Payal Singhal cushion covers and Anita Dongre table runners? Soon!

We at Fuffabulous love initiatives like ours that acknowledge fashion waste and do something creative with it. Mana Shetty has already been doing great things with the non-profit organisation Save the Children India. This also includes vocational training programs for women, and for one of the projects under this program women and girls are trained to create products for retail some of which are then sold at Araaish, a multi-designer fashion exhibition organised by Mana.

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This year, along with IMG Reliance and Lakme Fashion Week, Mana introduced the Fashion Upcycled initiative that will source excess raw materials from fashion designers to make products such as batwas, cushion covers, trays, table runners etc. The proceeds from the sale of these products will be used to work with underprivileged women and children.

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We met Mana at Araaish last week and she told us how most designers she has spoken to are happy to participate in this project. “I can even take small pieces of cloth or extra borders etc, which usually just get thrown away and use them to make beautiful products,” she says. Before launching this initiative Mana had to buy the fabrics from stores.

Mana Shetty

Mana Shetty

At the moment designers such as Anita Dongre, Nishka Lulla and Payal Singhal have agreed to support the cause and many more big names are expected to participate. “We can even name the collection after the designers. Being Sunil’s wife is a passport into this world, and I am using it to do the right things!”

We think so too. And really, who wouldn’t like a piece of Sabya or Payal Singhal in the drawing rooms?  

Is Indo-Western a dated term now? My story in Mint Lounge

Indian summer

Rachana Nakra

‘Indo-Western’ stands challenged as local identities dominate Western silhouettes in Ikat jumpsuits and Chanderi gowns

The umbrella term “Indian wear” remains exciting work-in-progress—defying a predictable rotation within traditional options. At the recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013 in Mumbai, it was hardly about bling—a variety of kurtislehngas or anarkalis to be worn at Indian weddings or celebratory occasions. The runway was a blossoming of ideas and options in the realm of Indian: Silk shorts, lycra saris,mulmul skirts, Chanderi gowns, Ikat shirts, and jumpsuits with prints inspired by Indian history.

“Earlier, we gave a Western touch to Indian garments, such as a spaghetti-strap blouse with a sari. Now, designers are finding ways to give a Western silhouette a traditional Indian appearance,” says designer Payal Singhal, who presented shorts in embroidered velvet and net. To cater to an international clientele and make local heritage accessible to youth, this look, which presents a distinct Indian identity but in a wide choice of silhouettes, is the fashion aesthetic of choice.
A handwoven Assamese paat dress inspired by the mekhla.

A handwoven Assamese paat dress inspired by the mekhla chadar.

“Indo-Western” might now seem a dated, even limited, term to describe the unique twists these style makers are bringing to fashion. Gaurav Jai Gupta of Akaaro, who showed a collection of dresses, skirts, tops, trousers and jackets in handwoven fabrics such as Chanderi and Ikat, refuses to use that term. “My collection is Indian, global, practical and easy,” he says.
The influences are varied. Daniel Syiem used Jainsem and Jainkyrshah, the traditional garb of the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya, as inspiration to present a relaxed and trendy line of togas, dresses and wrap blouses in fabric sourced from the North-East. Hyderabad-based Asmita Marwa repurposed vintage Indian mirror-work garments, using motifs by artist Thota Vaikuntam, and embroidered her garments with the Telugu script, while Kolkata’s Rimi Nayak used Bengali typography on ensembles comprising gowns, kaftans and shirt dresses. “The importance of the language is declining and we are forgetting the rich heritage of Bengali literature,” says the designer.
At first sight, all these clothes look strongly Indian; only later do you realize this it is not an extension of the old story of saris and salwar-kurtas. Something else is happening here.
A silk jumpsuit with old Indian postal stamp print.

A silk jumpsuit with old Indian postal stamp print.

A growing love and pride for India’s textile heritage is the primary but not sole reason for designers experimenting with a sartorial mashup. The duo Shivan and Narresh—well-known for their edgy bikinis, maillots and accessories—showed a holiday line of swimwear and cover-ups peppered with saris. To cater to Indian sensibilities of their clients while keeping in mind today’s easy-to-wear fashion aesthetic, they included pre-tailored saris in linen and lycra that require no pleating, draping or dry-cleaning. “Many Indian women are not too comfortable with swimwear and look out of place in a holiday setting. We wanted to provide a familiar silhouette that is user-friendly to the Indian woman travelling abroad,” says BanarsiNarresh.
Those who, quite literally, like to wear their Indian identity on their sleeve, could pick from Singhal’s collection. Cropped anarkalis with palazzo pants, a Banarasi georgette gown and tulle embroidered shorts paired with a cotton kurta—ensembles that will fetch notice at a New Delhi party or double up as stunning separates for a holiday in Hawaii.
A cream silk mulmul and Katarva cotton high-low tunic with jaali work, with embroidered velvet and net shorts.

A cream silk mulmul and Katarva cotton high-low tunic with jaali work, with embroidered velvet and net shorts.

Read more at http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/dLZP2Srr7fDJq7FJDDDeeJ/Trend-Tracker–Indian-summer.html