Northeast is back to forefront

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Delhi is witnessing an eight-day-long cultural extravaganza of the Northeastern states titled Celebrating the North East: Exhibition, Fashion, Music, which opened at Dilli Haat on October 2. Organised by the Union Textiles Ministry in association with the Director of Welfare of Plain Tribes and Backward Classes, Government of Assam, the festival sees its last day today.

The inaugural day saw Vikram Rai Medhi, a well-known Assamese name as the organiser presenting a colourful and vibrant Indo-western line of rich Assam silk Mekhala Chadars, sarees in tribal textiles.

Vikram, shares his experience and says, “This event not only promotes fashion but also plays a much larger role in brining the culture of Northeast to the mainstream and building a positive image of the region.

“I have conceptualised the entire festival in order to instill pride and confidence in the people. I wanted to bring down the NE talent and show the latest fashion and accessories.”

This eight-day festival featuring designers from Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura is giving a platform to tribal as well as non-tribal designers to become a part of the national mainstream.

The direct beneficiaries of the tremendous craze for fashion are weavers and artisans as young designers are guiding weavers on how to diversify their products.

They are directly using handicrafts in the collection to promote local handicrafts. NE is known to be quite fashionable when it comes to the latest trends but also it has seen a lot in terms of unrest and violence in the past. Talking about the morphed pictures of NE, Vikram says, “People have wrong notions about NE. Even Israel has disturbance. A stigma is attached to the region which is creating this psychological barrier. I just want to say that we are being misunderstood, we have our own culture and are hospitable.”

Another designer, Atu Jamir who displayed her collection, says, “My collection was based on the modern outlook of fashion, yet wearable and comfortable.”

According to Vikram, NE is seeing a lot of foreign and Indian international buyers who come to buy organic fabrics which are made from organic colours too. Paan and cucumber are being largely used to dye fabrics, which are a hit among foreign buyers as they only focus in exclusivity.

The fest had 20 stalls displaying textiles, accessories and jewellery which provided visitors abundant variety.

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