Amy Billimoria, a designer who recently did a bridal show with Amisha Patel as the showstopper talks to Priyanka Singhal, Editor’s Delight
Amy is a graduate in apparel manufacturing from the SNDT University of Fashion designing. She’s one of the highly regarded fashion designers of India. She has an experience of over a decade and has won numerous awards.
Besides, having a client list that includes clients all over the globe, Amy Billimoria is also a mentor at SNDT and B.D. Somani Fashion designing college.
ED: At what age did it occur to you that you can be good as a fashion dress designer? Was it always a passion?
Amy: I was always passionate about dressing up well and it started at the age of twelve. I also used to visit the tailor and as well as design the outfits for my birthdays or the wedding functions. Therefore, at the age of 15, I finally decided to make a career in fashion.
ED: Amy, you specialize in couture and bridal dress designing. What goes inside your mind when you are designing for a particular wedding?
Amy: While designing for a wedding, I always try to stay updated with the current trends that will suit my client’s body type. After that I pick up the appropriate color, palates and fabrics while keeping in mind my client’s preference as every girl wants a dream wedding. It’s been 19 years and so far I’ve been successful in doing so. While working with client’s budget and involving them at every step of the creation helps me in creating a perfect ensemble.
ED: The wedding day is the most special day in a woman’s life. Have you ever felt apprehensive about not being able to deliver a customized design to the prospective bride?
Amy: I have never been apprehensive about my deliverables. When you are systematically moving along the way from choosing the right design, to seeing the embroidery swatches to the drape etc. then everything progresses in a favourable manner and the result has always been positive.
Therefore, if you’re taking care of these aspects then you’ll be able to deliver your best in the given deadline and you’ll be able to make sure the bride looks the best in her attire.
ED: How much time does it usually take for you to come up with each season’s new designs?
Amy: We are creating new styles almost every month and as my forte is customising with my wide clientele base worldwide, it’s more of creating new designs daily rather than having a couple done every season.
Amy Billimoria’s designs have garnered quite a fan following, and she has gradually become one of the respected names in the fashion industry.
Amy: Yes every design that I customize bridal or otherwise is always made keeping the client in mind, as well as their body type and their persona.
At one of my recent bridal show, I showcased new drapes of exquisite and ornate hand embroideries on different lehenga styles with neutral gold and solid colour blouses. I wanted each piece of the bridal ensemble to be reused by itself. So, the sari was pleated as a dupatta, draped over a very light lehenga and solid sequinned or brocade blouses. Also Ameesha Patels lehenga was a new bridal palette of deep purple with a combination of red and fuschia. This is something I wanted to portray as a new bridal colour. It had an ornate copper dori work teamed with kasab and pearls on velvet and rawsilk.
An interesting fusion blend of patiala salwar variations with short jackets was also one of my favourite collections.
ED: How do you choose the colours? And how do you put them together?
Amy: My colour palettes are usual a subtle gradation closer to colour families rather than complete contrasts However, as the current trends are vibrant, we do put purples with reds and yellows with pinks, but at the end of the day I decide colours in keeping the clients skin tone and occasion’s requirement as first priority.
This helps in creating the attires that not only complement the client but also make sure it goes along the occasion and helps creating a beautiful effect.
Amy: I have never limited myself when it comes to designing. My future plans include styling for movies, which I have been holding away for quite a while.
ED: The fashion industry is a very dynamic industry. As a designer, have you ever faced a creative block looking at the pace at which a style comes and goes?
Amy: Well I think being creative is an on going process when it is powered by passion. Since beginning, I have always believe in creating the styles and the embroideries that are timeless. Therefore, I never felt that I was lagging behind.
This is how the creative block never happened, because I believed in my work, instead of doubting what I was doing.
ED: Amy, with who all have you got an opportunity to work? Your best experience?
Amy: I have had the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life, be it film stars, industrialists, royal families. However, my most memorable experience has been with Hema Malini, just very recently where after almost two decades, she asked me to style her in a drape gown that I created in only eight hours.
ED: You have been awarded several times. How does it feel to be recognized and rewarded for your work?
Amy: It always feels good to be appreciated and awarded for your efforts. It just makes me want to better myself and keeps the passion going.
Amy Billimoria has received numerous awards like ‘The Garden Vareli best sari choli design’, ‘The Leela Studio’s best embellishment award’, ‘The Femila Chrysalis Alumni Trophy, ‘The Manikchand Designer of the Year Award(Mumbai)’
ED: Who is your inspiration?
Amy: I have always been inspired by Shahab Durazi and always have loved his way of work and attention to detail, moreover, the cuts and styles are so timeless and each one is better than the other. This is something that has inspired me over the years, and helped me come out with the designs I have in past.
ED: Is there anyone in special for whom you would like to design a bridal dress for?
Amy: For me each bride that I have designed for is very special. But I would love to design Katrina’s bridal ensemble as she has the perfect persona to carry a fusion blend that I would love to create.
Amy: My advice to budding designers is that it is very important for designers to be accessible to the common man. Never overprice your garments, and always be creative. It will help you in moving forward with ease and also will help you stay grounded with your dreams as well as future plans.