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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Jul 2014

The Indian connect

Disney Brar Talwar, Hindustan Times   February 07, 2013
First Published: 10:49 IST(7/2/2013) | Last Updated: 10:58 IST(7/2/2013)

Like most of young Indian designers who find their muse in Indian tradition, 21-year-old Shubham Kumar Singh is also inspired by the toil of the Indian villager. The upcoming fashion designer from the city, who is pursuing a course in fashion designing at INIFD (Inter National Institute of Fashion Design), Sector 8, is so awestruck by workers in the agricultural and handloom sectors, that his collection is based on them.

One of the few designers chosen to showcase works at the Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013 that begins on March 22, Shubham will be the youngest participant in the show’s ‘Gen Next’ category.

Elaborating on the reason for taking to all things Indian, the youngster says, “I have always been enchanted by the rustic lifestyle, occupations and sense of dressing of the villagers. So, when I thought of designing my collection, themed India Lives Here, the images of these villagers conjured up in my mind. I went to some villages of Punjab and Haryana, captured their essence in my camera and used these in my collection that I have stitched all by myself.”

The aspiring designer says he had sent sketches of his collection along with complete information about the fabrics and techniques used to the creative team of Lakme Fashion Week, after which he was informed about his selection.

Using khadi and cotton as the base fabric for his designs, Shubham has inculcated earthy colours such as beige, brown, grey, black and white in the background on which he has used pinks, yellows and blues in print. He adds, “My collection of 12 pieces uses a lot of digital printing, wherein I have used prints from my photographs clicked during my tours to the villages of Punjab. I have also included the pulled thread embroidery.”

Shubham says he loves Punjab’s Phulkari, Uttar Pradesh’s Chikankari and Gujarat’s famous mirror work. For props and accessories, he has picked handicrafts from different states, especially Himachal Pradesh, to be used as headgear, sling bags and jewellery.

His own label called Shubh has been inspired by the life of Mahatma Gandhi and uses khadi. “The reason that I have used khadi is because I feel that today’s generation hardly knows anything about the importance of the fabric in the history of India,” he explains.

Amongst the current lot of designers, Shubham looks upto Sabyasachi Mukherjee for using quintessentially Indian designs and techniques in his works. “I also like the work of Abraham Thakur because his collection lends a glimpse of the rich culture and heritage of India,” adds he.

Ask him which celebrity he’d like to dress and prompt comes the reply: “Vidya Balan for sure, because she endorses Indian designs and carries off the nine yard-long attire with such élan,” he smiles.

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