Roopa Pemmaraju Show
I didn’t know what to expect from designer Roopa Pemmaraju’s debut collection this week, only that the Indian designer had teamed up with local Indigenous artists to produce a collection featuring indigenous art painting. Was this going to be another Ken Done or will this designer hit the mark with fusing art with high end fashion? With model Samantha Humphries kicking off the runway in a stylishly plunging black and white print maxi, I was positively impressed and keen for more.
Roopa Pemmaraju’s collection was a successful fusion of modern cuts, flattering designs and bold prints inspired by the Australian landscape - green plant life, red sand, luscious sea blues, burnt orange outbacks and wild bush berries. It’s a difficult task to incorporate indigenous artworks into fashion-forward, commercial clothing but Roopa’s collection hit the mark with her beautifully embellished necklines and elaborate beadwork.
The range consisted of very wearable and colourful print shift dresses in delicate silks, soft cotton, crepe and chiffon with the standout being her flowing maxi dresses with heavily embellished necklines and cute pockets. “It’s all about the colour and the artists” says the designer who is currently working with artists from the Cooee Art Gallery, Desert Designs and Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation. “I love working with artists as an Indian myself and I would like to show off their designs overseas”.
And show-off indeed, the collection wowed the audience (and fellow designer Akira Isogawa who congratulated the designer backstage).