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

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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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Get quirky with your shoes

Floral prints on the shoe have always been popular amongst the audiences

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Hand block printing on textile is an art form that has been doing the rounds since ages. Wikimedia Commons
Hand block printing on textile is an art form that has been doing the rounds since ages. Wikimedia Commons

Love all the superheroes and the characters from the hit show “Game of Thrones”? Well, then you can show your love through your shoes, say experts.

Saket Agarwal from Lazy Jojo and Shreyasi Pathak from Vajor, list some trends.

Jon Snow shoes: Characters from the “Game of Thrones” on your shoes is a cool idea. In the year where there is no new season for the show, you can let the world know that you are a fan through your shoes. Printed canvas shoes go really well with cargo pants and a plain tee.

*Superheroes and super-villains: Iron Man, Thanos, Thor, Spider-Man, Captain America, Hulk, Loki and Wonder Woman are in trend when it comes to getting the prints done on shoes.

Also Read: 5 Health Tips To Prepare Yourself For Onset Of Summer

* Block prints: Hand block printing on textile is an art form that has been doing the rounds since ages.

It is something that is classy and evergreen and is one of the strongest trends. Pair them with a solid coloured suit.

* Quirky graphic prints: Graphics on your attire spice it up all the more as they add an appealing factor.

Graphics on your attire spice it up all the more as they add an appealing factor. Wikimedia Commons
Graphics on your attire spice it up all the more as they add an appealing factor. Wikimedia Commons

* Floral prints: Floral prints have always been popular amongst the audiences. They are no longer synonymous with the ditsy fabrics of summer fashion because, for autumn/winter, one can try dark shades.

* Print-on: It is another trend that simply lends more authenticity to the significance of prints in the fashion world. (IANS)

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