More than 150 years after miners ignited the passion of Levi Strauss, construction workers are inspiring fashion in India.
The hard work put in by them in the scorching heat and blinding darkness, and their omnipresent yellow helmets and water-resistant garments have sparked the imagination of a budding fashion designer from Guwahati, Tonmoy Saikia.
His designs thus also have conveniently placed pockets, hooks and loops-- an embodiment of utility, comfort and ease-of-wear of the garment of a construction worker.
Tonmoy was among the 23 fashion designers who showcased their works during the weekend at Quintessence 2007-- the 8th annual graduation fashion show by students of Wigan Fashion School here. He won the Spykar Most Commercial and Technical Excellence Award for his collection, 'Yellow Heads'.
Ankeeta Bhardwaj from Delhi was not far behind in her imagination as her adult clothing followed childlike 'pubescent styles'. Her funky Spring/Summer 2008 collection, titled 'candy country', had 'stuffed patchwork' and 'surface detailing', reminiscent of lollipops, sweets, and pick 'n' mix candy bags.
The country look was inspired by dish towel and flannel textures mixed with vintage elements like 'retro floral', babydoll and pinafore dresses of the 60's, and "bell and puff volumes' and flares of the 70's.
"You don't need a sweet tooth to taste my collection," said Ankeeta, who won the Best Presentation Award for her candilicious tempting treat. For Navjot Kaur and Sumit Mittal, imagination is the mother of art.
Their collection, 'Sanshruti', was inspired by the Lord Brahma's grand work of art that culminated from his lofty thinking and imagination.
"Our joint effort through this collection gives a new dimension to folk-art by rendering some 18th century South India mural art into Madhubani painting," said the two designers, one from Panipat and the other from Chandigarh, who bagged the Best Craft Revival Collection Award.
For Reema Saksena and Shruti Chadha, fashion is all about celebrating life and youth.
The young designers from Delhi, who won the Best Collection Award, recreated the enchanting mood of the Patras and Venice carnivals in their work 'Shindig'.
The extensive accessories and bold designs enlivened their creation, reflecting the mood of gaiety and festivity. "The chic casualness, street creed and the spirit of celebration are our collection's highlights," they said.