“Looking fabulous shouldn’t be hard work” is the motto for designer and owner Kaushie Adiseshan of Pink Elf in Palo Alto. Pink Elf collections have been shown during San Francisco and Lakme India Fashion weeks and the designs have graced the pages of many leading national and international publications including Vogue. See how Pink Elf is working to bridge the gap between the East and the West.
Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got started?
I’m originally from Bombay. I earned a degree from FIDM [Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising], San Francisco and interned at the Gap in San Francisco. I started Pink Elf after a year or so and I was invited to do Lakme India fashion week in 2007. I am trying to bridge the gap between the East and the West in my designs.
H: What kind of clothes do you make? Do you have a theme?
KA: I follow “Easy Glamour.” I believe looking fabulous shouldn’t be hard. It’s quite easy to look glamorous and at the same time the Indian influence makes you looks elegant. It’s the embellishments in the fabric that makes it stand out. Most of my collections are Indian clothes and come in tunic style. The Western culture is more fit driven, ready bell and forms to the body, where in the Indian culture the fabrics are looser. I love to fit different bodies and bridge the two cultures.
H: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
KA: From everywhere – NY travel San Francisco and back in Bombay when I go to buy prints.
H: What are the fabrics that you love and work with?
KA: I love natural fibers the most. I love working with costume and transcendent silks. The new wrap dresses [that I’m working on] give a whole new dimension to the sari.
H: What season is your favorite?
KA: I love Fall because I get to work with a lot of accessories, elegant dresses and boots.
H: What are your favorite colors and fabrics?
KA: Bright colors I love all color- red, magenta, dark blue. I love all colors. I also like to try something different like putting a new twist to a classic favorite.
H: What is the easiest and hardest thing about your job?
KA: The easiest thing is that I am extremely passionate about my collections. The hardest thing about my job is that it is a long process. When I create something different, there are a lot of people involved in the process.
H: How do you keep going when you get frustrated or are not working?
KA: I love listening to music, going on hikes, and just being outside.
H: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to be a designer?
KA: If you are really passionate about what you do, it will come together. Be patient.
H: What are you working on now?
KA: I am working on sari blouses that you can wear with your jeans while bridging the gap between the East and West. The blouses are corset-inspired.
H: Anything else that you want our readers to know?
KA: I am very passionate about using cruelty-free products, so no leather. I am also moving away from silk and going mostly cotton- all, completely cruelty-free.
Interview by Amanda Holst
All photos courtesy of Kaushie Adiseshan/ Pink Elf
Contact info for Pink Elf:
739 Addison Avenue