After 50 years of white and blue the Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) Sangathan, late last year, decided that it was time that they spruced up the look of their students. The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) was brought in to play. Making a change after half a century is not easy and both the Sangathan and NIFT took on the task solicitously, rather than unilaterally.
|Pics: Nikhil Ghorpade
The change in the school uniforms, said Vandana Narang, chairperson of the fashion design department in NIFT, was tailored with an eye on the changing mindsets of the people in urban as well as small town India. A comprehensive questionnaire was sent out to parents, students from Standard VIII and above, educationists and professionals from the design school.
A five-member team was involved in the process from the fashion design, accessory, knitwear and textile design department for the project, informed Upinder Kaur, associate professor, knitwear design department and students development activity co-ordinator, NIFT.
• The hoody for winters and the new PT uniform
“We did a survey from a selection of 10 cities including Patna, Chennai, Silchar, Jammu, Mumbai and Delhi, comprising students, parents and teachers to get a fix on the correct look and style,” she said.
While most students voted for a hip and savvy format of uniforms, some parents had mixed views. “Interestingly, parents were in favour of salwar kameezes for older girls, as they wished to have them fully clothed,” Kaur pointed out.
“We had to work on suitable styles so as to make them trendy. So we incorporated the idea of a vest and did away with the chunni, as it projects a very sarkari look,” she added.
There was more. The design team did away with the blazers. “Students found it cumbersome to strap on the shoulder bags over them. We have introduced smart hoodies instead,” beamed Kaur. Its no more all-white on sports day.
“They will wear house colour track suits,” she informed. Similarly, the shoes will be the all- purpose Gola shoes, as they are more comfortable. After six months of research and development, the new uniforms have rolled out.
They will be available to school children soon, and it has been decided that over the next two years the change will be brought about in a staggered fashion.
Joshua Hastings, Principal, Kendriya Vidyalaya of Southern Command told Mirror that they are not informed as yet about when the uniforms will come in. “We have just got the descriptions of the uniforms but we have no idea when they will come to us,” he said. Mirror decided to capture the ambience at city KVs and get reactions to the new designs. - With inputs from Neha Ghatpande
Ready to rock?
Class X, Army Area KV
I cannot wear the regular white PT uniform when I’m practising for my football tournament, and I have to make do with a normal tee and a trackpant. It makes no sense to wear a white uniform for PT because it gets soiled so easily. So the new one would be a much more convenient option.
Class II, KV S Command:
I came to Pune just a year ago, after my father got transferred here from Delhi. Back home, I attended a private school, where I wore a fancy, colourful uniform. The new uniform is just like the one I used to wear back in Delhi, I love it! It’s so much better than the current ‘boring’ one.
Class X, Army Area KV
The new uniform looks so flashy and bright. The older one was neat and formal. I don’t know why, but somehow I just don’t like the look of the new one.
Class V, KV S Command
The colour combination of the new uniform looks very smart, and I like the winter vest idea. Even the girls’ new uniforms look much nicer.
Class VIII, KV S Command
I love hoodies, they look cool and urban, and serve the purpose of warm clothing as well. I’m glad they’re introducing hoodies as our winter uniforms.
Class XI, KV S Command
I obviously like the new sports uniform. But if you ask me about the regular uniform, the old one is good na, why do they have to change it! It’s perfect the way it is right now, apart from the belt of course, which surely needed to be modified.
Class X, KV Army Area
The older uniform was better because of the tie. The new one doesn’t have a tie, so it looks too casual and informal.
Class II, KV S Command
Our current uniform is so comfortable. It’s nice and simple. I would prefer our old uniform over this new one any day.
Parent of Class VII student
Students are eager for the change. But KV is known to cut through the class system. I hope the uniforms are not too elitist, such that they alienate the less privileged in the school.
Parent of Class III (KV, Army Area)
The old one was so drab and dull. There should be colours in the lives of kids, which the new uniform will surely bring along. I’m eagerly waiting for the change to take place.