From the Archives: Happy Everyday

For many years, I have had a line of daily wear which we call the "Happy Everyday" line. I have used a variety of fabrics for this line, everything from voile to crepe and viscose to silk. The current version of this line uses a lovely bio-washed, two-tone, handspun and handloomed khadi cotton.

This image of the beautiful Maria Pate, was taken about 16 years ago by the brilliant Andreas Deffner. She is wearing one of my Overtops in stonewashed silk and the Mandakini set (top and skirt) in cotton crepe.

The location is on Anna Salai, one of the main commercial streets of Pondicherry. I love the billboard (the giant legs) consciously framed in the background, and the reflection of the scooter rider's face in his rear-view mirror.

The LA shirt is one of my earlier designs. Like many of my creations, it was originally made because it was something that I wanted to wear myself.

Most of my women's garments are fluid and free flowing, well suited to the fine, delicate cotton muslin textiles that are my signature fabrics. Since the materials used in the "Happy Everyday" line are more robust, a different look is enabled. This shirt is quite structured - like a suit jacket - with a very fitted look and I liberally use buttons as embellishment.

Over the years I have made the LA shirt in silk, viscose and linen, with a variety of detailing and surface features.

It's not obvious, but this image was shot at the India Coffee House on Jawaharlal Nehru Street in Pondicherry. Like similar India Coffee Houses in metros all over India, this one looked and felt like it had been there for a century (and that the menu likely hadn't changed in all that time). It has since been renovated, but I think they kept the menu the same!

Tejaswini Mistri in an image that may be 16 years old. I don't think we ever named this outfit, which is also from my "Happy Everyday" line. It features one of my signature design elements - the use of transparent fabrics. The transparency has a sexy see-through effect where the body is silhouetted within the garment in a provocative, yet understated manner. It also enables a light-layering effect, where the different colours of fabric are visible individually as well as in harmonised combination.

I love this picture, which was shot in the Goubert Flower Market in Pondicherry.

Over the years, I have been extremely fortunate to be able to collaborate with some extraordinary photographers, who were willing to work with us despite our not having the budget size that they were accustomed to.

For the first dozen years of my atelier, the brilliant Andreas Deffner was my go-to photographer, whenever his busy schedule allowed him to fit us in. His shoot-conceptualisation and planning and incredible attention to detail - both during the shoot and in the post-production - resulted in some amazing images that worked both online and in print. There was not a single shoot where we didn't wind up with many beautiful shots to choose from.

To this day I remain grateful to him for all the work he did for us.