The second coming

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SHIBI KUMARAMANGALAM
Published Feb 2, 2018, 6:37 am IST
Updated Feb 2, 2018, 6:37 am IST
“She came in and bought two brocade outfits worth Rs.10, 000/- each! Now in 1993 this was a small fortune.
Tina Vincent
 Tina Vincent

“I remember it as if it was yesterday…” the vivacious Tina Vincent reminisces about her very first client. “She came in and bought two brocade outfits worth Rs.10, 000/- each! Now in 1993 this was a small fortune.

This was so important to me because it told me that there were women willing to push the fashion limits in Chennai; wanting and willing to pay for couture. It gave me just the encouragement I needed to start ‘XXL’.”  And the rest, as they say, is sartorial history. In the last few decades,Tina’s designs have been worn by fashion-forward women in Chennai and beyond. From politicians to physicians, celebrities to socialites Tina tells us “I can’t tell you who I’ve dressed as I have dressed them ALL.” Whisper it, we implore, but like a Michelin-star chef guarding a signature ingredient she refuses to divulge the names. Acclaimed for her elegant cuts, Tina’s new boutique at the upscale Bergamo Mall offers a carefully curated selection of tops, tunics, dresses and bridal (ethnic) wear for full-figured women (size 12 upwards). We loved her signature pieces — a V-necked top for the evening in dazzling hues of starlight (silver sequins), a feminine tunic in cream Chantilly lace to an asymmetric dress in purple. “To be fair in the last 20-30 years since I started designing I have seen that people’s tastes have not changed much. People who are conscious about their style are willing to spend more to look understated and chic. This is the essence of the Tina Vincent philosophy... less is more. No pun intended!” she laughs. What delights Tina most about in her new venture is her design partner — her younger son Kiiran Valentine (18). “I am a very proud Mom.” she confesses as we turn our attention to the charming 18-year old. In his first year of a Visual Communications degree at Loyola College, Kiiran tells us that having a designing woman in his life had a huge influence on his choice of work. “You have to be passionate about what you do, right?” the confident young man exudes. “ I would obviously visit her at the store growing up but it was walking the ramp for her fashion show in 2015 that really piqued my interest.” Kiiran confesses to having looked at his feet the entire time on the ramp, but as the mirth dies down, he explains how following the design process, choosing fabrics, attending fittings and all the nitty-gritties of design process intrigued him. His mother describes his process as “meticulous”.

 

Kiiran’s debut collection has some wonderful pieces for men and women. We recommend his sleek blazers — one in a soft linen with a floral print and the other in a striking satin with a contrast purple lining. Drawing inspirations from music and colour, and naturally his famous parents — his dad is actor Vincent Ashokan — we wish him well and look forward to more striking designs in the future from him.

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