Indian textiles and craft are the buzzwords at the ongoing fashion week in Delhi. The opening show on Wednesday was dedicated to weaves and textiles of Banaras, the ending will be similar in tone when 16 designers will come together for the finale to showcase Banarasi weaves.
Designers are giving Indian fabrics a modern makeover to make them attractive to international buyers as Indian crafts are increasingly given more focus at such events. Fashion weeks are serious business events, promoting exchange of craft and culture. Designer Samant Chauhan, who is known for his work with the delicate Bhagalpuri silk said that they use Indian fabrics and craft to create something very modern and chic. While the fabrics and techniques may remain Indian, they experiment with cuts and styles to make it more presentable to the world.
Last year's fashion week had seen many designers experimenting with Indian textiles and highlighted the talents of artisans from different regions. Then, the Autumn-Winter edition of the fashion week earlier this year had seen 25 designers collaborating to showcase their individual interpretations of the theme 'Crafts of India'.
In June, members of the fashion fraternity, textile manufacturers and weavers got together in Banaras to discuss the revival of Banarasi handloom industry.
And in August, the fashion week at Mumbai saw many designers come together to present their interpretations of Indian fabrics on Handloom and Textiles day.
Designer Ashish N Soni who has developed a modern overlap motif on traditional Banarasi fabric for his finale collection, said that it is time designers started working towards promoting of Indian textiles. Fashion weeks are the best platforms to present Indian textiles and craft as the strength of Indian fashion. Presenting Indian fabric at fashion events is like spreading word about Indian heritage. Promotion of Indian fabrics and craft techniques at fashion week makes the world more interested in fashion, which, in turn, generates more business for designers and the craftsmen.
Renowned fashion houses across the world have shown great interest in Indian textile and there have been a few Indian designers consistently working towards promotion of Indian crafts. But what is noteworthy is designers collectively coming forward to promote them. It is their responsibility as designers to promote Indian textile traditions. Some of our craft traditions are on the verge of becoming history now and there may come a time when they will only be a part of archives. So, they all have to make efforts to promote them in India and on a global scale. As a designer, there is so much one can do with Indian craft. A modern interpretation of Indian textiles and craft can make way for their revival, said designer Payal Jain.
FDCI president Sunil Sethi said that this year, the opening show was all about the craft tradition of Banaras, which will also be theme of the closing show. Khadi was also the theme of the autumn-winter edition. All these efforts have been self-driven by the design fraternity, without help from government. Indian designers have been working towards the revival of craft and textile heritage, as that is what sets them apart from the rest of the world. They have been making efforts to promote Indian textiles and craft so that they can collectively work towards its revival and also present to the international buyers the treasure that India have.
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