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Child’s play

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Payal Singhal recently launched a fashion line exclusively for children at Lakme Fashion Week. Dev Goswami gets talking to her about the trend for trendy children’s clothes...

Gone are the days when fashion for children meant hand me downs from older siblings and cousins. Tots are getting so trendy these days that there are standalone stores devoted to fashion for the under-12s. Many little girls even have their own wardrobes that would put a grown woman’s to shame (Suri Cruise is the perfect example!). That’s why it’s no surprise that Payal Singhal chose to start a designer line exclusively for children. We get chatting…

Why did you choose to design a children’s line?
I have been designing party wear clothes for women for the past 12 years but only last year at Lakme Fashion Week did I add a kids wear line to my brand. One of the biggest reasons for making my foray into kids wear was because of the increasing demand from young moms who wanted to buy clothes for their children in the same aesthetics as theirs.

Do you think that children’s wear is becoming a separate and important part of the shopping list?
The kids fashion market is big now. I have a 3-year-old and I shop a lot more for him than I do for myself! With approximately 30% of India’s population under the age of 12, you can imagine what the scope of the market is. The market is trending with clothes that have a grown up feel, yet are child-like in their structure and functionality.

What inspires you when you’re designing for children?
Firstly, I want the kids to look like children and enjoy wearing the clothes as much as their mums enjoy buying the clothes for them! So, the colour silhouettes are child friendly and fun. Even the embroidery motifs are patterns like bows, hearts and flowers so that little girls can relate to them.

Do you think that there are enough options available on the children’s fashion market? What do you feel is missing?
There are a lot of options in each space but in India I think what’s really missing are cute comfortable well-priced clothes for daily wear. And of course, cute Indian party wear clothes is where we come in (smiles).

When designing for children, do you keep it simple or do you go for bling?
When designing the clothes I keep in mind things such as the lining should be soft, dupattas should have no long tassels so kids don’t choke on them, churidars should be soft, stretchable and easy to wear, embroidery is kept minimal and lined with satin so it doesn’t poke them. I take care not to go overboard but I do add a little bling to the garments with a crystal bow or heart so that girls can feel like princesses.

Finally, tell us about your future expectations from the children’s fashion market.
I think kids fashion will come into its own and will not be so separate from normal fashion. Just like we always need new clothes to wear, so do children!

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