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“Fashion comes from within” – Anu Shrestha

Anu Shrestha has spent more than two decades in the fashion industry. Although she started off as a freelancer, she now runs her own design house by the name of Kallisto Designs. She has gained wide recognition for the meticulous and distinctive details in her collections; her handmade pieces are truly a work of art.

What sparked your interest in fashion?

Living in this beautiful city – Kathmandu, surrounded by fascinating heritage and delightful colours, my inclination was towards art and crafts rather that fashion. I was always interested in meticulous details. The very first outfit of mine was a steel grey long raw silk tunic. I wore it for a fashion show during the first year of my fashion school. I did intricate hand embroidery with cotton threads in crimson, fuchsia and ochre colours and received a lot of praise for it. There has been no turning back ever since.

How have you evolved over the years?

When I look back at the designs that I created years back and those I create today, I see a momentous shift. Time has changed and so has people’s perspective. Earlier I used to follow trends, now it’s more about conceiving something original and unusual. Being in the creative line of work, I keep challenging myself and think out of the box. Work becomes more interesting when I take risks and explore the impossibilities.

How much does your personal style reflect in the outfits you create?

My sense of style has changed over the years. There was a time that I dressed to impress. Now, I care mostly about choosing clothes that match my personality and make me feel good. I would best describe my personal style as comfortable, simple yet classy and elegant. My designs are a reflection of my personality but I try my best to find a balance between achieving what I like and what my clients prefer. After all, I want my designs and styles to be accepted and appreciated.

What is your current inspiration and how does it feed into your work?

I have always been captivated by nature. I am fascinated by the effect nature has on fashion. I feel we all are responsible for the atmosphere around us. Thus, I work towards ethical, sustainable slow fashion works. I am working extensively on developing fine quality Nepali silk and combining nature, art and culture in my new painting techniques.

What have you planned for your 2018 collection?

I will soon be launching my Nepali silk line, easy to wear collection that will reflect Nepali craftsmanship and artwork. As I am specialised in hand-painting, I love to play with fresh energising colour palettes. For this summer, I will use hues such as ultra violet, lilac, lavender, aubergine, dusty rose with a dash of lime punch and vibrant yellows.

The ideal outfit to don on a…

Date night: Something that is graceful and classy yet sexy
Workday: Always opt for something straight clean cut, comfortable, elegant
Hanging out with friends: Go for something trendy, fun and hassle-free

A fashion trend you find overrated…

Extremely low waist pants are a big time NO!

Must have accessory for the season…

An ultraviolet colour hand-painted silk scarf to spice up your wardrobe.

Fashion motto you live by…

Fashion is not necessarily about labels or brands. It’s something that comes from within you.