An artistic exploration

May 24, 2019 12:00 am | Updated 05:06 am IST

Fashion has so many facets like a fine cut diamond, says Susan Thomas, head of NIFT Bengaluru, with regard to the institute’s upcoming graduation show

Fluid linesThe coming together of symmetry, choreography and clothesSpecial arrangement

Fluid linesThe coming together of symmetry, choreography and clothesSpecial arrangement

Graduating students of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Bengaluru will step out of their campus to present their work on May 25 at the Art Gallery, RMZ Ecoworld. Chief guest former, Miss India Shvetha Jaishankar will witness a collection showcasing the designs of 25 students, apart from a curated display of works by more than 100 students that will include accessories, home décor and apparel that comprises knit wear. Susan Thomas, Director, NIFT, Bengaluru spoke to Metroplus spoke about the work these young designers will exhibit.

What is the importance of this graduation display?

NIFT has been traditionally thought of in terms of fashion apparel alone. This showcase will dispel the myth that fashion only means garments — there are wall clocks, handbags, jewellery, furniture and re-imagined Chettinad jewellery boxes. At the institutional level, it is important for us to showcase the wide range of our students' work and help the public understand that fashion has many facets like a fine cut diamond. Our fashion communication department will showcase product photography, visual merchandising and other avante garde objects.

Why is NIFT leaving campus to make Graduation Day a public event?

NIFT has been in Bengaluru since 1997 and we have had shows where Deepika Padukone, Indrani Dasgupta and Vidisha Pavate have walked the ramp for us wearing our students’designs. We are throwing open our show to the public because we feel we owe it to the community. We take great care to instil a modern taste in our students as well as employ the traditional wisdom of our handloom and handicrafts. As a result, our products are glocal with kasuti or rabari embroidery on capes and coats. Anjura Raizada's home décor textile design has embroidery motifs inspired from Bastar dokra craft.

The idea of taking it to RMZ Art Gallery was mooted by our youngest faculty member, Shraddha Gupta. Our trustees and president Venugopal saw this as an opportunity and agreed.

Tell us more about the collections.

There are going to be 25 collections ranging from menswear and lingerie to knit wear and will outline concepts from design ideation to execution. Fashion on the ramp is a different ball game altogether. The curation of symmetry, choreography and clothes, are a phenomenal exercise. God is in the details, more so in the area of fashion. From socks to ear cuffs, students cover everything and they need to cultivate an eye for each element. This is why it is a practise-based craft.

Why did you decide to have a live fashion show instead of a curated static display?

NIFT designers still lead the pack in the country and this exposure is important for students going forward in their professional journey. There is also an awards ceremony at the end where the best collections will win the prestigious annual trophy. Exposing them to a live fashion show is a rather academic exercise.

Is the NIFT curriculum evolving towards a contemporary sense of fashion?

Under Sarada Muraleedharan, our Director General, the curriculum was overhauled last year to make it inter-disciplinary. The transaction is more contemporary, fluid and there is a lot of stress on the foreign exchange programme and industry interface. It is still rooted in a design thinking process and we teach story telling, theatre and history to groom design sensibilities. An accessory design student can take a course in apparel design, thus making education holistic.

(NIFT Graduation Show, May 25, 7pm onwards, @ The Bay, Ecoworld, RMZ Foundation, Sarjapur Road)

  • In the public eye

  • Shivansh Swarup, a final year student of accessories design, is showing his work which is very Parisian with zircon and pearls along minimal lines. For him, this art gallery display, open to the public for a week, is a great way to get feedback.

    For Parashmita who worked on men's bags for Van Heusen, it was an eye opener on how aesthetics had to be married with functionality and saleability. An art gallery experience, she feels, completes the circle by gaining exposure to end users.

    They challenge conventional notions of design and their modern aesthetics present a body of work high in sensibility - Susan Thomas, Director, NIFT, Bengaluru

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