India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Verve People
October 26, 2017

Indian Labels We Love: Anaam By Sumiran Kabir Sharma

Text by Zaral Shah. Photograph by Archisman Mishra

Discover the designer’s anomalous approach to fashion

Growing up, Sumiran Kabir Sharma wanted to be a performing artiste — and he is one today. The university topper in mechanical engineering realised his creative bent of mind when campus placements highlighted his communication skills more than his technical ones. Though his engineering and management skills continue to come in handy, his design process breaks a common presumption — fashion is for people who can sketch. “If that were true, I wouldn’t have been able to complete my fashion degree. I work directly with fabrics. I feel they speak to me. I drape them directly on myself, a friend, or a mannequin. Once the look is fixed, I start the process of pattern making and fabric selection. So, in a nutshell, I work as an artist who creates forms and silhouettes.”

The 32-year-old’s label Anaam’s signature style brings to the table an interesting backstory. It started with a piece called Kaleone — Sumiran’s submission for his evening wear project — a fictional character he’d created specifically for it. “It is made of two characters, Kali, the Hindu goddess and Sunny Leone, the Indian-origin Canadian artiste. I compared both, not just with regards to their physical appearance but also their inner essence — their ability to control or conquer what is evil. While others were making corsets and accentuating assets, I had cut the bust area from the bodice and let the bust fall freely, something that is seen in the common depiction of Goddess Kali.” Not being able to shoot on a female model because of nudity issues, Sumiran styled the look with a men’s white shirt. This piece also emitted the essence of the Ardhanareshvar avatar of Shiva, an androgynous form of Shiva and Parvati, which even today stands as the signature style of Anaam.

Winner of the Woolmark Company’s Best Design Collection Award Portfolio 2013 and Woolmark Young Talent Award, his label’s ethos lies in its unique language — their silhouettes, drapes and detailing. The road ahead? He’s looking at the International Woolmark Prize, and participating in Paris Fashion Week. “As they say, dream for the moon and you may get the stars!” he smiles.

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