Tuesday December 12, 2017

Banarasi weaves to be recreated by top designers at AIFW

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imageNew Delhi: Ace designers like Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Tarun Tahiliani and JJ Valaya among many others will be seen showcasing the modern age Banarasi weaves during the Grand Finale show of the Amazon India Fashion Week here.

The Grand Finale, hosted by Amazon India, curated to the theme of ‘The Banaras Project – Crafts of India’, aims to bring back the astonishing and spectacularly awe inspiring richness and heritage of Banaras.

As many as 16 designers will present three ensembles inspired by the iconic city in tones of blue, yellow, green, red, cream & black and tell their Banaras story using any one of these palettes.

“We are excited to revive the Banarasi weaves in line with the modern sensibilities of today’s consumer. The inspiration from the encouragement given by Shaina NC to take this forward with Amazon India’s consistent support has yielded us with the unique collections from our talented designers,” Sunil Sethi, president, FDCI, said in a statement.

“We are sure that our efforts in the grand celebration of Banarasi weaves will set new benchmarks for such concepts in the future,” he added.

Susan Saideman, vice president, global vendor management, Amazon, added that “Banaras has always been a source of inspiration for the fashion industry”.

“The versatility attached with these threads makes the textile as eclectic and elegant as one could dream of. From Banarasi drapes to opulent brocades and the handloom cotton and silk textiles, Banarasi weaves match up to the modern as well as the traditional fashion sensibilities, giving the talented creative minds – our designers – a broad area to play with,” she said.

The grand finale for the Summer Spring 2016 edition of the fashion gala will be hosted on October 11 at the NSIC Grounds here.

Some of the designers who will be presenting their collections on the ramp of Grand Finale at AIFW are Abhishek Gupta, Abraham & Thakore, Alpana & Neeraj, Anupama Dayal, Arjun Saluja, Ashish Soni, Atsu, Gauri & Nainika, Malini Ramani, Manish Arora, Namrata Joshipura, Rajesh Pratap and Rohit Gandhi.

(With inputs from IANS)

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‘Indian government should recognize fashion as a form of art’

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Photo: IANS

By Nivedita

The Indian government must appreciate the talent of fashion designers like the French government does, says Manish Arora, who at 43 has been conferred the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, the highest civilian award, by the French government.

Known for working with a riot of colors, psychedelic prints and for producing kitschy designs that have been loved the world over — sitarist Anoushka Shankar flaunted his creation at the 58th Grammy Awards ceremony — Arora has been in the designing profession for over 15 years.

Expressing his joy on the honor, Arora told IANS: “I am quite happy that the French could recognize somebody from India for this level in the field of fashion.

“I am the first Indian ever in the world of fashion and art to receive something like this and I am very happy. I hope that the Indian government should now recognize fashion as the form of art like the way French do.”

Last year, the French government also honored Indian designer Ritu Beri with Chevalier Des Arts et Des Lettres award, one of its highest civilian awards, for her contribution to the enrichment of Indo-French cultural relations.

Arora, who runs the Indian by Manish Arora brand, feels that the Indian government lacks when it comes to giving recognition to the fashion industry.

“Starting with the basic of the government’s recognizing fashion as serious business and then having specialized people who understand fashion to be involved in the government to make changes… Also, fashion designers are rarely recognized in any kind of ceremonies or awards in India. I think this needs to be changed,” he added.

With a steady international clientele that makes it a point to visit his stall at national fashion weeks, Arora’s international presence started with his successful debut at the London Fashion Week in September 2005. He later showed his creative prowess at platforms in Hong Kong and Miami.

In 2007, he showcased for the first time in Paris Fashion Week, eventually becoming a member of the distinguished French Federation of Pret-a-Porter in the same year. Now the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur is another feather to his cap.

Looking back at his journey, Arora, whose connect with France was also strengthened by his appointment as the creative director for iconic French fashion house Paco Robanne in 2011, said: “I always think that it’s just a beginning.”

