Vizag’s young innovators of fashion industry

High on fashion A model walking the ramp at the Annual Design Awards show of JD Institute of Fashion Technology  

Fashion never shies away from change. As one of the most dynamic industries, innovation and creativity form the core of the fashion sector. Thanks to these features, a new generation of designers is building collections with freshness and a more conscious approach to fashion at their core.

Whether designing themes that challenge age-old patriarchal roles or defying fashion stereotypes by including the visually-impaired in showcasing collections, theirs is an approach to fashion that eschews traditional connotations. At the recently held Annual Design Awards programme of JD Institute of Fashion Technology, budding fashion designers came up with collections on the theme ‘Change’. The young designers explain the theme of their collections and their goals ahead.

Bring in the change

The 11 collections, each comprising seven outfits, displayed the passion and daring spirit of the budding designers. The award winning collections of Sowmya Vemireddy that bagged the commercially viable collection award are typical examples. Describing the designs as “strings unveiled”, Sowmya says: “Women are victims of gender stereotyping. Through my designs, I attempt to convey the idea of today’s bold and confident woman.” Working with bold colour palettes of maroon, dark blue and green and pairing these with brown, Sowmya designed semi-formal dresses on cotton linen and khadi fabrics. A fashion blogger, Sowmya aims to work as costume designer in films. After completing her computer science engineering, Sowmya worked in an IT firm for a brief time before heading to the US to pursue her masters in management. She also worked as an HR professional in a multinational firm. But she always nurtured a passion to learn the nuances of fashion design. Wife of an army officer, she finally could pursue her passion when she came to Vizag and enrolled for a diploma course in the institute. The fashion blogger also worked in collaboration with a handloom brand and a handmade jewellery firm. She blogs at

Pramila Jain’s collection called ‘Ghunghat’ was an ode to the boldness of Rajasthani women and their efforts of breaking the rigid patriarchal system. Combining denim fabric with ‘gotta patti’, the young designer brought together two contrasting elements of the ‘ghunghat’ and the ‘turban’ in her collection. “The idea was to showcase how in conservative Marwari communities, the women are establishing their own identities,” she says. The colour palette used for the Indo-western outfits was bright shades of reds, pinks, blues and greens.


One of the highlights of the show was the collection of designers Lakshmi Sujatha Ganguri and her daughter Aishwarya who made visually impaired girls showcase the outfits by walking the ramp. Sujatha has this year bagged the best Khadi Designer Award at a national level contest organised by the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises. She was selected from over 50,000 entries from designers across the country. Inspired by the Swadeshi movement, 11 of her garments designed on khadi fabric were selected for the finale. She was among 35 designers who were short-listed in the final round and the only one from the Telugu States of AP and Telangana. The award has come as a big boost to the 44-year-old designer who started her journey in the fashion designing world only a year ago. “I have always had a deep attachment for khadi and handlooms. All my designs done so far are on handloom fabrics. My childhood years were spent in Gummileru in East Godavari district where I have seen the weavers spin handloom yarns,” says Sujatha. Retaining the originality of the rich shade of the khadi, the designer accentuated the texture through embellishments and accessories – all made from Khadi, sourced from the villages of AP like Ponduru and Angara. Recalling the experience, Sujatha shares how the participants of the Miss Khadi beauty pageant held parallely were so floored by her collections that they all sought to walk the ramp in her designs. “There is no need to glamorise khadi. The original richness of the fabric not only brings in a deep sense of Gandhian aesthetics, if khadi clothes are made with cutting edge designs at par with global trends, they will automatically appeal to the youth. My aim is to take this humble fabric across the globe and showcase it in the trendiest forms and designs,” says Sujatha.

The youngest designer to showcase her collection at the show was 16-year-old Rajeev Harshitha. She gave a twist to semi-formals by giving it a messy look. Explaining about her collection titled ‘Topsy-Turvy’, Harshitha says: “Something that is messy can also make you look good. My collection highlighted the aspects of comfort with style in the semi-formal styles.”

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 12:04:16 AM |

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