A WOKING designer is poised to expand her business after a successful first appearance at London Fashion Week.

Vaishali has developed a reputation for timeless elegance with a contemporary twist, producing special occasion and bridal outfits through her label Vz Perfection. She provides a home service for clients looking for anything from a wedding dress to a prom gown or a work suit, and her designs can be seen at the weekly craft market in Mercia Walk, where she has had a stand for the past 14 years.

The designer studied at Guildford College after moving to Woking from India 18 years ago.

In June this year, Vaishali was called by her former tutor, Sam Jones, inviting her to showcase her work at London Fashion Week.

She accepted immediately and, at the show last month, presented her Dragonflies collection with hand-printed images of the insects embroidered on to garments created from silk and infused with Georgette and Chiffon.

Vaishali said that dragonflies are a symbol of strength, hope and change, especially for women.

“Fashion to me, is an expression of personality. I wanted to celebrate the way I am and create garments I would wear – something new but classic, for all ages, which could not be found in the high street.

“As I worked on my collection, it felt more about the empowerment of women, of self-discovery and growing confidence – not just for me.”

Vaishali is a strong advocate for sustainability and Fairtrade and uses ethically-sourced natural fabrics.

Vaishali took 16 outfits to London Fashion Week and stuck to her theme of practical clothes that can be worn by women of all sizes.

“London Fashion Week was overwhelming. There were seven designers and initially I was number four. But when they saw my ‘showstopper’ outfit, I was moved to last place because they said ‘we can’t show anything after this’.”

One of the highlights for Vaishali was having her designs modeled by broadcaster Charlie Webster, who is a friend of the designer and her IT account manager husband Kishore.

Designers have to be invited to London Fashion Week and the organisers have indicated that Vaishali will be back next year. “I also hope to go to Milan, but Woking is what has made me and where most of my customers are and I want to be recognized by the local community,” she said.

For the full story get the 10 October edition of the News & Mail