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Savoir Faire

Sep/02/2023 / by Abhijit Masih

Falguni Peacock is a leading luxury couture designer and cofounder of the global powerhouse Falguni Shane Peacock, a brand that pushed boundaries of fashion worldwide.

Walking a fine line between the rich heritage of India and International sensibilities, Falguni Peacock has dressed Hollywood stars, icons of music, Bollywood celebrities, and countless brides. 

Falguni Peacock, co-founder and CEO of the global luxury design house Falguni Shane Peacock, has presented at Fashion Weeks all over the world including shows in Miami, New York, London, and Los Angeles. A favorite within the entertainment industry, her intricate designs have been worn at high-profile events such as the Cannes Film Festival, Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, and many more. 

The global brand is the creative offspring of the designer-duo—Falguni and Shane who share a passion for fashion and a keen eye for creativity. Beginning their journey in the vibrant streets of India to the glamorous fashion runways of the world, the couple has stamped their authority through creations that have transcended boundaries. 

Creative Coupling

The bustling city of Mumbai has given shape to many dreams, making celebrities out of regular people with a passion. In less than twenty years, against the backdrop of the skyscrapers and glittering lights, it has witnessed and fulfilled the dreams of a designer who is now known the world over through the brand she co-founded with her husband. Falguni and Shane had met during their college years. Despite the difference in backgrounds and personalities, they found a common ground in their love for fashion. Falguni recalls how the passion for fashion and art brought the two together. “I used to paint a lot at that time and he was designing a collection,” she says. “We met through a common friend. We started working together.”

What began as work would soon turn into something more special, with a little nudge from Falguni’s mother. “Before we could realize we were working so much together. He would come home and my mom just told him, ‘You guys just go out.’ And yes, within a year and a half we got engaged, and then we got married.” It was a marriage of not just two artistic individuals but it also brought their independent brands together. “There was no point having two different brands. We decided, why not just work together? Have a brand together. Work for it together,” explained Falguni. 

Triumphant Validation

While Falguni was dreaming up intricate designs, her husband—Shane was meticulously bringing those designs to life by his impeccable craftsmanship. “At the India Fashion Week in 2004-2005, we were fairly new, really young,” she says. There had been months of dedicated hard work leading up to India’s most prominent fashion extravaganza. Falguni poured her heart into the new collection. Every stitch, every bead, and every embellishment carried a piece of her soul. The hard work paid off. The designer recalls the first moment of recognition and triumph. “The most amazing moment was when we got approached by Harrods, and they said that we wanna buy the entire collection. We were kids back then and we were so excited.” The resounding success gave them the courage to spread their wings. “Then we just started getting more and more into it. And we thought; why not show at international fashion weeks? That’s how the journey kicked off,” said the Indian-rooted designer with a global footprint.   

Husband-Wife Tag Team

Doing business with your spouse as a partner can be a blessing, but keeping it from becoming a curse can be tricky, especially when it’s a creative concern. For the couple, the journey to success must have been fraught with disagreements, misunderstanding and the urge to vent frustrations at each other. Falguni shares the secret of their long and unhindered relationship—both personally and professionally. “I feel if you understand each other, don’t have misunderstandings unnecessarily, and let go of a lot of things,” she reckons has helped them navigate the ebbs and flows. 

“With me and Shane, we always found a midway to everything. There are times when he’s stubborn. Then I would give way to things, and then there are times when I feel very strongly about things, and he understands me. It’s not about marriage, it’s about being best friends in a marriage,” she adds. Knowing when to stop and their unwavering friendship has perhaps helped them face rejections and setbacks together, yet be resilient to produce creations that are innovative and unique. 

