The writer checks out the designs made of hay, aluminium foil, bamboo, papier mache, tea powder and tea strainers as NIFTians go all wacky at a fashion show

The just-concluded ‘Spectrum 2014’ by NIFTians was a blend of fun and creativity. From rangoli, Sudoku, quiz and photography competitions to face painting, DJ show and Mr. and Mrs. Spectrum… there was never a boring moment in this two-day cultural gala.

The fashion show ‘Carnival Masquerade’ held on Sunday showcasing wacky designs created by budding designers was a fitting finale. As one made way into the NIFT campus a day before the fashion show, spunky boys and girls in their cool tees and denims huddled in groups could be seen giving the final touches to their creations. An interesting feature of the fashion show is that the creations are made of unconventional materials, the usage of fabric is minimal. At the first floor of fashion department, a ‘social networking’ meet is on. The designs created by a group of students are inspired by social networking sites Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. “We have used hay, aluminium foil, bamboo and papier mache,” says Gautam.

His classmate Harsh Vig shows us a dress made like a nest, a model of twitter. “We wanted to show how celebrities and common people tweet,” he says. Palak, Priyadarshini Venkat and their friends stamp their unconventional designs with funkiness and colour. Their theme is: ‘Latka Jhatka – The Indian Phataka’. “We wanted to capture what carnival means to India. Movies, festivals and politics are all part of it and we have used fake money, posters, nylon sheets and mithai paper,” say the duo. Poojitha, Harika and Deepika and their team’s ‘dresses’ have a cool concept. “It is inspired from glass beach in California,” enthuses Poojitha and adds, “The glass beach used to be a dumping yard where people would throw beer bottles. After years of erosion, it turned into colourful pebbles.”

The excitement among students is high; it is after all their first fashion show. Associate professor Fatima Bilgrami states, “The third year students are encouraged to explore new material instead of fabric. The tubes and installations like garments created by these students are quite wacky. It also helps these young boys and girls to create an identity with their style quotient, be creative, work as a team and aim to stand out in a crowd.” One group of four students focus on a tribe ‘Behroopia’ in Rajasthan. “The members of the tribe travel from one village to another by entertaining people. Our designs are made of the five characters – snake charmer, magician, chaiwala, dholwala and joker,” say Yoshita and Kalpesh. Glance around revealed a colourful dress made of tea strainers stand pretty. One close inspection, one could even see tea powder sprayed on it.