Making khadi fashionable best way to promote it: Designers

Mumbai, Aug 23 (PTI) Young designers today presented Khadi in a new avatar at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2018, giving the fabric a funky and trendy spin to make it more suitable to modern sensibilities. Lars Andersson, Pallavi Shantam, Saloni Sakaria and Jewellyn Alvares showcased their khadi range in a show presented by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2018. Andersson, a Swedish designer, who makes clothes from the most grounded parts of the world, says he was motivated to come up with a special range after hearing stories about the distress of weavers. "It is important to bring Khadi to mainstream. There are a lot of weavers out there in India, many of them had to take other jobs because the mill fabrics are taking over. If we are able to make Khadi mainstream again, these people can continue doing what they do the best. For me, it is important to keep this material and the craft alive because the weavers are just amazing in what they do," Andersson told PTI. Sakaria, whose collection was presented in trios of long/short tunics, pants and jackets, gave a new style dimension to the fabric. She believes it is important for young designers like her to work towards bringing back the old traditional khadi and making it wearable for the new generation. "Khadi has a lot of meaning to it apart from just being a fabric. The reason behind why khadi was created is in itself enough to motivate people to make it a part of their lives. The lack of awareness and notion attached to khadi can only be corrected if we as designers try to make it mainstream. "Designer intervention is important and it is our responsibility to use it in a right way and take it to right consumers. The whole collaboration is important to show the world the variety khadi has to offer," she said. Alvares presented a range with a twist as he used his women's wear pattern as the base for his menswear collection. The designer said his aim is to make khadi look fashionable as youngsters aspire to wear what is in the trend. "It is important to promote khadi because there is a major shift to sustainable living. And khadi is a fabric which is affordable. It is also a fabric which has not been exploited much by the designers. It inspires me to bring it to the forefront because it is a fabric which can be used in creating things as fine as a couture collection. "Youngsters aspire to wear what is in fashion and making khadi fashionable will surely do a lot for the good. Bringing khadi to fashion week will surely make people realise what all khadi can do," he said. Shantam, who presented a fresh and colourful collection, said it was important for the fashion industry to be pro-active in promoting it. "Khadi is a community fabric. But there are still so many weavers competing with the mill fabric. It is important for a designer to use sustainable fabric. It is our indigenous textile , it is our heritage and it is our responsibility to take it to the world. It is our job to make it look young, fresh, trendy and funky." She developed the collection with jamdaani and woven stripes khadi with zari made by weavers from Burdwan, West Bengal.
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