Designing for global superstars

Understanding each other and avoiding the trigger points for each other has been an integral ingredient for the success of the brand. Their designs quickly gained attention from fashion enthusiasts, media and celebrities. With every new collection, Falguni continued to push boundaries which soon got International recognition. “Its super exciting,” admits the designer on being approached by Bollywood and International celebrities which include global associations with stars like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Nicky Minaj, Taylor Swift and many more. “When we work on outfits, it’s really exciting, it’s sort of a validation to everything that we are doing when you get chosen to be worn. It’s a very amazing feeling,” she adds. Falguni in her experience feels a certain freedom when designing for international stars. “We can really work on edgy outfits and in terms of styling; they allow us to work on our creativity and are open to different ideas.  Like, when we designed for Fergie for the Fifa World Cup, that was one of the first outfits we had done for an international musician. We were just given a brief – It has to look edgy and these are the few colors you gotta work with,” she said.

Dressing Queen B

The one line brief from Beyonce was short and simple—‘Do something in gold, make it artistic and think out of the box.’ Falguni recalls the moment and considers designing for the ‘Crazy in Love’ singer as one of the most cherished experiences. “Till date I get super excited talking about it, because of how nervous I was and excited. The outfit was so large and it just broke the Internet. Then we got a call from the Boston Museum requesting the dress for the museum. We called up Beyonce’s team and they said – No, this dress is going to be with her. She loves it so much.”

Finding inspiration

The rule-breaking approach has propelled their Indian-rooted creations into a global spotlight, adorning runways, red carpets, and even rock ‘n’ roll icons. Falguni has emerged as a trailblazer, forging an international brand alongside her husband Shane. The enduring success of their brand lies in the art of reinvention. Both draw inspiration from a common love—music. “Both of us are really musically inclined. Our morning starts with music. It just takes us away from reality.  It is quite stressful, each time trying to create something better and making sure it is better than the last one,” she explains the role of music as an inspiration and release. Dressing up a few of their favorite singers has been an added bonus. “When we were growing up, we would listen to Ozzy Osbourne, Shane’s favorite and when we dressed him for the video; it was like a dream come true. Then we did Britney’s video. It was fun working on something which can let your creativity flow and that is when you really feel that you are in a dream world.”

Bridal Buying Behavior 

The secret of Falguni and Shane—the dynamic designer duo—and their brand is the attention to detail and the unique styling that is put in each of their garments. Falguni feels that the taste for bridal couture is common and the buying behavior is quite similar around the world. “It’s just that in India we have lots of occasions like – the Pujas, Mehendi, Haldi, Sangeet and lots of other functions. Whereas internationally, I’ve noticed that brides have few functions, but overall the mindset is the same. The kind of embellishments, detail and perfection they want in weddings, is the same,” she says. 

Insight into Bridal Trends 

“I feel like bridal trends come and go,” says the designer who encourages her brides to not be shy in outshining everybody else on their big day. On the question of the current trends in bridal wear she said, “I feel that red is the true symbolic color of a marriage. It just looks so beautiful on brides.” She is also mindful and respects the shift from the regular red to more unconventional choices. “A lot of them are opting for blush pink on ivory. A lot of them want to do red, but they want to do it for their Sangeet. So there’s a little bit of a shift in the way brides are thinking,” she added. Luckily, the range of colors and styles can be accommodated in the various functions that are part of a South Asian wedding. While Falguni understands the desire for a wide color palette, her recommendation is a mix of glamor and practicality. “Though they want to look a bit different, classic outfits are really recommended, because post the wedding, you don’t want to wear the same look again and again. So I would prefer a more classic silhouette. I tell my brides that even after one year when you get it out, it should look current.” 

Future of Fashion

The success of a fashion house lies in the art of reinvention, the fluidity in adapting to the ever-evolving fashion landscape. This requires an uncanny ability to foresee the future, a trait that has helped Falguni and her brand in good stead. According to her, fashion is cruising towards consciousness. “There was a phase where people would not repeat their outfits. And now I think people are getting conscious about it which is such a good thing. We need to get sustainable,” she said. But the awareness for sustainability shouldn’t mean the stalling of style. “Fashion is at a point where everyone’s putting an effort to look good, to up their fashion game, which is so good. It’s getting better and the way people are putting things together, even if they’re repeating a jacket, the way they are making it look new, is interesting to see.” To be relevant and to remain current necessitates the need for innovation, feels the designer who will be returning to the New York Fashion Week this month.

