Priyal Dhaddha’s acquaintance with fashion design began with outfit sketches she made for herself as a child.

Growing up, Priyal Dhaddha was surrounded by beauty. Her grandmother Hemlata had a penchant for handloom sarees, and her grandfather Gyanji was a jewellery collector who had a deep connection with the artisanal heritage of the country.

Dhaddha’s brand Hemji, launched in 2021, is an ode to her grandmother who had a wonderful sense of fashion. When she was a child, Dhaddha would accompany her grandmother to local markets to shop for fabrics. She exuded confidence in her textile selections, fascinating a younger Dhaddha.

Priyal Dhaddha’s acquaintance with fashion design began with outfit sketches she made for herself as a child. At the age of 10, she decided that she would become a fashion designer, while engaging in school activities that revolved around creating, mending and upcycling. A few years later, Dhaddha moved to London to study at the Istituto Marangoni.

Now, Dhaddha lives in Jaipur, the city she was born and brought up in. That’s also where her studio is, where she works with six karigars and one tailor. Dhaddha’s creative process starts with her engaging in the simple exercise of doodling and sketching whatever flows through her mind. This is followed by time spent with artisans who refine those rough sketches and trace the embroidery designs onto khakhas (a type of butter paper). When an A4 sample is ready, Dhaddha and her tailor decide on silhouettes and fabrics that can be used.

The influence of Dhaddha’s growing up years is quite evident in the clothes that she makes now. Case in point: the gemstones that feature prominently throughout her designs. Being raised in a jeweller’s family, she was always fascinated by precious stones. She believes that gemstones redefine luxury by adding a touch of the royal with the traditional. The choice for a gemstone in a particular garment is a creative decision. Besides that, Dhaddha also believes in incorporating the cosmic through the energies of the gemstones, whether that’s through a rose quartz for love or a blue topaz for the oceanic.

Since the launch of Hemji, there have been two collections. Savannah, the first collection, revolved around the four natural elements—air, water, earth and sun—across its colours, silhouettes and feel. The second collection, Senso (Japanese for war), was inspired by the feeling of being powerful, for oneself and the other.

Dhaddha’s clothes don’t like to be restricted by rules, they yearn for experimentation at the hands of the wearer. According to the designer, Hemji’s clothing, in the form of her overlay pieces in particular, are like modern heirlooms that can be reworn and restyled in multiple ways. The orientation for keepsakes has been close to her heart, for it is something that she would like to pass on to her children too.

Dhaddha recognises that a brand like Hemji caters to a niche and therefore requires patience. She believes in a garment-making that is slow, limited and conscious, one that is based on the sentimental nature of keepsakes. As she works on her third collection, Dhaddha likes to keep the envisioning open, working on what she feels like for a particular season and focusing on what speaks to her. “You can’t force creativity…I’d rather enjoy the process, the journey of creating masterpieces and focus on something that lasts and can be passed down to generations. And that takes time,” said the designer.


prim and proper

Ladylike and classy; elegant yet flirty. Hemji's designs are an ode to glamour that can be slipped with unbridled ease.

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