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'We don't need to get inspired by the West'

September 11, 2013 15:34 IST

'We don't need to get inspired by the West'



In an online chat with readers on September 10, National Award winning fashion designer Neeta Lulla answered queries on how to pursue a career in fashion.

The founder and dean of Whistling Woods Neeta Lulla School of Fashion shared advice on the latest trends in fashion and design, emerging courses and opportunities available after completion of course and more.

For those who missed the live chat, here's the unedited transcript:

dinesh: Do you need to be a graduate before joining a fashion institute?

Neeta Lulla: In India most institutes take students after their class 12, it is not necessary to be a graduate before joining a fashion institute.

hardik: Do you need to know fluent English to join this industry?

Neeta Lulla: Clarity of a thought process is more important that knowing fluent English. However knowing fluent English is an added advantage.

ganesh-nadar: We have been accused of aping the west in fashion, is this true?

Neeta Lulla: At Whistling Woods - Neeta Lulla school of fashion, we believe that India has a lot to offer in terms of our heritage and culture and do not need to get inspired by the west for all design ideas. Having said that, I would also say that we live in this world and every civilisation has got influenced or integrated with the culture of other civilizations at some point in time.

ganesh-nadar: Is it all glitter and glamour or is there a lot of hard work involved?

Neeta Lulla: Behind every minute of glamour comes hours of hard work and dedication towards this beautiful craft of fashion design.

Ishraj Sinha: I am pursuing degree course in Fashion Communication from NIFT. How do you rate this stream and what are the opportunities after completion?

Neeta Lulla: Fashion communication is an integral part of the fashion industry, effective communication helps increase sales. With Digital marketing and social media marketing becoming popular there is a huge demand for people with the right qualifications like fashion communication.

mayank: How many streams of work are there in the fashion industry?

Neeta Lulla: The fashion industry has evolved over the past decade. Buying, Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, Fashion Choreography, Back stage management, Stylist, Personal shopper, e-commerce etc are the different streams you can pursue in the business of fashion.

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Image: Neeta Lulla with Sameera Reddy
Photographs: Rediff Archives


'If you're talented, it's not difficult to get started in the industry'

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Mohit Jaiswal: Is this true that fashion is a state of mind?

Neeta Lulla: Dress as per your personality and don't be a fashion victim, fashion is a state of mind, it is a state of confidence?

ganesh-nadar: Apart from the metros are there are good institutes in rural areas?

Neeta Lulla: Unfortunately there are no good fashion institutes in rural India. The essence of a good institute lies in the ideology, content of the lesson plans and the quality of teachers with the right fashion mix, industry exposure, and a passion to teach and I think I have managed that with my institute at Whistling Woods International- Neeta Lulla School of fashion Mumbai.

rahim: Is it difficult to get started if you don't have contacts in the industry?

Neeta Lulla: Your portfolio opens doors and careers for you, if you are talented then it is not difficult to get started in the industry.

appa: What should you do while/after completing your education to ensure you have a job at the end of it

Neeta Lulla: Keep the glamour out and focus on your studies while in college. When it's time for your internships apply to companies or designers in the area of your interest. This will help you to get a job in your field of interest, be it design, styling etc

adil:You are a very big name in the fashion industry- may I ask how many years did it take you to get there?

Neeta Lulla: It's taken me three decades to reach where I am today and I have wonderful memories right from Chandini to Jodha Akbar and looking forward to more satisfying creative work.

nayan: What is the average fee for the course? what are the jobs available after pursuing design/fashion? What is the minimum salary you get after completing the course

Neeta Lulla: Apart from designing, there is buying and merchandising, visual merchandising, styling, e-commerce etc and the salaries depend on the potential of the candidate.

Image: Neeta Lulla at the Lakme Fashion Week 2012
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/

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