Craftsmanship may be popular in the fashion world in the west but in India it is the norm for all the garments worn for centuries. There will be an exhibit in New Delhi that will explore the tradition.
India’s top fashion designers work in industrial areas on the outskirts of New Delhi. Their studios are teaming with young men from local villages using ancient traditional techniques to sew the garments and place sequins by hand onto the garments. This craftsmanship will be visualized in an exhibition called ‘Made In India’ which runs from February 28th at the Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts. This exhibit focuses on creating awareness for the preservation of artisan crafts worldwide.
The exhibition is backed by a Russian philanthropist and businesswoman, Yelena Baturina. She explained, “Be Open looks at today’s most promising Indian designers, giving them the opportunity to present their work from a completely new perspective, so that it appeals to a much wider international audience.”
Whilst many fashion factories across Asia create mass products by employing young villagers, the Indian designers that will be exhibiting are those that choose to preserve the beauty of their crafts of hand-embroidery, dying techniques and hand-sewing. This craftsmanship is essential for the creation of elegant garments with high quality that are demanded of the vast Indian sari and wedding market.
Some of the designers presenting pieces are Gaurav Gupta who will present sculptures partly clad in resin dresses. There is also Rahul Mishra who has created inspirational dresses and jackets, which are hand-embroidered and decorated with a rough-looking organic wool harking back to ancient times.
The design duo Thukral and Tagra have created ultra-loud suits as well as an ipod stand made of an ancient looking red clay material. The head of the Fashion Design Council of India has designed massive floor cushions for the exhibition through his company Sunil Sethi Design Alliance.
A follow up exhibition is planned to be exhibited in Japan in autumn 2014 to focus on the handcraft designs of Japanese fashion designers. Organizers are currently researching for locations in Japan where handcraft traditions are high.