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Designer Ritu Kumar on revisiting Kashmir

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Designer Ritu Kumar on revisiting Kashmir

For veteran style dressmaker Ritu Kumar, Kashmir by no means stopped to inspire her design, craft, and narrative. The particular fabric traditions from the valley are superbly recreated via her and showcased in her son, movie-maker Ashvin Kumar’s modern-day movie No Fathers in Kashmir. Kumar’s affiliation with Kashmir has been a long, evocative adventure. As a baby, she spent quite a few time there at some stage in the summer season holidays and a part of her circle of relatives additionally belonged to Kashmir. During that time, she developed a natural likeness toward the picturesque territory. “Later on as my profession evolved, I realized there has been a lot of research to be accomplished at the Kashmiri scarf and it was one of the maximum advanced textiles inside the international. People around the globe nevertheless copy the aesthetics of the scarf and make contact with it ‘Pasiley’, but, it is essentially classy of the weaving of the Kashmiri scarf that people really put on nowadays”, says Kumar.

 

For the film, Kumar recreated the Kashmiri shawls that had been clearly worn through the locals in the olden times. In a special interview, she talks about her time-honored relationship with Kashmir, how the valley inspired the clothes and textiles showcased inside the movie and her new e-book. Excerpts from the interview:

Q: What changed into the inspiration for designing garments for ‘No Fathers in Kashmir’? What was your takeaway from the journey?

Even even though the film is about in the early 20th Century, Kashmir has no longer modified plenty considering the fact that and the aesthetics of that a part of the arena are so best and specific that one could absolutely not have taken any modern clothes and placed them into the situation so it was even greater imperative that someone more privy to the colors and traditions of Kashmir does the costumes for the film.

-A lot of studies that I did has to do with the information about the aesthetics of the stylised flora and flowers. The colorings which can be used to make clothes in Kashmir come in large part from vegetable dyes, which usually come from saffron and veggies. Since Kashmir turned into an isolated a part of the sector and it became now not smooth for the people inside the place to journey from the mainland to find artificial dyes. Most of the fabrics they use for his or her clothes in Kashmir are wools which might be essentially protein fibers.

– I actually have recreated Kashmiri shawls for the film which have been clearly worn with the aid of the locals inside the olden times. I tried to recreate the look of the shawls through printing them in Delhi, the concept was to make them seem like the antique shawls. There turned into quite a few studies which went into making the costumes. Even although there were no longer many costumes in the film, we attempted to recreate what humans put on there which required a variety of studies.

Q: How did you manipulate to live applicable to the narrative as some distance because the garments are involved?

We had a French and an English group who handled special elements of the film. We needed to recreate the furniture and interiors of the place due to the fact we couldn’t discover something which looked actual and the interiors of homes in Kashmir are very precise, for example, the Kazak motifs on the Shikaras. It’s hard to discover fabrics just like the ones available in Kashmir in present-day India and I needed to recreate the ones as nicely for furnishing. The shade palette had to be kept properly within control so the colors wouldn’t overshadow the sets, as an instance even within the wedding ceremony series the colors had to be contained in a way.

Q: What have been the key elements used in this series for No Fathers in Kashmir? How did your reminiscence of Kashmir play a role here?

After spending a large amount in the fashion industry, I realized that there was so much research that could be achieved on the Kashmiri shawls and it becomes one of the most evolved textiles in the world. People around the globe still, copy the aesthetics of the shawl and get in touch with it ‘Pasiley’, however, it is essentially cultured of the weaving of the Kashmiri scarf that humans actually wear today.

I also attempted to reproduce the Jamavar shawls by means of getting the neighborhood women from SEVA NGO to do the embroidery and make the women embroider the very stunning phirans they wear however because of militancy and unrest in the region at the time we had to near down the unit and had to get them made in Delhi. I used a whole lot of one of a kind kinds of wools for the gathering.

Q: As one of the stalwarts of the Indian style industry, wherein do you suspect we stand right now and is there something you would like to peer within the cutting-edge scenario this is missing?

One of the main adjustments I have noticed inside the style landscape is that it has come to be a good deal more open and aware of what’s occurring inside the international. It is not confined to what your mom informed you to wear however it has a worldwide as well as Indian measurement. Because of that, I assume the wardrobes in India are very rich and plenty larger than anywhere else within the world – this is the great part of India. One aspect that is lacking is guided from the enterprise in helping the more moderen designers to professionalize themselves and finance both their collections and retailing.

Q: Fashion has been normally recognized in India in the context of Bollywood movies and within the last few years, we’ve visible a change in how Indian style is perceived. Do you feel that Indian style can stand independently regardless of its illustration in Indian cinema?

Indian cinema has a very strong have an effect on and as a count of fact, I see now that there may be an increasing number of of-Indian identity inside the garments at the side of western garb. It certainly is adding some of the one-of-a-kind occasions like haldi, Mehendi to everyone’s repertoire and the dressing of Indianised garb has sincerely long past up, both in the films as well as within the market, which absorbs these movies.

Q: What’s next for you?

I’m running on an ebook which I’m writing and that is more of a textile travelogue. The enterprise is, of course, heading directly to do their summer season and winter traces as a regular for all the 3 manufacturers, Label, RK and RI. We are also expanding into home furnishings – this was something that we used to preserve doing sporadically depending upon whilst there was space and time to produce it. We constantly did cushions, quilts and so on, but now it’s miles going to be a full-fledged revival of the Indian prints through our domestic series.

Q: What is the maximum non-style issue that has stimulated you in your layout adventure?

Reading is something that I revel in plenty and has inspired me through the years to innovate and create. I love analyzing and discovering approximately the history of India in textiles and the depth that there’s of the difficulty. I find it absolutely inspirational that we were the first ones inside the world to find a solution for dies and printing and we nonetheless continue to be ideally suited there.

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