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IN CONVERSATION WITH ABHIMANYU SINGH TOMAR

— JASMEEN DUGAL

''I'm excited,'' Abhimanyu Singh Tomar has often told me in relaxed, humble tones. ''The first season was intense because to organise and understand the structure takes time, so this season I'm more confident and adding a lot of facets.'' The Director of Rajasthan Style Fest talks about it with passion — clearly he sees lacing traditional influences with a fresh outlook as being pivotal to success. Having rich experience of modeling, designing, styling and choreography, he is in the advantaged position of being able to percieve multiple perspective. Over to him.

 

''I entered the Fashion fraternity in 2006 by participating in local pageants as a model. I then diversified to designing  for two shows — right after high school and without a degree in fashion — and finally fashion choreographer and stylist; back then there were fewer opportunities as the fashion industry in Rajasthan was still evolving. It wasn't an easy path. I was good at academics, and like every family, my parents wanted me to choose a more stable career but I told them Fashion would always be a parallel career no matter what I would do. So, I used to direct fashion shows during the day and study at night — while travelling back to my city for university exams the next afternoon!! Nothing is impossible if you have a clear vision and the will power to achieve your goal.

 

I am now working as a Programme Officer full time with the government and running a successful model institute and agency "Style Skool". All I had to work on was time management and wait patiently for years to see my hard work turning into success stories. My students have made it to IMG Worldwide, Miss India, Mr.India and several other national and International pageants. People ask me why a career in Rajasthan… and all I have to say is 'why not'? The supermodels of today started their career from small towns and if the new generation will get the same professional guidance then it will help them to step up the ladder faster under the guidance of a mentor. In fact, I advice others also to contribute at grassroot level as local talent has immense potential to place India on the International map. I too have a long way to travel and each day teaches me a new life lesson.

 

As an individual, I had to struggle a lot to learn the nuances of Fashion. There was dearth of guidance, knowledge, resources and above all people were not open about Fashion as a profession. This was mind boggling and I thought someone has to take a stand to work toward creating fashion awareness. I was waiting for the right time to launch my dream project that I was sure would deal with the challenges. My mentor IAS Author Anju Sharma helped me in structuring the ideas I had in mind and coined the name "Rajasthan Style Fest". Why Rajasthan? Because it would take place in Pink City. Why Style? Because it is a broader term than fashion and covers all the genres like hair, makeup, styling and choreography. Why Fest? because we wanted to make this event for everyone… an event for everyone to come, learn, enjoy, live and take home! Rajasthan Style Fest Season 01 was purely an experiment but when we started working on it, the outcome was success and everyone began waiting for its second season. I could not do a few things last season due to time constraints but this time we will not miss them!! My role and responsibilities​ is One Man Army and sometimes magic man is what my friends call me!! From Show Organiser and Director to Stylist to Art Director you will see me shifting roles every second — thanks to the turning and twisting points of life which taught me all above mentioned jobs!!

 

Speaking of Rajasthan Style Fest, the week long fest kickstarts with an opening show at Jaipur Wax Museum, Nahargarh Fort on 21 Jan followed by Fitness Day on 22 Jan, Styling Day on 23 Jan, Style for Cause Day on 24 Jan, Girl Child Day on 25 Jan, and poolside trunk show at the media launch on 26 Jan. The fashion shows, exhibition, beauty pageant, style awards and workshops will be on 27, 28 Jan where 30+ designers will showcase their collection and 30 industry experts will be taking workshops on fashion and style. The selection criteria of participating designers is purely based on talent, techniques and, most important, a unique style — a collection that can stun the audience and set a benchmark will get selected for the runway! So, as we approach the date, as a fashion week producer I am focussing on vision, pro-activeness and patience. And, of course, on the days of the shows my survival kit definitely include​d my sling bag with show essentials i.e papers, pen, energy bars, cash, walkie talkie and balm!!

 

I would like to wrap up my blog by saying that Jaipur is full of talent be it young designers, aspiring models or MUA and in the next few years you will see them storming the fashion world. Yes, people are now travelling worldwide to learn fashion, to meet pioneers and to study the detailing of fashion and style. One can see the influence of global fashion in the work of young designers from Jaipur and the professional approach of aspiring models.''
 

Rajasthan Style Fest
Rajasthan Style Fest Director Abhimanyu Singh Tomar
 
02-JANUARY-2018
 
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