'I see a lack of inspiration in the fashion industry'

'I see a lack of inspiration in the fashion industry'


The 56-year-old designer still has the same passion and zest for fashion he had when he first started and can easily give any newcomer a run for his money.

In the City for a fashion show, the designer got candid with Metrolife and revealed how he has changed with fashion over the decades. “Fashion does not belong to the designer but to the person who wears it, and that’s the fact every designer has to accept. I have always been emotionally connected to all of my designs but it was only when I let go of them that I really started moving on and doing better work,” says James.

His style encompasses the neoclassic, fresh and contemporary designs. And having been in the industry for over three decades, his design philosophy still remains the same. Today, the designer is rediscovering India through it myriad fabrics, especially khadi.

James feels it is high time India brings back khadi in fashion.  “Khadi is the most beautiful fabric and has been highly disregarded in modern times. I want to give the fabric a new life through my designs,” says James, whose latest collection of khadi comprises tunics, jackets, dresses, kurtis etc.

India, he says, is the only country that does not take fashion seriously. “It’s only out here you see the government showing a lack of support to the technicians. Even the kind of fashion schools the country has provide sub-standard training to the students. Very rarely do you see fashion students actually cutting and stitching their own designs. They only sketch them and ask the tailor to do other work,” says James.

Highly concerned with the dwindling community of fabric weavers, James says that there will soon come a time in India when there will be no traditional weavers. “Unless the government does something fast, we will have to start importing fabrics at a huge market price,” he says.

 His only advice to young designers is to read. He says that fashion sense is not inherited or acquired by watching fashion shows but by reading. “It’s not enough to know the technical aspects of fashion designing. Inspiration is the key to all designs and this comes from reading extensively. I do see a void and lack of inspiration in the fashion industry but one can only hope that things will change for the better,” he signs off.