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Fashion
February 20, 2017

In Conversation With: Priyanka Lama at London Fashion Week

Text by Sadaf Shaikh

5 emerging Indian designers, supported by IMG Reliance, took home the award for the Best International Fashion Showcase at London Fashion Week. Here’s a look at their work, influences, and creative techniques

How have you incorporated the theme of ‘The Indian Pastoralists’ in your showcase?
“The Indian Pastoralists represent the varied artisanal communities that inhabit a few pockets across the mountains in India. I have taken inspiration from the life of the highland communities of Lachen and Lachung in the foothills of the Sikkim Himalayas. Almost trans-human in nature, as believed in folklore, they have been living in self-sustaining societies, in harmony with nature. Untouched and unaffected by modernism, they live in a metaphysical state.”

What are the elements that influenced your collection’The Unreached’?
“As the name signifies, these are communities that have rarely been written about or researched on. My designs take a deconstructed approach from the bakhu and honju, which are traditional garments worn by the women from that region.”

What are the local elements that you have tried to retain?
“I have used the indigenous Eri and its yarn waste exclusively for this collection. The fiber is nature’s own upcycled product, where the cocoon is technically waste after the silkworm transforms and leaves, earning its name of peace or non-violence silk.”

What does the P.E.L.L.A woman symbolise?
“A P.E.L.L.A woman finds poetry in fashion. She is someone who appreciates the beauty of true craftsmanship and has an eye for the most inconspicuous of details.”

How have you maintained a balance between an Indian and global aesthetic?
“My work blurs the boundaries of what we perceive is Indian or global. I think it is very important to appreciate design in its true form, regardless of origin or destination.”

What are the techniques and textiles used? 
“P.E.L.L.A as a label incorporates zero-waste design techniques in pattern-making. This means eliminating waste in the design phase itself. You will see garments made out of a single block of fabric which is used to create the silhouette. The finishing is painstakingly hand-rolled and blind-hemmed to create a boundaryless design.”

London is…
“Diverse. It has a beautiful mix of people from all around the world, and the very fact they are accepting…is beautiful.”

A show that you would want to attend at London Fashion Week…
“J.W.Anderson.”

Read about Ragini Ahuja’s installation here.

Read about Ujjawal Dubey’s installation here

Read about Kaleekal’s installation here.

Read about Karishma Shahani’s installation here.

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