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

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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Anju Modi, Nida Mahmood support fluid fashion

Six designers like Anju Modi and Nida Mahmood picked fluid fabric for their autumn-winter collections which they showcased

Designers are supporting fluid fabrics as the new fashion trend. IANS
Designers are supporting fluid fabrics as the new fashion trend. IANS
  • Designers are now supporting fluid fashion
  • The fluid fabrics are soft and natural
  • Six designers presented their new collection

Six designers like Anju Modi and Nida Mahmood picked fluid fabric for their autumn-winter collections which they showcased here.

Following a live performance, which was an ode to the six designers, models hit the ramp at the Amazon India Fashion Week Autumn-Winter 2018 on Friday in Anju Modi’s creations that were flexible and fluid.

Amit Thackeray's engagement with a Mumbai fashion Designer, Mitali Borude.
The designers are now using Liva fabrics. IANS

Her brand has been promoting sustainability in fashion so, it came as no surprise when she presented outfits made of nature-based Liva fabric. Flowy fabrics of Liva and draped silhouettes of this collection in ruby red, honey mustard and teal blue were a perfect combination of fashion and fluidity.

To take the audience closer to nature, the designer even used chopsticks as hair accessories. “My collection is called ‘Mystical Forest’. Chopsticks are made of wood so I thought of using them for the show,” Modi said after the show.

Eshaa Amiin then presented ‘Untamed Desert’. Her collection was a tribute to mysterious, free-spirited and powerful women. Again, the accessories caught the attention of many. The golden coloured chest length earrings, headgear and shades gelled with navy coloured anti-fit outfits that were well intertwined with mustard prints.

Also Read: Kareena Kapoor has a great sense of fashion, says designer Tanieya Khanuja

The instrumental music then gave way to Bollywood numbers like “Tamma tamma again” and “Hari om hari” to which models, who looked like an army of bunnies due to their masks, walked showcasing Nida Mahmood’s work on the runway. The oversized tops, tunics, skirts, kurtas and more looked like a spring-summer collection.

Designer Shruti Sancheti immersed the audience in the poetic fairy tales from the classic Russian folk legends through her collection. Layered styles were embroidered with traditional Eastern European cross-stitched patterns of traditional borders and timeless rosette sprays.

Gaurav Jai Gupta presented the ‘Upside Down’ range that referred to the alternate dimension existing parallel to the human world. “It is very futuristic,” he said about the collection that consisted of structured jackets, draped capes, shirt dresses and more in black and white with a touch of blue.

The collection which was presented by 6 designers was eye-catching and amazing.

Schulen Fernandes for Wendell Rodricks brought the ‘White Carpet’ on the ramp. The collection was all about sensual body-revealing pieces in white, embroidered in a ‘minimal baroque’ style. The temperature went up once the models sashayed down the ramp in the creations of Shivan and Narresh, best known for their bikini saris. Their collection, which had elements from Seychelles, captured the 17th century Edo Art aesthetic. The key ensembles featured signature prints against a colour palette of cherry reds, aqua blue, coco brown and powdery blue.

While women flaunted their perfect frame in pieces like tassel sari with bandeau blouse, one shoulder dress, cut-out trikini and skirt with crop top, men also looked ready for a holiday in swim shorts and robe with pyjamas. “We like to dress men of women whom we are dressing. They can be husbands or brothers. Women often come to us and say that their men look underdressed in front of them so it’s for them,” said Narresh. IANS