26 fashion designers and craftsmen have joined hands with the Ministry of Textile to celebrate the heritage and glory of Indian handlooms.
There are different strands to the story of the loom — from innovative fabric development and handloom preservation to sustainable fashion and craft revival. A group of 26 fashion designers and craftsmen have come together to celebrate the heritage and glory of Indian looms, in an initiative spearheaded by the minister of textile Smriti Zubin Irani.
At the curtain-raiser to ‘Textiles India 2017’ on Tuesday in the capital, the ramp showcased the strength of the Indian textiles sector in cotton, silk, wool, woven and hand-printed, embroidered as well as modern and futuristic textiles.
Highlighting Prime Minister Modi’s vision — ‘From Farm to Fibre, Fibre to Factory, Factory to Fashion, Fashion to Foreign, Irani said, “The textile sector in India has got huge potentiality in terms of employment opportunities. This initiative aims to introduce the rich heritage of textiles to top-of-the-line fashion fraternities of the world. The end result and finishing look for every garment starts right from the yarn stage. And it also provides a platform to rural artisans to showcase their talent. Like in this show, Chaman Premji shared the ramp with top-notch fashion designers of our country. Textile India 2017 will showcase more than 1,000 stalls from across the country.”
Eminent designers like Abraham and Thakore, Anita Dongre, Amit Aggarwal, Masaba Gupta, Madhu Jain, Manish Arora, Manish Malhotra, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Rahul Mishra, Ritu Kumar, Rohit Bal, Sanjay Garg, Sabyasachi, Samant Chauhan, Wendell Rodricks and Tarun Tahiliani are part of the initiative.
Designer Madhu Jain, who showcased Andhra double ikat work at the curtain-raiser, shares, “I am very proud to be associated with the textile ministry and initiatives taken by them, I believe it is all about being aware and then making the change in our choices. Making handloom popular and collaborations with designers will create trust in eco-labels and reduce the consumption of products that harm the environment like harmful dyes.”
Designer Ritu Kumar showcased a collection based on vibrant aesthetics of the Kutch region. Talking about her collection she says, “My inspiration has been drawn from the tie-dye fabrics from the desert region and the use of mica mirror-work with head embellishment, which is the signature of the region. The collection has been defined in black and red, with silver, giving it a contemporary twist.”
Lauding the Textiles India 2017 initiative, she said the need of the hour is to showcase art that is on the verge of extinction. “By bringing together a collection from all over the country under one roof, the art is receiving the spotlight that it deserves and hence is empowering the Indian handloom sector that is usually ignored. It is a wonderful initiative by the Ministry of Textiles that not only educates people but also encourages them to make handloom a part of their lives.”
Designer Rahul Mishra, who is known for working with the Indian craft community through sustainable design interventions, showcased a wool collection. Appreciating the initiative for aiming to reinvent indigenous crafts executed by handloom weavers through skill development, he says, “Nothing is more empowering about fashion than its ability to create new ecosystems, in which weavers can benefit from the global stage, and dignity of labour can be honoured.”