When an archaic fashion house — Balmain — chose a 26-year-old Olivier Roustieng to head its design team or a fresh faced Umit Benan joined Trussardi, a 100-year-old Italian label, very few were shocked.
|Models pose in collections by young designers from School of Fashion Technology (SOFT)
The force with which this young, fresh talent is penetrating the world of fashion only strengthens our view that there lies the power to redefine the very concept of fashion and blow off the cobwebs of our static definitions.
Recently, we were privy to be the showcase of talent at the School of Fashion Technology, Pune. The students put forth a dazzling display of their talent and imagination.
James Ferreira, India’s pioneer in western wear for women and in the art of graceful draping, has inspired us with his design ethos for the past couple of decades. Working out of his heritage bungalow that is a fragment of the charming past and standing true to the test of time, James, in the hectic schedule of dressing the glamourous glitterati commits to mentoring the budding talent here.
When asked about the show, James shares, “I was pleasantly surprised by the collection put up by the students I had mentored. They were wearable, well constructed and commercial. This was a welcome break from the over the top designs in the past.”
Another stalwart of fashion industry, who lends his invaluable time to ensuring that the young talent finds its design sensibilities, is Hemant Trivedi. Hemant is the couturier who has put forward India as a serious fashion hub on the international fashion map, on one hand and is working at homeland to encourage and inspire the next generation of designers, on the other.
His opinion is direct and hits the mark when he says, “The young designers have to find their identity and work with their distinct belief system. The predominance of western wear in the collections presented by the younger lot everywhere is a little baffling. We all have to read the pulse of the final consumer. After all, how comfortably can these clothes be worn in our local environment?”
James deeply appreciates the diligence towards acquiring the thorough techniques, “The garments are constructed by students with no help from tailors or cutters. They have a pool of embroidery men who sit at the college and work on designs provided and monitored by the students.”
The fashion related educational institutes are going through their own commercially propelled journey of growth. James remembers, “Since the time I started teaching (22 years back), the number of fashion institutes have grown about a 100 per cent more.
When I started working, these institutes were a glorified finishing school for young ladies getting ready for marriage and now these are breeding grounds of talent and are highly competitive, focused and plugged to the absolute latest from around the world. The quality of teaching staff is a problem though, as very few institutions update and train their staff.”
Follow your dreams
Hemant laments the lack of a dedicated resource centre in the city that would provide the required assistance with the accessibility to dyeing, printing, accessories and other paraphernalia required to translate their imagination into reality. “It is a big limitation for new comers as they either compromise their work on what is available to them or travel to metros,” he feels.
James cautions the raring-to-go generation against haste, “As there are no technicians being trained; a very good knowledge of cutting and tailoring is a basic necessity. do not start your own label until you have put in at least a dozen years working in the market.”
“Find a context to your collection which sits comfortably and cohesively in the fashion narrative of our immediate universe,” Hemant comments.
Well, the formula seems to have worked out. It seems as if wide eyed inquisitiveness, relentless work towards artistry on fabric, purity of design thought and a certain mischievous spirit will insinuate into a lasting place in the enchanting and creatively fraught fashion world.
► I was pleasantly surprised by the collection put up by the students I had mentored. They were wearable, well constructed and commercial. This was a welcome break from the over the top designs in the past
- James Ferreira, Designer
► The young designers have to find their identity and work with their distinct belief system. The predominance of western wear in the collections presented by the younger lot everywhere is a little baffling
- Hemant Trivedi, Designer