He might be known for his extravagant designs filled with embroidery, crystals and golden threads, but fashion designer Vikram Phadnis plans to take a detour to the dusty roads of Raigad and Ratnagiri through his designs this year. In an earlier interview, Phadnis had revealed that he would be collaborating with the NGO Swades Foundation, which works towards rural empowerment.
As part of the collaboration, Phadnis visited the areas where Swades is involved in developmental work and came back with a de-glamorised line in mind.
“I am from Goa and I felt a connection with the cause of rural India. The first thing that struck me about the people was how they strived to be the best despite the limited resources they have,” says Phadnis, about his initial rural visit.
Phadnis observes that there is an inherent beauty in the style of dressing in the interior regions of India, which is inspiring and amazing. “Any designer will agree to the raw appeal that our villages hold. You will see the women wearing a bizarre combination of colours, bright fabrics and prints that you would never think of wearing but they manage to look good in it,” he says.
Phadnis will be using shades of earthen beauty in his collection: “The colour palette will range from the sun to the soil. I usually do very glamorous outfits but this time it will be subtle with fabrics such as tusser with gota work, flowing skirts, churidars and kamasutra cholis (small, fitting cholis). It will be traditional with my touch.”
Also, walking the ramp along with celebrities will be people from the villages where Swades conducts its core developmental activities.