The Poona Trunk Show – A Fashion Exhibition


Signalling the beginning of the festive season 18 designers of Pune city got together to hold an exclusive exhibition with their exclusive designs at the Taj Vivanta on the 12th of October. They called it the Poona Trunk Show. All the designers were all geared up to give their best to this fashion exhibition. It was a show of inspiration, dedication, and hard work.

The exhibition was inaugurated by none other than Ms.Usha Kakade, we had also Bharat and Padma Parmar as part of the inauguration. According to tradition the lamp was lit before the start of the exhibition. The lighting of the lamp has a deep significance in the Indian tradition. It reminds all of peace, positivity, and success. Light represents brightness.

Monica Chordia, Usha Kakade, Padma Parmar, Bharat Parmar, and Varsha Talera

The elaborate and sophisticated ribbon cutting symbolizes the opening of something new.

Padma Parmar and Usha Kakade cutting the ribbon. We have Varsha Talera and Bharat Parmar with others at the back

The entrance was artistically decorated with magnificent flowers giving the area a majestic look…it actually supported the name The Trunk Show. The word Trunk brings to mind the mesmerizing personality of Ganesha the Lord of all good beginnings. The lady with the creativity is Natasha.

Monica Chordia and Varsha Talera
Sonam Parmar, Ulka, Megha, Bushra, Ruby Pashankar, Kinnary Panchamia, and others at the Poona Trunk show

This very successful exhibition was sponsored by Novel Sewing Machines.

As I walked in my eyes were greeted by a throng of people, all distributed at various stalls, eagerly touching the material, holding the dress against the self, discussing among themselves, greeting friends … an atmosphere of positivity and gaiety prevailed.

The crowd at the Poona Trunk Show

I walked up to almost all the stalls. However, I could speak to only a few of the designers; however, I had to draw their attention to me, as the customers present were so engrossed in buying that the designers were wholly involved in attending to them.

However this did not deter Usha Kakade from visiting the designers and getting acquainted with them and the designs. Some of the pictures below show us her keen interest. The Pictures below depict her enthusiasm.

The Rubani Fashion house

Was close at hand. I spoke to the owner of this brand. I liked the name and asked how did she coin this. Ruby is the name of the designer and Amani her daughter’s. So she merged the two and came up with this almost Arabic sounding name.

How did she think of getting into fashion?

“ I realized when I had my daughter I wanted to make clothes for kids but somehow from kids it got into kids, as well as adults. I have been doing this for the past 3 years. I started focusing a little more on kids wear now.”

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Actually I look around and see what is the trend and I pick and play around with patterns and designs. I mostly focus on capes and clothes that are trendy so that they are easily picked. I get inspired when I see someone wearing a jacket on denims, jacket on a skirt.

Ruby Pashankar Exhibiting the cape

What are the materials you use?

I play a lot with cottons and crepe and georgette. Her clothes are affordable and trendy. She makes time when her kids are at school to focus on her designing. Ruby has her store Rubani Fashion House in Aundh

Dress Rehearsal at the Exhibition

I see a lot of Indian Attire. Long kurtas for men in lovely beige and deep colors. I see a lot of Chikankari work a delicate artistically done embroidery on a variety of fabrics; and Lucknow is the heart of this chikankari work and is called also the Lucknawi Chikan.  It is a classic and very traditional.

Tejal Kothari an interior designer who has turned into a fashion designer owns the line of clothing called Dress Rehearsal. Apeksha Shah and she look after the brand. The first brand from Pune to be a part of the International New York fashion week!

Our indian wear was very well accepted in the US. Well Tejal you have made us proud!

The brand caters to a variety of tastes… they do Indian wear, Indo Western, have a pret a porter or  ready to wear, and couture. I noticed some trendy ‘kurta styles’ for the men. Trendy jackets that can be work at festivals and cocktails. The brand also has some fun clothes that may seem complicated but easy to wear and looks outstanding. A lot of customers come with a mind set and come to them for clothes to be tailor made. They come with their choices from colour to style and frabric and Dress Rehearsal customizes it for them to their size and style. Ofcourse they do give in their inputs.

Well I could see at the exhibition, or should I say I heard a lot of the customers actually placing an order for the clothes they liked, to be tailored to their size with most of the designers. 

