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THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR TEXTILE TRADITION

As Curator of Textile Day at Lakmé Fashion Week, I'll turn the spotlight on common threads that form India's uncommon textile tradition, homespun designs and arts-and-crafts.

With experts in the field offering to participate in the discussions, there will be plenty to share in terms of expertise. Our endeavour is to make it a creative hub... to kindle interest... to help more people learn and appreciate our textiles and intricate hand skills... to eventually take it to a global audience. My role is to provide  a consolidated platform at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer Resort 2012 that brings together industry professionals, designers, art and design students etc to showcase the variety and vibrancy of Indian weaves and various crafts... and to kickstart the process of creative thinking by understanding the possibilities of growth in various related fields. I get to do what I love the most... sharing and exchanging, being with and interacting with industry veterans whom I have been learning so much from and enriching both myself and being able to enrich many of you with the experiences, the  the panel discussions, the workshops, the art installations, the film screenings etc. The only challenging area I would say is to motivate the newer lot and probe them to come out of their comfort zones and push themselves to prove their originality in order to to understand and appreciate  the importance of research and development... to evolve.
 
The designers showcasing on Textile Day have equal opportunity to contribute their ideas. You cannot flow if bound by many set guidelines... there is a method to this madness that we follow! Each one of the designers is born with a unique mind and platforms like these help them to come out of their shells and see that even the stalwarts are amongst them... on the same platform! The advice I would give them at this point is underline that for most of us Indian designers, India is and shall remain our biggest market. We must think global but appreciate that buyers are not coming here to order garments made with Chinese Silk or Italian linen! What they want from us is what they can't get elsewhere in the world — our unique hand-woven textiles with value additions no machine can replicate! For this we need to know our history and we need to know our assets well. This cannot come from studying it as a subject at a school for a few years... this comes with consistently researching, exploring,  working with different weavers and different craftsmen so we can bring our indigenous textiles and our crafts  to fresh markets and bring the weavers and craftsmen back to their looms. The main challenge though lies in understanding how to tweak tradition to make it suitable for today's globe-trotting woman!
 
A Krishna Mehta look!
 
07-FEBRUARY-2012
 
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