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Fashion Talk

Vaishali Shadangule

Founder & Creative Director
Label - Vaishali S

The main difference between India and France and Italy is design

Founder of her eponymous label, Vaishali Shadangule is known for her fabric compositions. She explores and enhances the quality of textiles to bring design changes with modern aesthetics. She has showcased her collections at the New York Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, Jakarta Fashion Week as well as the Milan Fashion Week. In an interview with Fibre2Fashion, the designer discusses her journey, inspiration, and shares some insights about her recent participation in the Milan Fashion Week.

Fibre2Fashion: What intrigued you about the fashion industry and how would you illustrate your journey?

Vaishali Shadangule:

I stumbled on fashion, and fashion was not a clear choice. I fell in love with Indian hand weaves and eventually understood that the only way of reviving them, and with them the thousands of families that live of it, was to give them a global (design) language, thus fashion.

What still intrigues me is how fashion can really influence the way people live and think, thus a huge responsibility and power.

 

F2F: How would you describe the aesthetics and vibe of your collection?

VS:

My aesthetics are always inspired by Nature. In my latest collection, I connected to all my work with ancestral threads. You can see a bit of all the touch points I have had in the past: corals, mogra, mushrooms, etc.

In the collection, you will notice many more colours than usual. This was the outcome of a mixed influence of the versatile Kota Doriya and the fact that I needed to suit the palates of a prêt-à-porter global audience.

F2F: Where do you get your inspiration for such an abstract and versatile collection? What fashion do you follow?

VS:

For me it is actually not abstract, rather very figurative reminding us of Nature in her multiple forms, and at the same time it is my representation of the flow of its energy, that at a careful look is palpable in all corded designs.

I follow my own fashion, and in fact I do not even check the cahiers des tendances or any other trends forecast, nor what other designers do.
I am on a personal journey of discovery by connecting nature’s energy through handwoven threads.

F2F: Could you please walk us through your entire experience of participating in the recent Milan Fashion week and what challenges were encountered?

VS:

I had to go through a thorough selection based on my past work and the plans for this one. After being accepted in the official calendar of the presentations of MFW, the next challenge was to choose and being given the right spot, in order to make sure the right people and media could attend.

Then it was about the preparation for the show, as Milan media is very specific about all details and can be very cruel if you have a gap in any of them. The preparation included choosing the right models with the right past experience and the right look for my garments, the right matching of the specific model with the specific outfit, then location, music, lights, flow of the show, invites, etc. It is an extensive process that then gives birth to a great show.

And I am particularly happy because this time I decided to style myself also for the show, a very delicate issue in Milan. The outcome has been exactly what I wanted to convey to my audience, in a very balanced way and with all voice points well spelt out.

F2F: How would you define the emerging trend of slow fashion and how do you include the same practice in your collections?

VS:

People have understood the risks of fast fashion and have also started getting tired of the race across the seasons and continuous change of clothes. They have now started appreciating products that are more bespoke and take care of details. My garments are the epitome of this, starting from the fabrics that are carefully hand woven under my direction on old technique handlooms, to the maniac attention to draping in the best possible way: comfortable, sustainable, and ethical.

F2F: With so many fashion brands coming into the picture, what makes your label stand out?

VS:

Many touch points. The design, quite unique for its inspiration and very unique in its accomplishment, thanks to the versatility that you can only find in hand weaves. The fabrics, all made on handlooms and all personalised with a specific blend or raw materials, in order to give the right comfort, respect of the creative act, and also be sustainable. Overall, the sincere and traced focus is on sustainability.

F2F: How do you think the fashion industries in France and India vary from one another, and what significant changes must be made in the Indian fashion sector for it to compete on a global scale?

VS:

The main difference between India and France and Italy is design. France, and especially Italy, have built their success on innovative and feminine design, while India still relies mainly of texture and in a lesser way also on fabrics.

Unless we are able to incorporate design and respect the needs of our clients, we cannot get back to the throne of textile in India: we must present our treasures (fabrics and textures) in more global and actual design.

Second is innovation. We have been left behind in innovation of materials and techniques: we have to put more attention to it.

Thirdly is sustainability, the real one. I participated in the closing party of the Milan Fashion Week. It was totally and only dedicated to sustainability and to the projects that mostly have excelled in its various areas. In contrast, most of the times it is green washing in India.

F2F: What advice would you like to share with fashion aspirants trying to break into the fashion world?

VS:

Go out in the Nature, listen to her, and try to reproduce what she wants to tell us. Do not use Google or any similar tool for inspiration because at the most you will manage to do good copies. Then learn your technique, because only a great mastery of it can allow you to communicate what you want through your work.

F2F: Who is your fashion idol?

VS:

Ha-ha! Vaishali S, and all my weavers, that still shocks me at how they grasp all my ideas and manage to put them down on the loom in an even clearer way than what was in my mind.

Who is your fashion idol?

Interviewer: Kiran Sahija
Published on: 27/09/2022
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