Megha and Kalpesh at the Exhibition

A husband and wife duo at the exhibition. They speacialise in bridal wear and it is bespoke! Catering to each ones taste. They thrive on giving something different to their customers. 15 years of desgning has enabled them to capture if not all at least most of the Pune market

Pooja Shah/More Mischief at the Exhibition

Was also at the exhibition showcasing some of her oh so very nice designs! Each piece was a classic, tastefully designed. Her range of clothes still goes by the name of More Mischief. Tunics which are stylized and wearable. The color palette was pleasing to the eye. Beautiful pinks, beiges and pistas that suit the Indian skin tone and can be worn during the day and at night.

She had a light Diwali pret line that is wearable for the festive season. There were lehengas, gowns, and saree drapes for light Indian wear if you don’t want to dress up too much. The entire idea behind her styles and embroidery was that you can wear your clothes without jewelry if you want to dress up and yet stand out in the crowd. Minimal jewelry, minimal styling, where your out-fit becomes your visual point.

She had some men’s clothing to compliment the women styling and clothing .

Pooja Shah with one of her classics

Gulnaz Amin at the Exhibition

We had worked together some time ago. The pretty Sana decided in July to do the Pune trunk show and specialy designed clothes for it.

Having Pune designers all under one roof on one day is that not playing with competition? I asked.

“I don’t think so”,  said Sana. “We all have our own forte. We have boho glam, we have got sculpted couture, bridal couture and of course I am doing Pakistani fashion. We are all already buying from each other today.”

That was so refreshing to hear.

What can you tell me about Pakistani fashion? Do you design it or source it?

“I design it myself at my workshop. I am careful about delivering quality. In Pakistan fashion is a little different.”

So how would you differentiate Indian designs from Pakistani designs?

Floor length anarkalis, crop top, and lehegas are not part of Pakistani fashion at all. There is more of a play of  pants. We do bell bottoms, high-low flared pants. We do short kurtas.”

Are the Pakistanis more fashion conscious? Not necessary, but one would see more sophistication. They focus more on the material and the cuts. The pants being showcased were high low and shararas. Pakistani fashion draws its inspiration from the Paris and Milan runways. Most of the pants at Sana’s Gulnaz Amin were cut to the recent trend of high and low.

Sana displaying one of her pieces

Shradha Mankame at the Exhibition

Is an accomplished personal stylist and her clothes were different.  She had more of western attire, and  launched her label a year ago. However, she is also into bespoke clothing. Men and women styling. Styling for wedding. Like everyone who is on insta today Shraddha also has her insta page, and its by word of mouth that she gets her customers.

The best way I would say.

She dabbles in all kinds of materials from velvets to georgettes. Designs are trendy.  She has been styling and designing for the past 8 years. Moved from Bombay to Pune and now she loves the Pune market. She has a store in koregaon park called Fashion Rules.

Varsha Talera at the Exhibiton

Was I delighted see her! I happen to know her from way back. A lot of the attire at the exhibition was bridal and festive.

The embelishments caught my eye. They were different. Out of the ordinary or the regular.  The pattern I saw is known as the  Beaten Chord Work and nobody in the country does this. It is her signature style. It is taken from the Ottoman Empire Era. The kings and the Emperors wore this kind of embroidery. It is a dying art and Varsha Talera is reviving it! It is the highest selling product in the market. Also is called the golden twirl made of gold metal thread.

Sonam parmar Jhavar at the Exhibition

Has been 5 years in the biz and has just launched the festive wear. Lot of sequins feathers embellish her clothes. Very pretty colours. The dresses have so bin designed that they can be mixed and matched. So you are getting your money’s worth.

Sonam Parmar with one of her well designed pieces

Monika Chordia of Praant at the Exhibition

Monika who works only with pure materials and materials that are hand woven, had some classy pieces at the exhibition,  pieces that had delicate bandhani designs on them.. She specially got them made for the festive season with some exquisite glass work. There were some bright hues and pastel shades. These bandhani pieces were the highlight of the day.

She was wearing an exquisitely designed dupatta, hand woven, and intiricatelly woven real zari work. I could not stop admiring it, nor could Usha Kakde!

Monika Chordia’s very own design…the intricately designed dupatta with real zari

Natania by Deepika Rathi at the Exhibition

Was launched 3 years ago. They specialise in party resort wear, dresses and are now introducing, capes, tops, and jackets also. They decorate fabrics with hand embroidery using beads, mirror, and metal.

The place was becoming crowded with every minute that passed by. Getting access to any more designers was becoming a challenge. However, I would like to name the designers who so painstakingly had made a collection to display at the exhibition.

Kinnary Panchamia, Ulka SB, The Bushra Master, Vintage line by Sez, Kalakritti by Neeta Parakh, White by Dinaaz, Pallavi Aggarwal, Natania by  Deepika, Seema Rungta













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