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Tribal Twist to the Weave

Designer Atsu Sekhose’s latest collection of evening wear blends in his Nagaland influences with Hollywood glamour

Written by VIDYA PRABHU | Published: July 15, 2013 5:43:43 am

For someone who was born and raised in Nagaland,it is perhaps not surprising that Atsu Sekhose is always keen to visit his home state and seek inspiration from it for his collections. But the designer,who shot to fame in a short period of time and is already a favourite in the glamour industry admits to not having enough time to do so. So when the Delhi-based designer visited Dimapur and Kohima last November — just before he was due to start working on his line for Autumn/ Winter 2013-14 — he made the most of the opportunity. “Since I have an indepth understanding of Naga clothing,I have been working with the locals who handweave Naga fabrics — including traditional wool and silk — for me. I then craft contemporary ensembles from these fabrics,” he says.

Sekhose belongs to a posse of designers who believe in celebrating modernity and yet staying rooted in tradition. In fact,his latest collection reiterates this as he has designed western wear ensembles using Naga fabrics. “My label is known for its western wear,so it made sense for me to stick to my strengths. At the same time,I wanted to delve into my roots and come up with something unique,” he explains,adding that he didn’t showcase this line at Delhi’s Wills India Fashion Week due to prior commitments.

What’s also interesting about the collection is that it scores high on Hollywood glamour from the ’20s and ’40s. “I have always been fascinated by that era,particularly the way American women looked in the movies of that time. These influences,combined with intricate embroidery and a Naga colour palate of black,red and white,sum up my new line,” Sekhose says.

The Naga stamp notwithstanding,this National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) graduate — who started his career by assisting couturier Tarun Tahiliani,before setting up his own label back in 2006 — has imbued the collection with a universal appeal. “Other than silhouettes which range from dresses and gowns to jackets,we have reinterpreted some of the tribal prints as urban graphics. Besides,I have also used other fabrics such as heavy silks,wool,satin and georgettes,” reveals Sekhose. “My cocktail collection has done very well — especially in the Middle East,” he says.

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