Saturday July 20, 2019

Northeast designer eyes Milan, Paris after London Fashion Week

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New Delhi: She hails from Arunachal Pradesh, stays in Assam, and is making a headway internationally by showcasing the handloom prowess of culturally-rich northeastern India. After displaying her tribal creations with a modern twist in London, Yana Ngoba is now eyeing the runways of global fashion capitals Paris and Milan.

Ngoba presented her collection in collaboration with designer Nabam Aka, also from Arunachal Pradesh, as a part of the London Fashion Week’s off-schedule show Fashions Finest. And the 28-year-old is thrilled with the response.

“Our collection highlighted the northeast region’s handloom, especially the loin loom made in Mizoram, Manipur, Arunachal, Nagaland… even muga of Assam. We used them to create gowns, dresses, skirts and ornaments.

“People (in London) loved it. They couldn’t believe people in India could be so different,” Ngoba told IANS in a telephonic interview from Guwahati, where she is based now.

She said that the buyers associated Indian fashion with only saris. So they were pleasantly surprised when they saw her bright-coloured range of apparel in the form of gowns with slits or deep neck and skirts with jackets paired with accessories and ornaments made of bronze, silver, old Indian coins and bamboo canes.

“People in London asked me ‘Which country are you inspired by?’ I said ‘India’. So, they were confused. They said that they have always seen people wearing saris (in India). I said ‘No. We are from northeast India and have a different culture’.

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“We even showed pictures and videos on our culture. Most of the things were sold out. We also got orders in bulk,” said the designer, who has been in the industry for over a decade.

Ngoba, who had showcased her creations at another fashion week in Britain last year, now wants to explore other international markets.

“Milan Fashion Week is not yet confirmed. But I’ll make sure it is. It is a dream. Fashion comes from all the big cities like London, Milan and Paris; so we thought of hitting those ramps first,” she said.

A regular participant in northeast festivals in the country, she says Indian fashion weeks can wait as she would like to get a taste of the international platform first.

“When I see Indian fashion weeks, most of the fashion designers focus on international fashion… like evening wear or dresses. So, I thought that maybe we should do international fashion shows first,” she said.

People from northeast are considered to have a distinct sense of style and often, their fashion seems to be influenced by western trends.

“We get things mostly from Bangkok if they are not our traditional attire. If you notice, since our forefathers’ time, fashion has been important to us. They were always decked up from head to toe… be it headgear, ornaments or colourful clothes. That’s our personal style… something different from the rest of the world,” she said.

Any fashion picks from the northeast region?

“Maybe you can start with the jewellery pieces. The ones made with coins will go well with sari or salwars too,” said the designer, who wants to work with more weavers across the country.

(By Natalia Ningthoujam, IANS)

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Stop “Stereotyping” Northeast, States Hold Strong Cultural Harmony

Anungla Longumer, a writer-musician from Nagaland, explained how her state that has 14 different tribes, has massive ethnic diversities but comes together with a "common cultural ethos".

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Northeast is filled with diversities, shouldn't be stereotyped,pixabay

Writers and intellectuals from the northeast have said that the region is full of ethnic and linguistic diversity and urged the rest of the country to stop “stereotyping” the people living there as peripheral.

Noting that the northeastern states have a  but are marred by political conflicts, they claimed that the region can become “a great force” if the political ideologies match.

“The people of northeast are evolving while people from the rest of the country have a fixed image about us as a whole. Such stereotyping is often disturbing. People just lump us together and term all of us as the ‘northeasterns’,” Anjulika Samom, an independent journalist from Manipur said during a session at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet 2019 here.

north east India

Noting that the northeastern states have a  but are marred by political conflicts, they claimed that the region can become “a great force” if the political ideologies match.

Explaining the centre-periphery concept about the states, Dolly Kikon, a social anthropologist from Nagaland, said the region is conceived as peripheral due to policies made by the Central government and said such concepts should be questioned.

“The centre-periphery thing has its origin in the securitisation of the region and also the kind of policy that are made in Delhi. It has been built using a very colonial framework of remoteness. I think we need to question that,” she said.

Echoing her, Samom claimed that for the people living in those states, their habitat is the centre of their universe, while the other parts of the nation become peripheral.

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Echoing her, Samom claimed that for the people living in those states, their habitat is the centre of their universe, while the other parts of the nation become peripheral. pixabay

Also Read: Great Potential For Books In India: International Bestselling Authors

Anungla Longumer, a writer-musician from Nagaland, explained how her state that has 14 different tribes, has massive ethnic diversities but comes together with a “common cultural ethos”.

“On the ground we are very tolerant about our diversity. We identify and relate with each other. There are a lot of political conflicts in the region due to the ethnical diversity but at the ground level people are bound by a strong cultural ethos. The region can become a considerable force if it can come together in terms of common political ideologies,” she added. (IANS)