Designer Amit Aggarwal, whose creations are worn by the likes of Kajol, Sonakshi Sinha and Sonali Bendre, says sustainability is the way to take fashion to a new level and textile is at the heart of it. “Sustainability is the future and textile is at the heart of it,” he told IANS on the sidelines of Textiles India 2017. “It is the Textiles India show that encourages the country’s leading designers to reach out to the weavers, craftsmen and artisans and encourage their skills to present garments that are relevant to modern times,” he added.
Textiles India 2017, held from June 30-July 2, is positioned as the first ever global B2B textiles event in India. It brings to the fore the inspiring vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – “From Farm to Fibre, Fibre to Factory, Factory to Fashion, Fashion to Foreign Exports”. Textiles India aims to showcase the strength of the value chain in India.
Talking about how important such shows are for the betterment of the fashion and crafts industry, Aggarwal said: “Indian textiles come from our heritage. The huge subcontinent has a very diverse variety of weaves reflecting our culture, craft and skills.” “Some of these dying heirloom techniques, which are so unique to the world, need support from the fashion industry to sustain. The Textiles India show is a very important event to revive and promote traditional Indian textiles by bringing them into mainstream fashion.”
As part of the exhibition, two shows are curated and produced by IMG Reliance Industries Ltd. The first one was Evolution of Textiles of India. The vision of the show was to present a compelling story of the textiles of India, focussing on innovations in craft and design.
Said to be the largest curated presentation of Indian textiles on the runway, it unfolded the story of growth and development of the Indian textiles sector and its transformation to become a global power. Another show is the Indian Handloom Show and the vision of the show is to present a story of the India Handloom brand initiative launched by Modi on National Handloom Day in 2015.
Talking about his designs, the designer, who showcased his collection on Friday, said: “This year, I was particularly proud to showcase our couture line as we have extended our sustainable design philosophies into it.” “This collection derived inspiration from several unusable, unclaimed pieces of heritage that seem to have lost their original purpose. The focus will be on pre-owned Patola saris that we have sourced and restored. The vintage textile is fortified with man-made yarns and moulded into relevant runway designs; thus extending its lifespan,” he said.
Asked how he plans to promote textiles with his collection, he said: “I draw inspiration from our rich heritage crafts and blend it into our eclectic present. I believe we exist in a world where product life cycle can be extended through responsible design ethics.
“This frayed textile that is unusable as a sari becomes more meaningful by changing its application. Hence, it may evoke new feelings and express new values. I have shown this collection in Paris and it has been loved by people all over the world so, I have already begun the process.”
Are the consumers ready for sustainable fashion? He said: “Designers have always understood the importance of textiles. But I feel, for the consumers, it’s more about the garment as a whole – the textile, design, colour, fit and feel. “Having said that, consumers today are more aware about textiles and sustainability. The market is shifting towards classic styles as opposed to seasonal trends from fast-fashion.”