Indian Designers are Unveiling Talents on International Platforms

We have seen last year in Milan Fashion week the beautifully orchestral designs print representing Indian culture on known International fashion designers collection, which was heavily influenced by Indian culture.

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By Karan Arora


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Design plays a vital role in introducing own culture in the foreign territory and exchange of culture nowadays is the symbol of globalized world. Where every human race wanted to co-exist together and the requirement of time is for designers to have a certain kind of character for its existence and carrying characterised aesthetic brings the element of monopoly and newness in overseas market which makes the businesses sail through very easily.

We have seen last year in Milan Fashion week the beautifully orchestral designs print representing Indian culture on known International fashion designers collection, which was heavily influenced by Indian culture. But something was missing and that was home grown fashion designers on the international stage. Since few years we are seeing very few Designers showcasing their collections in Milan or Paris Fashion week.

What is causing our own Indian designers reluctant to represent their country in Mega fashion events across the world, the best answer's would be lack of motivational support from Fashion fraternity and government, also sales plays important role in motivating designers interest to go global, but even in one of the India's most prestigious "Lakme Fashion week" where 95% sales recorded are from domestic market while only 5% sales are from international market.

Although apart from these vital factors home-grown designers are eager to go International with their beautiful label craze of going international is mostly among the young and ambitious designers. However, they are facing significant challenges of competing in a global market because of the deadlines and higher demands and quantity of clothing. The Indian fashion industry is known in the world for its extremely premium stitched pieces. However, this high quality often comes with a price – a slower output of clothing made, and intercontinental markets demand more clothes quickly. It is not known if Indian fashion designers will be able to confirm to the international fashion industries but seeing their potentiality and will one can really judge they have ability to strive and bring home laurels of being global designer.

Also seeing the way " Bollywood inspired dress" entered pan world network creates stir in the minds of Indian designers, also going global can help our crisis torn textile industry in it's revival for example Craft has to move forward and new designs have to come in. People from Bengal like Bapa, who single handled almost transformed the Purulia village, along with little bit of intervention, input and marketing, supported by the government and independent artists, added a spark to the phenomenon of this transformation. India's cultural diversity is feasibly best reflected in its handloom textile variations. From Patola and Mashru in Gujarat, Gulbadan in West Bengal and Saktapar in Orissa, Chettinad and Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu to Narayanpet and Pochampalli in Andhra Pradesh, for thousands of year's handloom weavers have created a drapery of designs and textures that have been the pride of India in the world.

Handmade fashion often starts with fabrics that are handcrafted using traditional knitting techniques. Not only are there hundreds of traditional weaving and forthcoming techniques for creating handmade textile, many modern designers are combining hand weaving techniques and fibres to create even more unique, sustainable threads for eco fashion. The technique involves the study of the nature of work and how the particular craft has evolved over the period of time to develop the design that fits well in the framework of that craft.

But today, much of this treasure is lost to time and to the developments in technology. This means not only loss of skills but loss of livelihood for millions of weavers for whom weaving is a way of life. Creating markets is basic for the survival of handlooms. For example, Chirala formerly known as "Kshirapuri' (Sea like Milk) was renamed as CHIRALA (CHIRA means saree) after it became synonymous with the produce of that area. The sudden fall of handlooms market in Chirala, Andhra Pradesh, situated on the Bay of Bengal during the year 2000-2003, is a good example of market failure.

Traditionally there were two types of markets in Chirala, first was the export market to the Gulf countries, and second, the local market for the ordinary people who wore the fabric manufactured in Chirala every day. Both markets fell due to the sudden shift of demand. This was mostly due to certain dominant factors, like, in the case of the huge local market, people moved away from the hand-made textiles to the inexpensive power loom-produced synthetic varieties. In the Chirala area handloom industry was famous since times age-old, for producing variability in fabrics which carried name and eminence to the nation as well as to this area. Even before the industrial revolution took place in the west, the rural artisan weaver of this area did an amazing work of producing "7 yards of saree in a match box', which reflected extreme brilliance in the art of weaving, unmatched skill and the talent of the handloom weavers of this area.

There was about 60,000 handloom weaver population at Chirala during those time but presently 20,000 to 25,000 weavers are active. These 20 to 25 thousand weavers are presently working on about 18 thousand looms. In addition there are fifteen yarn traders, 25 to 30 dyers, 6 designers and card makers using CAD system, and 50 to 70 hand work designers. The annual turnover of this cluster is presently estimated around 100 to 120 crores. Currently, the Chirala Cluster possesses all the contemporary amenities like weaving, machinery natural dyeing and processing to make it huge on the export front and continue its strong repute as a foremost superiority handloom production centre from India. The consecutive growth of this region after the sudden fall presents a scenario which determines how handloom and promotion of handcrafted textiles/design can transform the fate of weavers depended on this for their livelihood and further promotion of the textile industry in India.

Karan Arora

The bespoke craftsmanship

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