Weaving a passion

Weaving a passion

Her clothes have two purposes — showcase creativity and also send out a strong message to people to encourage sustainable fashion.

Guwahati-based designer Nandini Baruva’s primary focus is to work in a way that benefits the weavers and artisans of Assam. The designer had showcased a collection for the
first time at the ‘Lakme Fashion Week’ recently, six years since she stepped into the fashion industry.

In an interaction with Surupasree Sarmmah, the designer talks about her work, her dream design and more.

How did you develop an interest in designing?
Coming from a family of artists, I was always surrounded by art and therefore, developed a natural interest in it. Though I was a student of finance, I had an inclination for garment
designing as I loved dressing up people. Art and design had already become a part of my life by the time I grew up. 

Tell us a bit about your style of work.
Assam has a rich heritage of  handlooms and weavers but unfortunately it’s not being utilised in a way that will bring global acceptance. My forte is to design outfits that are contemporary in design yet traditional in their motifs and approach. All my designs are wearable and have a general acceptance among people.

If not a designer...
I would have spent my life surrounded by canvasses and paint brushes.

What according to you is the best part of being a designer?
The fact that there are no limits to creativity is the best part of this profession. You never run out of ideas.

Apart from designing clothes, what are your other interests?
I like to work in a way that benefits local weavers and artisans. Apart from designing clothes, I also make accessories, bags and jewellery. I make briefcase bags, totes and backpacks from woven fabrics and cane. The purpose behind using cane is to help the Assam cane industry come up and get recognised globally.

Anyone from the industry you would like to work with...
John Galliano, Raghavendra Rathore and Rajesh Pratap Singh.

Tell us about your latest collection...
My latest collection is called ‘Bhumisattva’ and it is primarily focussed on the use of ‘Eri-silk’or the indigenous ahimsa silk. The collection is all about sustainable fashion and I have used natural fabrics and fibres of banana and pineapple. Hand weaves and embroidery are extensively used with the colour palette concentrating on ivory, beige, gold and red. Gowns, draped ‘kurtas’, fusion ‘lehengas’, concept ‘mekhela chadors’ and indo-chic jackets are some of the outfits one can look forward to.
 
Your favourite fabric to work with...
It has to be ‘Eri’ silk. It is an indigenous fabric and very versatile. The fact that it keeps one cool in summer and warm in winter makes it special and comfortable to wear. Which is why it is my all-time favourite.

Four things you can’t live without...
Work kit, iPad, phone and a scarf

Tell us about your dream design...
It has to be a dramatic gown with a train which will depict the traditional stories of  ‘Namghar’ (temple story).

Any advice for young designers?
Follow your heart and mind. Every individual has a certain innate taste, so take yours forward.  

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