Mrunal Khimji, the extremely passionate and zealous force behind the success of Mrunal’s Boutique in Oman, has a flair for being different and unique in her creativity. Mrunal looks to bring her love of her roots and ethnicity into her designs for the fashion conscious customer. This vivacious personality harbours a ready-to-experiment temperament that makes her stand out as the best amongst the best in hot couture designing. Her boutique is the venture closest to her heart, and the outlet of her philosophy to make every woman, no matter her shape or size, gorgeous. We caught up with this bold and enterprising designer to learn more about her, her work, and her unique ability to enhance the features of all her clients.
What inspired you to start designing ?
I was into art ever since I was a little girl. I studied jewellery and fashion designing at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. I liked jewellery but it was not something that could shake me from my ground. Clothes did that. It was something that was there inside, it just took its time to blossom, and I love it.
Are there any international trends you follow?
I am in constant touch with international trends, but I don’t follow them since they are temporary. The trend in India and Asia today is neon colours. Internationally, there are a lot of military greens and olive greens, cobalt blues and darker shades of blue, with Bordeaux reds also coming in. My trend is anything where my country and origin can blossom in a western culture.
Do you stick to a particular concept while designing your pieces?
We don’t do mass production, so we don’t have a particular format. Every industry definitely has a concept, an execution, quality control, and an end result. So as any manufacturer, we do have that. But I don’t follow a rhythm. I’m known for my nature to break all boundaries. I may want to create a line with a motif, a trend, or something that
I am in the mood of. I follow what my heart and intuition tells me.
Tell us about challenges involved in designing designing Asian and Western wear?
Indian-Arab wear has cuts that can be altered very easily. Western wear needs a particular size. As my job is customization for a client, altering a western dress to a different size is not possible. The cutting and the techniques are completely different. That is why when you come to Mrunal’s Boutique you will find less of readymade western wear since it is semi stitched.
The technicalities require customisation. Mrunal’s Boutique is a customisation concept, not a readymade store.
Do you do bridal collections?
Yes. We do everything for a bride: from western dresses, casual clothes or honeymoon clothes, to something simple she can wear to her musical night, henna night etc. I don’t do white bridal dresses. That is one thing that I have never gotten into. It is an art by itself. I do a lot of couture wear and Indian-Arab ethnic wear.
Do you design clothes for the families of the Bride & Groom?
If a bride or groom request it, I design clothes for their entire family based on the age group, style, and theme. I also suggest decor ideas for the wedding, the henna night etc. and I complement them with the garments.
According to you, what dresses do Omani women prefer for pre-wedding events like Henna Night?
Omani women always want green to feature in their wedding garments. We don’t have boundaries for any colour, so I try my best to give them different colours for their henna night, music night etc. I highly recommend Omani women to not wear greens or whites for their pre-wedding ceremonies since the main events will incorporate them. A woman wants to look different on each occasion, which makes her wedding more memorable.
Does the personality of a person count while designing their look?
I respect each woman’s personality and boundaries. My job is to make her see a side of herself she has not yet realised and make her feel special. Sometimes people want to wear something that looks good on another person but does not work for them, and I insist that this is not what they should wear. I never get scared of saying ‘this is not right’.
What fabrics do you prefer working with?
I like working with what the season provides. Cottons, chiffons, and georgettes for summer are great. For occasions, Banarsi and Kanchipuram saris are beautiful. You cannot have favourites in this industry since the learning process is endless.
How early should a bride set an appointment for a dress?
It depends on the bride’s individual requirement. Three to six months prior the wedding should be the minimum.