A touch of the personality

A touch of the personality
With a dash of creativity and steady fingers, one can turn anything into a canvas — including themselves. Which is why do-it-yourself (DIY) fashion statements and experimental styles are becoming trendier by the day. So, instead of buying an expensive pair of mass-manufactured earrings, one could use spare keys or pen caps as fashion accessories, after, of course, polishing them for the eyes.

And the great thing about DIY products is that they are one-of-a-kind; it’s a guarantee that the person sitting next to you on the bus won’t have the same piece. It’s this uniqueness that pushes Sarojini Narahari to make her own accessories. An architect, she uses her accurate sense of proportion and scale to make jewellery. And she’s a firm believer of the saying ‘make the best of waste’. “I use material that I can find in my surrounding — seeds, wood, stones — to make tribal jewellery designs,” she says. And to complement modern sensibilities with traditional ones, she improvises and experiments; she makes shawls and stoles with stone ornaments on them. She explains, “The idea of DIY fashion is take an idea or motif and make it relevant to current times.”

DIY works also leave space for one’s imagination, and give outfits or looks an individualistic feel. Shailee Adke, who loves her shoes, decided to experiment with them as a hobby but soon, found herself immersed in the craft. “One day, I took a pair of Bata canvas shoes and tried painting on them. Since I love music, my first pair had guitars on them. This way, I get to indulge in my love for art and craft and add a personalised touch to by daily outfits,” she says.

It’s not just shoes, jewellery and clothes that get revamped; many like Apoorva Tadepalli give their hair a make-over as well. Her personality is splashed all over her as she says, “There’s no wrong or right when it comes to a self-erasing canvas. It feels like a shame to waste an opportunity like this — the freedom to keep doing things in infinite new ways — by letting someone ‘trained’ help you in an institutionalised way instead.” Which is why her signature looks include glasses, block or solid colour tops (“It makes it easier to wear colourful scarves and neckpieces.”) and harem pants or leggings.

Apoorva mentions that it’s more affordable to go the DIY way, to which Sachin Singh and Bhairavi Malkani agree. Sachin, a former model with the Acharya Institute of Technology fashion team, says, “When I was in the fashion team in college, we’d always come up with themes that made fashion accessible to the middle-class population. We didn’t have big budgets so we’d go to Commercial Street and make do with whatever we had, and this is what fashion is all about — improvising while keeping it  relevant and trendy.”

Bhairavi explains that’s it’s actually less time-consuming and more affordable to do it yourself. “I make bags, clutches and slings with old cotton and silk T-shirts, kurtas and tops. If I were to buy material just for the occasion, I’d end up spending and wasting a lot more than when compared to upcycling.” She also uses left-over canvas from her painting sessions to make bags.

Being eco-friendly is one of the perks of ‘doing it yourself’. Aparnas Suresh designs jute products and mentions, “All my products are eco-friendly. My main aim is to make pocket-friendly products and I am focused on bringing out Indian weaves and designs.”

With the social media boom, there are tutorials, videos, blogs, listicles and articles that help one make the best out of what they have, while being creative at the same time. So, instead of heading out to a salon or mall, one can just look online to fix their hair or make a trendy wardrobe.

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