Artisans, of late, have been increasingly making appearances at fashion weeks in India. The Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2017 this time had devoted its Sustainable Fashion and Textiles Day entirely to artisans, Meher Castelino reports.
Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) started its first Textile Day during its Winter/Festive 2013 edition, and has now institutionalised it in the week-long event. This year, LFW, which is jointly organised by Lakmé and IMG Reliance Pvt Ltd, devoted an entire day to artisans. The Sustainable Fashion and Textiles Day saw artisans from across the country showcasing their handiwork, and many designers using the platform to exhibit their own innovations. Though there were artisans from across the country, those from Kutch held centrestage.
Jaspreet Chandok, head–Fashion at IMG Reliance, elaborated, “Each season, we plan to shortlist a region to highlight. Last season it was Assam and this time Kutch. IMG Reliance’s fashion curators then spend time in these markets to find the best stories at the grassroots level. We now plan to make this a featured show focusing on a region each season. Also, we will continue to support the artisans who have already showcased their work, by creating multiple opportunities for them to build their businesses over a period of time."
With the response to the artisans/craftspersons’ shows being so encouraging, Chandok continued, "Our primary intent is to turn the spotlight on them, and create an interface with buyers and the media. We add an additional thrust from our end to expose them to buyers with a dedicated stall area, as well as use our public relations machinery to best push their stories. In fact, you can see this focus with the only IMG Reliance sponsored show being the ‘Artisans of Kutch’ show when we could have easily worked with any major designer instead. We are dedicating additional stall space at the event for artisans, as well as creating multiple interface opportunities for them this season. We also organised a panel discussion hosted by Hemang Agrawal which deliberated on artisan-related issues.”
According to Chandok, the show that was curated, had designs that were all-contemporary, though using influences from the craft that has been around for centuries. “I think this will be the road ahead. We now need to focus on enhancement of the business of these Indian handloom stories and brands. We would be looking at creating a dedicated interfacing mechanism for the artisans from across the country,” he said.
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