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(Exclusive) How’s the Josh? Indian fashion designers say, High!

In less than 25 days, some 25 designers have staged big-ticket shows in multiple cities, highlighting Indian textiles and handlooms. By Karan Bhardwaj


Designers Rahul Mishra, Aneeth Arora, Rajesh Pratap Singh & FDCI chief Sunil Sethi honoured at a national conclave organised by the Ministry of Textiles

The beginning of the new year appears to be the best since many seasons for the Indian fashion fraternity. In less than 25 days, some 25 designers have staged big-ticket shows in multiple cities, highlighting Indian textiles and handlooms. The reason behind this sudden josh in the fashion world is an unprecedented push by the Ministry of Textiles, which seems to have finally recognised potential of its alliance with the designers. Not only it brings glamour, media attention, boosts business opportunities but it also gives due exposure and prospects to artisans and craftsmen who have been struggling to preserve their craft.

Led by Smriti Irani, the ministry has organised multiple fashion shows, award evenings and conclaves in different cities. After Delhi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad shows, we hear there will be another event in the National Capital, a joint initiative of the Ministry of Textiles, Fashion Design Council of India, Government of Gujarat and World Bank. has learnt that more than 15 designers are participating in this show, and they will be creating silhouettes using fabrics from South Asian nations such as Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and India. Participating designers include Suneet Varma, Payal Pratap Singh and others.

Another initiative is under way, spearheaded by Development Commissioner, Handloom, led by the Textiles Ministry. The DC, Handloom, has invited over 25 designers to help various clusters of weavers to improve their designs. These clusters are from all over India. “Designers are supposed to go and meet weavers, guide them and help them to create new contemporary designs according to the market requirements,” said a source close to the development, adding that the financial aid granted to the designers and weavers have been increased significantly. Samant Chauhan, who worked with one such cluster from Bhagalpur last year, said, “It’s a great experience to work with weavers on this project. I have participated in many training programmes. The fact that new technology is also being introduced to help weavers promise a better future for the coming generations.”



Textile designer Madhu Jain honoured by minister Smriti Irani

A while back, the entire buzz began with a unique fashion event titled ‘Artisan Speak’ that took place in the premise of the Red Fort. It was organised by the Textile Ministry with the support of the FDCI. Held in the surreal setting of the Sawan Pavilion and Zafar Mahal, couturiers Rohit Bal, Anju Modi, Rahul Mishra, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Gaurang Shah and Anita Dongra showcased handloom collections while prolific individuals such as Sunil Sethi, Madhu Jain, Suresh Kotak, Kiran D. Malali, Ramesh Devangan, Vijaya Kumar and Mani Chinnaswamy were honoured for their contribution.

FDCI President, Sunil Sethi, told, “It is significant to work with the government and empower design fraternity. The ministers are now supporting fashion shows which has made our work more respectable.”

The event was followed by a national conclave Accomplishments And Way Forward For Textiles Sector’. Vice-President, M Venkaiah Naidu, along with Textiles Minister, Smriti Irani, conferred the ‘Threads of Excellence’ awards on 17 people from the textiles sector. Among the awardees were Fashion Design Council of India’s board members ~ Rajesh Pratap Singh, Rahul Mishra and Aneeth Arora.



Supermodel Sonalika Sahay walking for designer Anamika Khanna in Kolkata

‘Artisan Speak’ also travelled to the city of joy, Kolkata, where designer Anamika Khanna put up a scintillating collection  of 42 outfits. Her clothes had a colour palette that included ivory, indigo, black, silver and gold, used indigenous materials like jute and khadi along with silk chanderi and muslin. For the first time, jute was used for embellishments and to create an entire garment. The event was held in the beautifully-restored, 185-year-old Currency Building in Dalhousie.



(l-r) Padma Shri awardee master weaver Gajam Anjaiah for Gaurang Shah, President Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) Dr Jaimin Vasa, Anju Modi, Rahul Mishra, Sunil Sethi, Payal Jain, Namrata Joshipura at the summit in Gujarat

Last week, the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit hosted FDCI and its designers. Seven of India’s textile gurus participated in this event, all of them interpreting the ‘Make In India’ theme in their distinctive signature style. The designers were Anju Modi, Gaurang Shah, Namrata Joshipura, Payal Jain, Rahul Mishra, Rajesh Pratap Singh and Shyamal & Bhumika. The show was held on the banks of the Sabarmati in Ahmedabad.

With all these initiatives and developments, achhe din looks certain for the fashion fraternity, which was looking for newer grounds to firm its feet in the market.

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Founder, Born of Web

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