Monday, June 17 2019


Fashion Column

When it comes to fashion, no holds are barred, and technology is a nifty tool in the hands of the bold and creative. Young designers have taken the lead in creating a new language in Indian fashion.
In the twenty-first century, fashion has taken a more innovative and techno turn with fabrics at times being replaced by other mediums to create garments. The organic fashion movement is quite strong and has led to the development of bamboo-blended products – which are anti-allergenic, anti-fungal, anti-microbes – and bathrobes, hair wraps, bed linen, happy hoods and plain socks all created from chemical-free cotton. Techno possibilities in fashion are also making an impact on ramps. Modern technology has enabled fabrics from products such as soya bean, bamboo, aloe vera, banana, pineapple and hemp. But while designers are experimenting with fabrics,they are also at times replacing them with other materials.
One of the talented designers working with unusual textiles is Gaurav Jai Gupta. Very innovative in weaves, his fabrics have stainless steel mixed with ring-spun cotton, silk and high-twist cotton with a jacquard design all done in an engineered pattern which automatically fits into the design of his garment. His colour palettes are always subdued allowing the fabrics and designs to do all the talking. This National Institute of Fashion Technology graduate and alumni of the Chelsea College of Art and Design London has made woven textiles his forté and worked with experts like Emma Thompson, Jimmy Choo and Gwyn Miles.
Another designer who pushes the envelope when it comes to fashion designing is Swapnil Shinde. His collection for Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011 inspired by DHL was called ‘Speed of Sound’ and to create the hints of ripples created by sound waves from various techno items like cell phones, Internet and modems, Shinde worked with materials like acrylic, PVC and faux leather. The detailing was extreme with folds, pleats and drapes created from the line of unconventional materials. There were eye-catching dresses with transparent PVC rolls, multi-pronged plastic conecovered skirts and even a majestic white gown with acrylic tubes all around that could make a stunning red-carpet impact.
Working with truly techno gadgets is Vivek Kumar who has presented some futuristic designs each season. For Winter/ Festive 2011 at Lakmé Fashion Week, it was almost a warrior queen-like collection that was embellished with studs and rivets. The knit collection featured loose knits as textures along with tied rings with handknitted flatbed fabrics, and inserted stitches with flatbed techniques. Wired forms emerged as sleeves while steel studs and zippers embellished the creations.
Kumar’s earlier collection for 2010 called ‘Circuit Darzi’ combined fashion with industrial designing, using electric motors, sliders, cable driven mechanism once again on flatbed knits. The result was a great twenty-first-century style statement as the designer replaced beads and sequins with electronic parts. Down the ramp came circuit motors spinning on the front of simple shifts. Gold discs were the dazzling embellishments on yokes. An A-line gown suddenly turned into a tent dress with the flick of a button on the remote control while wires and fabrics were twisted together for headgear. The mix of technology and fashion definitely made the audience sit up.
There have been several experiments by students of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, when garments have not just been covers for the body but have helped in acting as treatment. With a touch of a button a jacket could turn warm or cold depending on the weather around the wearer. There are also designs where a jacket gave a relaxing shoulder and back massage to a tired executive in office as he works throughout the day.
It is quite evident that fashion is not only relying on mundane fabrics and embellishments but is bringing in technology to dress up fashionistas.

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