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Colours of tribes sashay down at Shillong Fashion Week


Shillong (Meghalaya), Oct 20 (IANS) Bright colours, traditional fabrics and dominance of western designs – the first edition of the Shillong Fashion Week began on the promising note of promoting northeast style and talent.

Senti Nongrum, a designer from Meghalaya, used handloom from her region to create a modern apparel line.

"SFW is a very good base for young designers like me who initially take time to get their first break in major fashion weeks. SFW has given me an opportunity to showcase my designs to the world. There is lot of talent in the northeast and we just need a platform," said Nongrum.

She chose to showcase a collection inspired by a traveller’s suitcase. From maxi dresses to formal wear to accessories, her collection had everything for those who love travelling. With her base in the state, traditional fabrics of the north east was an obvious choice for her.

"I have used lot of Naga-influenced garments which is basically loom. So yes, I have basically concentrated on using traditional fabric," she said.

Initiated under the leadership of state Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, SFW, a two-day extravaganza, kickstarted here Friday at the North Eastern Hills University (NEHU) convention centre.

Raakesh Agravwal, Bung Keisham, Senti Nongrum, Heritage Mizoram, Magic N, Chandrani Singh Flora, Sophia M Sangma and Jenjum Gadi were among the designers who started the fashion gala.

The first impression may be the last one, but at SFW, the scene was a bit different.

With little goof-ups like delayed show timings resulting from long rehearsals, to the audience cribbing about the seat allotment, the situation settled when Agravwal showcased his designs.

His collection was a mix of resort wear-meets-club, with "no inspiration from northeast".

"My spring summer collection is more of resort wear, taking inspiration from sexy, glamorous girls who always want to look their best. There are lots of motifs and work inspired by the blue mosque of Istanbul and Taj," the New Delhi-based designer told IANS.

The designer’s colourful line featured kaftans in linen, cotton, chiffon and georgette, as well as bikinis.

"There is no northeast inspiration, I am not going to lie. It was the interpretation of my spring summer collection," he said.

Chandrani Singh, a known name in the Kolkata fashion world, also showcased her designs here.

She used lot of crepe, georgette and silk on silhouettes, which varied from skirts to dresses and kaftans. This too, had no inspiration from the northeast.

However, the event has turned out to be a great opportunity for designers, who have so far only relied on the local market. They are also hoping it will bring more engagement to the textile industry of the state.

Julie Deb, marketing director of SFW, said the idea behind organising such an event is "to provide a thrust to the designers of the region, who till now have been deprived of any such platform."