Ten years ago when Amanat (name changed), a fashion design student from Delhi, arrived in Kashmir, she was confident she would show the Valley as well as the rest of India that it was possible to be fashionable in a headscarf or a pheran.
Fresh from her experience of working with some of India’s top designers, she even set up a boutique in Srinagar’s upscale Lal Chowk area. Five months later she was wrapping up her operations.
Now that the 16th branch of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) is supposed to start functioning out of a temporary campus in Srinagar, Amanat will be part of the faculty and she hopes this time round the people here will be more open to experimenting with traditional ways of dressing.
“Clothes do not have to be transparent or cling to the body to be fashionable. It is possible to look trendy even with one’s head covered,’’ she said.
Conceived in 2004, NIFT Kashmir got delayed due to political uncertainties in the state and the valley.
“We will be starting the admission process in a week’s time. The registration will be on first-come-first-serve basis but admission will be after a thorough interview and evaluation process,” said Ashutosh Porus, campus coordinator of NIFT Srinagar.
The institute, however, is not starting with its regular post graduate and under graduate courses. “We will be starting short term courses of three to six months and a diploma course. Regular courses will be introduced once we shift our campus to Budgam in 2016,” said Porus.
“With NIFT coming, people will realise that fashion is not just what you see on the ramp. It is all about how you want to dress up for the day,” he added.