“Principal interest: The Marwen Foundation”
Sharma arrived in this country from India at age 15, and she spent many years “busy making a life, growing up in a family of first-generation Indian Americans who deeply valued education and success.”
After working for about 15 years as an analyst and consultant, Sharma decided “I wanted to use the other side of my brain — the artistic, creative side.” That led her to launching her own women’s clothing line three years ago (“even though I have no formal training as a designer”) and joining the board of the Marwen Foundation — which provides visual arts training, plus college planning and career development to underserved children from the inner city.
The Chicago resident, who recently chaired Marwen’s annual gala, said she is inspired by the people around her. “I am constantly amazed that almost everyone I know is involved with something that involves giving back,” she said. “It’s not done in a way that is ostentatious. It’s often done by people giving of their time and resources very quietly. I feel it is nice that it’s part of the culture here.”
… What should readers be excited to find in the SplashShop?
There are new items every week — I love that there’s such diversity. Right now I’m obsessed with the chic workwear by Shalini …
… The trend, which has long been popular on the bridal circuit, is crossing into the mainstream, as designers realize that sheer paneling on the décolletage seamlessly blends elegant and alluring. For the illusion to take full effect, keep the rest of the dress simple — think solid hues and sleek silhouettes. …
… Which items have been particularly popular among readers?
Our readers love work-to-party dresses by Shalini, a former executive who began designing two years ago. We also recently added a local costume jewelry line called T + J that has cool, affordable pieces that our readers are snapping up. And a perfume subscription service called Olfactif has proven quite popular. …
… my team is pulling together all of our favorite finds in the new SplashShop (Splashshop.suntimes.com). You’ll find pieces we love from designers like Shalini Sharma (the most stunning work-to-party dresses), …
“Putting the Chic in Chicago: Fashion Focus Spotlights Local Designers”
The Art of Fashion Runway Show returned for its 6th season presented by StyleChicago.com. This popular show featured 10 spring 2014 looks from 10 Chicago-based designers who included Maria Pinto, Calvin Tran, Eva Pazola, Borris Powell, Lily & Migs, Michelle Tan, Mark Roscoe, Hector-Javier MonArrez, Shalini Sharma and Shernett Swaby.
Recently I became a Shalini fan and client when my friend invited me to a Shalini Styles trunk show last month. I attended with no expectations, just to have fun and mingle with a few girlfriends. While I love jersey dresses, most are thin and a little too revealing for my body type. Shalini’s collection is far from the typical jersey dresses. Her collection is unique and reversible providing not just one but two pieces! To my surprise I loved the way her dresses and tunic tops complimented my figure. After hearing her journey to becoming a designer, SMITC just had to shine a spotlight on this sassy mom!
See InsideOut mentioned in Chicago Social Magazine in the article “Couture Comback” here is the link – pages 78 – picture of “The Ragini” and Page 80 – Couple of paragraphs about us.