It’s not difficult to imagine the hardwork that goes into putting a fashion week together. But, what happens when a show has to be curated at an off-site location? Crazy amount of planning and minute attention to every possible detail. While one off-site show, this time around, is being held at the Crafts Museum at Pragati Maidan on Thursday (Péro by Aneeth Arora), another showcase by designer Samant Chauhan (again, on Thursday) will be presented at the iconic National Rail Museum in Delhi. We got a chance to get a sneak peek into all the planning.
The runway will be nestled between two heritage rail installations, with free-seating for the attendees. From chai to bunta bottles and bite-sized ‘train snacks’ like Rajasthani mathri, the discussions also included a focus on creating the ‘feel’ of the show and not just the technical aspects. The show also needs to be viewed from the eyes of the photographer — will the shutterbugs manage to get the right angle? Would anything at the venue act as a visual roadblock?
And of course, the venue needs to connect with the clothes. With two generations of family having worked in the railways, Samant’s choice for the show is inspired by a childhood spent in Jamalpur where he called the railway colony home. And at one point, he also desired to dress the railway staff.
Thus, the choice of the off-site venue that traces the journey of childhood memories, along with celebrating the re-invention of Assamese Muga Silk, which is at the core of Samant’s collection.
If you are one of those who hasn’t visited the National Rail Museum — here are some quick facts. Located in Chanakyapuri — from vintage coaches and rail equipment to literature including iconic photographs that trace the history of Indian railways — the venue is a haven for tourists. While one would come across the Coach Barsi Light Railway, a wooden coach manufactured in UK in 1906, the CS-775 locomotive, withdrawn from service in 1986, also sits close — just two of the many heritage sights at the museum. A popular attraction? The toy train, which, with a ticketed ride can help you get around the entire place and perhaps, stir up some memories.