Beyond the ordinary
The words Kresha and extraordinary are synonymous, whether it’s in reference to her fairytale-esque fashion escapades and creations or her exotic explorations under the sea. She has always been unique in her ways: as a kid, while most of her friends would be spending their time outdoors playing, Kresha would transform her father’s tailoring shop into her own little playground, experiencing the nuances of fine tailoring first hand, and understanding the fight for perfection. Keeping that ideal of perfection in her mind, when she couldn’t find an outfit that satiated her bridal expectations, she designed her own wedding lehenga that featured motifs describing her love story, subsequently making LoveStory lehengas a real thing. On her honeymoon, unlike most newly wedded women, she spent hours in her hotel room studying for tests and waking up early to jump into the freezing cold sea in an effort to attain her dive license. It’s safe to say, anything is possible for Kresha Bajaj. And whatever she did, she did with an unwavering conviction, dedication, passion and unapologetic effort. She went from launching an e-commerce website, Koecsh, a brand with no name or face, to soon being invited to showcase at Lakmé Fashion Week and finally bringing to life Krésha Bajaj, her namesake brand, followed by her majestic Victorian-inspired boutique. But at the centre of it all, we discover, is her unequivocal love for travel that inspires everything she does and creates. She quips, “Every garment I make is inspired by my travels or experiences, each one having a unique story to tell. Without travel I don’t think I would be able to be half as creative as I am.” Well, we find that hard to believe. Kresha is a talent powerhouse, and has been right from the beginning.
Turning back the hands of time, Kresha fondly speaks of her humble and curious beginnings, “From my childhood days spent around Badasaab, my father’s tailoring brand, I knew that designing was my calling. I have always been attracted to everything to do with cloth and thread, and transforming my mind to paper, and paper to reality.” To further her interest, she went on to study fashion for eight gruelling years at London College of Fashion, Parsons New York and Paris, and FIDM Los Angeles, all of which contributed to giving her a better insight into the techniques that were required for her to start her fashion label. She pulled no stops, studying everything from design, marketing and illustration to photography, sewing, grading and patterning as well as the digital and business side of fashion.
It’s no wonder then that Kresha has reached such marvellous heights in the industry and forged her own unique path in so many different ways. Like with her novel idea, the LoveStory wedding lehenga. She reminisces, “My LoveStory lehenga turned my brand around, from being an edgy ready-to-wear western brand, suddenly I was thrown into the world of bridal wear. It is something that I feel was almost meant to be, and the LoveStory lehenga will always be something unique to my brand and my journey as a fashion designer.” In fact it became quite a compelling desire amongst millennial brides and a lot of requests flooded in. However, Kresha was unable to satisfy all of them since each lehenga takes at least six months to make, keeping in mind Kresha’s quest for perfection. She is undoubtedly dedicated to the process. “I go through the bride’s love story journey in detail so that I can translate her words and emotions into embroidery, and bring it to life on her garment. Apart from the LoveStory lehengas, we also work on a lot of personalisation, as we believe every bride should stand out and feel extra special. We are always happy to accommodate bespoke elements keeping in mind our brand’s aesthetic.”
Another gem in her crown of creations was the opening of her extraordinary boutique in 2018. She affectionately retorts, “My interior designer, Diana Framroze and I refer to the store as a labour of love. We spent months going over designs making sure the first Krésha Bajaj boutique was everything the brand aspires to be: delicate, whimsical, sexy, feminine, exceptional.” We for one have to admit her boutique is all that and more. It is split over two levels with an exclusive Bridal Boudoir on the first floor. This space is accessible by appointment only and accommodates only one bride (and her family) at a time. The entire floor is all about the bride’s needs and that was always Kresha’s intention: to make the bride feel very special leading up to her big day. On the same floor you will also find Kresha’s personal office, a beautiful space decorated with an imitation fireplace and her own LoveStory lehenega framed and mounted on the wall. On the ground floor the designer showcases her lighter Indian garments along with the brand’s ready-to-wear Pret collection in which every outfit is designed to be styled in several ways, and features outfits that will never go out of style. There is a patio which features a small garden where various installations are displayed depending on the season and festival. Recently it was decorated with a lot of underwater shells and starfish keeping in theme with the brand’s collection launch, Acropora. “We want people to feel like they are stepping into a fairytale when they walk into the store. The marble spaces accompanied with hints of gold and pink give it a soft, warm and inviting ambiance. We want guests to be relaxed in a such a way that they feel as though their bridal fittings are happening in their own home, and so we dedicate time to just one bride at a time in the Bridal Boudoir. We try to make the entire experience effortless, with a variety of silhouettes to choose from and personal attention given to every bride. The brand stands by this principle of creating a unique and intimate experience for our brides,” explains Kresha.
The fairytale does indeed unfold from the moment you walk into her boutique. At first glimpse, it gives you pastel dreamy feels, invigorating a curiosity about what lies on the inside. Once you properly enter, a sense of magic ensues, as one navigates masterpiece after another. From the brand’s timeless Pret collections to its Festive collections, every design is effortless and created to cater to any occasion and body type, from a baby shower to a bridesmaid’s dress. “We understand that a millennial bride is looking for easy yet unique ideas, and for designs that represent her individualistic style. And so, from the beginning of the Krésha Bajaj journey, our brand has focussed on Bridal collections, with an emphasis on contemporary lehengas, sarees and shararas. The outfits from our Bridal collection are the perfect combination of traditional embroidery techniques and fresh silhouettes.”
Finally, we ask Kresha about any new surprises up her sleeve for the new decade and she reveals, “As a brand we are very excited about the upcoming year and we are looking to expand, be a part of a few more pop ups in other cities in India and even internationally. We will also be launching a new brand that is mid-level luxury, something women can see and experience as an everyday brand.”
We can’t wait to see more of the Kresha magic unfold. And we are sure you can’t wait either!
Travel notes, diving anecdotes and what’s on Kresha’s TRAVEL wish list
- A luxurious holiday for me is about spending time with my husband or family, unwinding and enjoying the finer things in life—and that could be anything from watching a sunset to scuba diving in the most remote part of the world.
- My husband Vanraj is my favourite travel companion—travelling with him is always adventurous, filled with lots of great food. From diving to zip lining, crazy food experiences and more: I have learned and experienced so much thanks to him!
- Travel for me is about collecting moments and discovering new cuisine, culture and also a little more about myself in that destination.
- The underwater world is a completely new world, everything is completely the opposite to our life on land where everyone’s rushing to the finish line. Underwater, there is no sense of time, we are there just to share that moment. I genuinely feel most at home underwater.
- Next on my wishlist includes the beautiful Komodo Islands in Indonesia.