Fashion designers hope for pride in Indianness and freedom from uncertainty this Independence Day
As India celebrates its 75th Independence Day, a lot has changed in things that define the Indian polity and its people. Rules of freedom, expression and fashion have been restructured and Indians are finally back to embracing what is their own. The same has been true for Indian fashion that has over the years journeyed over contemporary styles but always sought inspiration from the innate character of India. On the occasion of Independence Day, we got in touch with some designers who have put Indian textile on the world map and asked them to share what freedom means to them and what are their hopes from the future.
Delhi-based designer Pranavi Kapur has been working on Indian textiles for years now. A NIFT National Awardee, she is known for transforming old Indian textiles to new. The designer works extensively with khadi that is associated with India’s freedom struggle and takes “pride in Indianness.” Kapur feels “true India is limitless” and continues to work around Indian textiles by giving them contemporary twists and not changing their true flavour.
Label Taneira that has truly carved a niche for itself with the authenticity of handcraft, pure and natural fibres, and offering the best of India under one roof is also celebrating its Indianness by working for the progressive Indian women. “As a brand, we would like to define freedom as the opportunity and privilege to create authentic and fine quality garments for our customers. Over the years, our constant endeavor has been to disrupt the market with our ever-evolving communication, creatives, dressing styles, and product line. In today’s time, the saree has multiple definitions for everyone and is no longer an age-old garment worn only by married women. It is a freedom of expression and individuality for everyone across all ages, religions, or genders. We embrace this idea as our brand philosophy and would continue to learn and adapt ourselves with the changing times. We have also been working closely with the weaver community to support them through various endeavors during these testing times. Initiatives such as releasing advance payments to them and upskilling them to learn more crafts have furthered their growth and empowered them to continue with their business.”
Designer Vedika M of Label Vedika M is hoping for freedom from uncertainty this Independence Day. “The one thing I would want freedom from after the last 1.5 years would be uncertainty. The lack of clarity over what’s going to happen next has given everyone quite the jolt. Whether it’s the launch of a new collection, or for a lot of businesses, even just staying afloat, the ability to plan and chalk things out without fearing when the next tragedy will strike again is something we would all want to experience again.
Popular duo, Sukriti & Aakriti are hoping to be able to provide employment to as many people and karigars as possible in times of need like this.
Designer Ridhi Mehra wishes for freedom from the pandemic. “The current situation requires us to be at home, people can’t visit public places, get-togethers seem to be a luxury of the past. There’s so much you want to do or can do, but while balancing between being responsible and the fear of being infected, you tend to pull yourself back. Naturally, this change in mass conduct has affected – to a considerable extent if not large – how people perceive making purchases, celebrating, or even dressing up. The country has been through tremendous turmoil in the past 1.5 years and challenges don’t seem to be reducing any time soon. So, my wish at this point is to gain that complete freedom from the cripple that COVID-19 has brought over us all.
Designer Devina Juneja wants freedom from small businesses facing the brunt of the pandemic. “Everyday different cities go back into lockdown and one wave after another threatens to cause more disruptions just when businesses start re-opening and people get more confidence to resume their lives. Small businesses have borne the brunt of this pandemic with many unable to sustain these last eighteen months. Non – essential items are not a priority for many with celebrations taking a back seat and people largely working from home. Most of our offline sales channels such as exhibitions, store pop-ups and promotions are not happening or are happening on a much smaller scale. Our brand has launched its e-commerce store but clearly it is not enough. My wish this independence Day is that we can put this nightmare behind us soon and start afresh. And look at our businesses with a renewed energy, zeal, and focus.