Mumbai: Veteran designer Ritu Kumar says the Indian fashion industry is not only about style but substance too as designers today use their platform to discuss about issues.
Kumar, who started her career in 1969 and has great understanding of ancient designs and the innovative use of traditional crafts, says the designers are using their platform to raise awareness.
Asked if Indian fashion industry is all about style and no substance, Kumar told IANS over e-mail: "No, this is far from true."
She said, "Designers nowadays use their platform to discuss or raise awareness about issues like the dying of handicrafts or the need to use organic fabrics, and because of their reach this can make a great difference."
Kumar feels that designers have helped a lot in saving the dying crafts.
"For instance, the Benaras revival that many designers, including myself, have undertaken has done a lot to preserve this craft," she said.
The 73-year-old showcased her Maharaja Pop collection at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2017 under her eponymous label, which uses the established forte of traditional Indian aesthetics to create fashion oriented international products.
Talking about the collection, she said: "(It's) Inspired by the rich fabrics and ornamentations of erstwhile royalty, merged with quirky colour accents and bold, military inspired prints, this collection is a modern retelling of a vibrant fashion tradition."
With over a four-decade-long journey in the industry, Kumar, whose list of clients include Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra and international celebrities such as the late Princess Diana and Mischa Barton, has seen an evident evolution in the fashion world.
"Over the years, there has been an increase in opportunities for designers to showcase their work and reach a larger audience. Audiences too have become more aware of fashion trends and styles. This has allowed for more innovation in the field," she said.
But haven't designers slowed down in terms of experimenting on the runway?
"I do not think this is the case at all. As mentioned earlier, due to increased reach and more audience awareness, designers are experimenting more than ever before," she said.
(The writer's visit is at the invitation of Lakme Fashion Week organisers. Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)