Designs on You

Fashion design student Shubham Kumar wants to bridge the gap between rural and urban clothing

Written by Jagmeeta Thind Joy | Published: May 1, 2013 12:16:20 am

Fashion design student Shubham Kumar wants to bridge the gap between rural and urban clothing

Shubham Kumar is so soft-spoken that one has to bend forward to hear him. A final-year fashion design student at the city’s Inter-National Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD),Kumar is fresh from his debut at the recent Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Summer-Resort 2013,where he presented his collection “India Lives Here” in the “Gen Next” designer category. For someone who had designer Aki Narula as a mentor and won appreciation from the designer fraternity,Kumar remains grounded in his approach. “It was a very good launching pad but I want to look ahead at designing my next collection,” says the 21-year-old.

He grew up in a small village called Jalalpur,near Meerut in UP,but always aspired to be a designer. “My first fashion experience was in college in Meerut and,though my parents were unsure of my choice,there was no resistance,” he says. Though he’s shifted base to Chandigarh,it’s not surprising that for his LFW collection,Kumar went back to his roots for inspiration.

The collection,comprising seven ensembles,are made from handspun khadi and has contemporary silhouettes. “I wanted to make khadi chic and wearable for my generation. At the same time,I wanted to highlight the hard work and lifestyle of the villages in my clothes,” says Kumar. He has shot images of farmlands and workers in the fields and aesthetically used the digital images on his garments. With a colour palette that brings in earthy brown to grey,beige,black and white,the garments are mostly Indo-western in styling. Though he is a fan of designer Sabyasachi,Kumar’s collection has a style reminiscent of another designer,Rahul Mishra,who is well-known for his handlooms.

The collection stresses on the technique of pulling threads and creating beautiful patterns on the fabric. “It’s not a colourful collection but the weaves create the element of drama,” says Kumar,who wants to promote the use of handloom. Given the positive response to his collection — he claims to have been approached by buyers already — Kumar’s next will walk a similar line but explore Indian embroideries as well.

“It will be an Indo-western collection as well,and use handspun fabrics,” says Kumar,who is planning to open his own studio in Chandigarh.

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