MEMBERS from the Textile Ministry, handloom industry and fashion fraternity converged at the Mahatama Mandir memorial and convention centre in Gandhinagar, as Textile India 2017 kicked off on Thursday. The event started with Evolution of Textiles of India, a fashion show, which narrated how our traditional weaves have evolved over the years. The show highlighted textiles from Manipur by Richana Khumanthem and by Chaman Siju from Kutch. Muga and Eri silk got their due in designs by Abraham and Thakore, Sanjay Garg presented Banarasi silks and Daniel Syiem showcased Meghalaya silks.
Anavila Misra, known for her work with organic cotton and her trademark linen saris experimented with linen and handiwork. “I have used zari embroidery for the embellishments, but everything was done on the loom. I have worked with textures, used Jamdani and linen with tie-and-dye,” said Misra. Amit Aggarwal showcased his longstanding sustainable idea of fashion with clothes made from recycled Patola saris strengthened by recycled industrial waste. “I have used patola silks in dark Indian colours and metallic hues, which can be attributed to recycled industrial waste. I presented two saris — one was a contemporary style, and the other was a half-lehenga dress,” said Delhi-based Aggarwal.
Jaspreet Chandok, Head of Fashion, IMG Reliance, the agency responsible for curating the show said, “The audience here is significantly different from the usual fashion weeks and shows — be it the foreign delegates or the buyers. We wanted to showcase the entire gamut of the Indian fashion scene — be it the craftsmen who weave Kutch kala cotton, or the top bridal designers of the country with their love for zardozi. Hence, the large array of designers. We hope the curation of the designers and the show tells that story and showcases the might of Indian textiles. We wanted experience and big names as well as innovation and experimentation,” says Chandok.
While day one witnessed a fashion spectacle, day two will see a show focussing on the Indian handloom story, with one segment featuring works of Rajesh Pratap Singh and Hemang Agrawal who have worked in collaboration with handloom clusters and weavers in Varanasi. Even retail brands like Biba will be part of the show.
As for the role mainstream fashion can play in pushing forward the textile sector, Aggarwal says, “For a very long time the fashion industry has been looking for a larger language in fashion. Events like these are global events, and they help with generating that language. As for the results, we have to wait and watch. At least we are moving in the right direction.”
Chandok, too, is optimistic, and says, “Every attempt that we make, it opens up conversations, and then what you do with them, how you leverage those ideas, is what is important. We have a significant number of new people participating, it will only help take fashion forward.”