NYFW – 2.0

This will not be the first outing for Falguni Shane Peacock at the NYFW. The brand had showcased their line for 10 seasons until their last show in Fall/Winter 2015. Falguni gave a cautious sneak peek of what to expect. “It’s so exciting. The collection is street-couture. We wanna bring couture to the streets. What better way to do it than do it at Fashion Week,” she revealed. Tapping into the current trends and sticking to her futuristic vision, Falguni is targeting Gen Z and Millennials. “Currently, they are into this new trend of having a little bit of embroidery, upping their fashion game with an accessory, keeping the silhouette minimal, but doing it with a difference,” she says. Not giving too much away, however there was an inference of embroidered boots and jackets. 

Like in the past, with every new collection, Falguni continues to push boundaries and redefine fashion norms. She blends the past and the present, tradition and modernity, seamlessly creating garments that celebrate diversity and self-expression. Falguni Peacock continues to rise, becoming a global phenomenon that symbolizes creativity, innovation, and the power of collaboration. 

Quick Fire with Falguni

Describe your designs – Global, edgy, and futuristic.

What makes a Falguni Shane Peacock bride different – We have a different language to create bridal wear. It’s memorable. It’s unique. It’s comfortable. 

A celebrity in your dress that represents you best – Beyonce.

Celebrity you would love to see in one of your outfits – If I was at that age, I would love to dress Coco Chanel or Audrey Hepburn.  It would have been an amazing feeling.

Your favorite kind of outfit – A beautiful cut suit 

Your favorite kind of client – Who trusts me, who believes that we can do an amazing outfit for her.

If you were to be dressed by another designer – Maria Graziano. She’s a very inspiring woman. I really look up to her.

One thing common in all your designs – Every outfit that goes out of our studio has that little bit of a sweet prayer.

How would you dress mature women – We are designing for mature women as well. I would say whether you’re young or mature, it’s just a mindset. You can wear what you like as long as you can carry it off.

Shane on Falguni

How easy is the communication between Falguni and Shane? 

I think the crazy thing between Falguni and myself is that we’re always speaking each other’s minds. I’ll ask her a question and she’ll say, “Shane, I was just going to ask you this.” I think that’s the crazy connection we have between us. 

What do you admire most about Falguni the life partner?

As a life partner, she’s very grounded, and there’s a lot of peace and harmony. That’s what I really like. 

What do you admire most about Falguni as a business partner?

When I need someone to step up and tell me what’s right and wrong, in a nice way. She’ll calls a spade a spade, with no filter on it. At the same time making sure I don’t get hurt or I don’t feel bad about it.

How do you feel about returning to NYFW?

We’re really excited because this is a comeback. It’s called 2.0 so this is technically a second beginning. We’re putting each and every effort to make sure this is a successful one, and a great start for us to show the coming season.

PQ Suggestions

“Before we could realize we were working so much together. He would come home and my mom just told him, ‘You guys just go out.”

“We decided, why not just work together? Have a brand together. Work for it together.”

“The most amazing moment was when we got approached by Harrods, and they said that we wanna buy the entire collection. We were kids back then and we were so excited.”

“When we work on outfits, it’s really exciting, it’s sort of a validation to everything that we are doing when you get chosen to be worn. It’s a very amazing feeling.”

“We designed for Fergie for the FIFA World Cup, that was one of the first outfits we had done for an international musician.”

“It is quite stressful, each time trying to create something better and making sure it is better than the last one.”

“In India we have lots of occasions like—the Pujas, Mehendi, Haldi, Sangeet, and lots of other functions. Whereas internationally, I’ve noticed that brides have few functions, but overall the mindset is the same. The kind of embellishments, detail and perfection they want in weddings, is the same.”

“We wanna bring couture to the streets. What better way to do it than do it at Fashion Week.”