The little girl with big scissors

Prachi interview

The youngest designer in Asia, Prachi Badve, tells Style Mynt what it takes to be a master of silhouettes at a time when your friends are flouting deadlines and partying hard.

At 14, I don’t remember what the heck I was doing with my ‘free time’, as we would call it those days. Yes, it was a while ago, and my memory certainly can’t be compared to that of the proverbial elephant. But I am sure I wasn’t doing anything remotely significant. So when I felt like a bit of a loser when I spoke to 14-year-old Pune dweller Prachi Badve. The girl is an early bloomer. The ninth standard student has not only participated in Pune Fashion Week, India Kids Fashion Week for which she designed for kids and Kolkata Fashion Week, she also launched her fashion store, Grupachi, in May this year. Before you go ‘eh?’ Prachi explains what Grupachi means. “It means an angel who likes to dress up in Sanskrit,” she says.

Grupachi has met with phenomenal response and is a huge hit with collegians. “I design bridal wear and casual western wear for women. I’m not yet designing for men. I might do it after I finish my education. Being a teenager, I understand what teenagers like to wear. There are waterfall hemline dresses, ganjees with embroidered necklines and ready- to- wear sarees,”says the young achiever who’s already finished her diploma in fashion from Vidyanchal in Pune.

Interestingly Prachi doesn’t pore over fashion mags, but relies a lot on Fashion TV to keep herself abreast of global trends. “Besides I look around and see what people like to wear and what’s trendy. I have one tailor and a store manager girl who has done her fashion diploma,” she maintains.

The teenage wonder has already got her moment under the sun. Choreographer Terence Lewis was the showstopper for her show in Pune and actor Sohail Khan raved about her collection and so did designer Vikram Phadnis.

I am guilty of her asking her the obvious question. “How does she do it all – maintain her grades in school and make beautiful clothes? Is she a multi tasker of the highest order or just an unbelievable smart kid? “If you study hard, it’s not difficult at all. I design every day, sometimes five hours a day. Mom wants me to take it slow because I’m sitting for my boards next year. I will study fashion after school,” she avers.

Prachi has already designed for the Marathi children’s film Bokya Satbunde and hopes to design for a few more. “The Marathi film actors don’t know how to dress. Their clothes are a disaster. They need a Manish Malhotra. I hope I can be that,” she states.

Prachi has a lot of faith in e shopping and considers it the future of retail in India. “I have friends who shop online and they are very happy. E-shopping is the trend right now and it’s convenient,” Prachi tells me before signing off.

Style tips from fashion’s favourite kid:

  • I don’t believe in colours for the season. You can wear what you like. Find your colour, the one that suits you best and will make you stand out in a crowd.
  • Be yourself, don’t copy something you see in magazines. Be comfortable in what you wear even if it’s not so stylish.
  • Know your body type.
  • Have fun with fashion. Don’t think of it as a daily chore. Mix and match and get creative.

PRACHI’S PICK OF THE BEST DRESSED BOLLYWOOD STARS:
Kareena Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan. Kareena looks elegant in whatever she wears, she gives a lot of thought to her wardrobe choices. Her look in Heroine and in Kurbaan are my favourites. Shah Rukh looked cute in his curly hair look in Ra One.

kareena sharukh