased to introduce comfortable, multi-functional pants for women who work out of home and need to rush out for quick errands.
Q. Who do you envision wearing your work/designs? Do you think about this when your designing a piece?
A. I think my designs would connect with urban woman who are bohemian at heart. They dress to please themselves. I am attracted to soft and flowing feminine silhouettes as much as more defined constructions. What I design depends on the fabric and materials in front of me. A soft watercolor print would result in a feminine silhouette with gathers and soft ruffles whereas a heavy ikat cotton weave would most probably end up as a pair of shorts. We have also begun designing bridal gowns, menswear and clothing for children. My brand is slowing but surely expanding.
Q. What are some new designs you’re working on? What do you envision for the future?
A. I have been recently given the opportunity to work with a talented and visible Hollywood actress. We will begin creating several looks for her based on events, as well as her style and color preferences. I am also developing my Spring and Summer 2017 collection for Women, Men, and children incorporating some new concepts. I plan to introduce some new ideas in Bridal gowns as well. I would like the brand to grow in all these areas. I strongly feel that designing should be in step with societal and lifestyle changes.
Q. How did you go about creating your business plan and what was your starting investment?
A. I started with an investment of less than $1000 dollars because testing I was testing the waters. The business plan evolved out the reaction from customers and my own desire to address a void in the market for range of stylish but comfortable and well- made clothing that would take you from the moment you begin your day and up until you fall asleep. We don’t want to overproduce and be wasteful.
Q. What’s a typical day in your life at your office?
A. I wake early and begin with discussing updates of work received from my overseas team. We go back and forth exchanging images and messages until it’s time to get my son ready for school. After I drop him off, I get dressed myself and continue my work, whatever that needs to be done. This includes: packing, shipping, inventory updates, managing orders, sketching, planning photoshoots, interviews and writing content for my website or to fulfill requests from other content writers.
To purchase and see more of Lavanya Coodly’s designs check out her website:www.lavanyacoodly.com.
How amazing is Lavanya Coodly, and what a beautiful name too. With her love for fashion at a young age and beginning her own business and fashion line having no formal training is true talent. Her story and passion has definitely inspired me and I hope it inspires and motivates you to create the life you want and to build your dreams and make them a reality.
A true inspiration and Ladyboss. Can’t wait to see Lavanya’s newest collection coming soon!
And to all my fellow lady boss’s — live life with passion and live your best life possible. Have fun, work hard, stay motivated, determined, and good luck! Stay tuned!
Thank you Lavanya Coodly for partnering and collaborating with me on this post. All thoughts outside of Q&A answers are my own.