“I never feel that I am working. I am one of those who is following his dreams in the form of a job. Not everybody in the world gets the chance to follow their dreams, and I am glad I found my belongings… I feel as if I am on holiday.”

However, being among the first Indians to show internationally had its own pros and cons when he had started, Arora said.

“Starting in London, and then in Paris, was not that easy for me because you never had anybody else to take as an example. You had to make your own path, which comes with making a lot of mistakes, but then it also makes you more original and real because you have nobody else to look up to. So I am very glad with how my career shaped up,” said Arora, whose designs are flaunted by the likes of international fashion icons like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Nicki Minaj.

While he is happy with the evolution of the Indian fashion industry on the global map, he feels the country’s designers still have a long way to go. A solution, he said, lies in the fact that “it is great to use India, but you need to modernize India”.

“You don’t need to westernize, but you need to modernize India and Indian techniques of weaving or textiles to be at par with international level,” added the designer, who has even worked in collaboration with brands such as Walt Disney, Swarvoski, Swatch, Reebok, Barbie, Mono Prix, Nespresso, Nivea, MAC Cosmetics, Pommery and Amrapali among others. (IANS)

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AIFW 2016: Aiming to take ‘Made in India’ a notch higher

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New Delhi: Indian designers, in tandem with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make In India’ initiative and aiming to promote ‘Made In India’ fashion globally, will present at the Amazon India Fashion Week (AIFW) Spring-Summer 2016 a gamut of creations using Indian textiles, weaves, crafts and embroidery. The five-day gala begins here on Wednesday.

To be held at NSIC Ground here at Okhla, not only will the opening show by designer Sanjay Garg of brand Raw Mango give a glimpse of contemporary innovation around Mashru textile, the finale show, hosted by Amazon India, will explore creativity around weaves from Banaras.

The finale show aims to bring back the richness and heritage of Banaras and will see 16 designers — including Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Tarun Tahiliani, JJ Valaya, Abhishek Gupta, Abraham & Thakore, Ashish Soni, Manish Arora and Rajesh Pratap Singh — presenting three ensembles each.

picture credit: #AIFWSS16
picture credit: FDCI

According to Sunil Sethi, president, Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) — the country’s apex fashion body and organiser of the bi-annual AIFW — India is a huge market for designers, and so, the ‘Made in India’ brand is something that should be focussed on.

“We have realised that there is a majority of designers for whom India is a main market. Gone is the aspiration when everybody thought that unless they are not displayed in the best of stores internationally, they won’t arrive.

“The ‘Made in India’ brand is something that I have personally started from the beginning of my career, and we are very happy with Indian designers promoting Indian arts and crafts,” Sethi said.

Designer Samant Chauhan, who is known in the Indian and global fashion market for revolutionising the delicate Bhagalpuri silk, also feels that there are many designers who are promoting India on an international level.

It’s a good change, said Chauhan, and added: “A lot of designers are closely working with traditional craft and weavers. Even we are working on such concepts and use fashion week as a platform for the promotion of textiles.”

In all, 115 designers are taking part at the fashion week this time. In terms of business, FDCI is expecting yet another successful year by attracting key buyers from across the globe

“Both Indian and international buyers are coming this season too like always. I believe that FDCI has become the ‘Mecca’ of fashion. Orders are written irrespective of the change of venue (initially the fashion week was staged at Pragati Maidan) and buyers will still come because it is a must for them,” Sethi said.

Some other highlights of the event are internationally acclaimed Indian designer Rahul Mishra’s installation from his Paris Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2016 collection on October 11 at the French embassy; and that apart, FDCI is also paying a tribute to late fashion photographer Prabuddha Dasgupta with an exhibition.

There will also be a three-day programme of ‘Fashion Forward’ talks from Thursday. These will explore design processes, taking up uniquely Indian aesthetics and juxtaposing them in the international context. Meanwhile, designer duo Shivan and Narresh will be showcasing their creations at an offsite show at the Imperial Hotel here.

 

(Nivedita, IANS)