'Love your tradition'

'Love your tradition'

As a child, designer Kamaldeep Kaur was extremely interested in drawing. She also used to experiment with different textiles -- unaware of the fact that this is going to be her profession. In fact, she wanted to be a doctor.

Her decision to pursue fashion designing was an 'overnight' decision, which she is proud of now. With an aim to  develop the market for handmade products, Kamaldeep with her label 'Neelgar' has been doing their bit.  

In a chat with Surupasree Sarmmah,  Kamaldeep  talks about her journey as a fashion designer and what makes her designs unique.  

What makes  your creation unique in this industry?

Well, my main focus has constantly been on specialised tie-and-dye techniques practised in different parts of the world like Africa, Japan and Indonesia. These techniques were then not known in India for a long time and slowly people have started using them too.  

It has been 17 years in the industry, how has  your experience of fashion changed over these years?

In the last  15 years  of my career as a designer, I have completely  focussed on the international market. In the last three years, as I have started  focussing on the Indian market, I have seen that people's awareness or affinity towards high-quality fine craftsmanship has grown. They have now started understanding the value of handcrafted products.  

Describe Kamaldeep as a designer in three words...

Creative, ahead of time and human-friendly.  

You have also authored a book, tell us a little about that experience!

It is a book on the technical part of block printing. So, a person wants to start their own block-printing unit, this book can guide them. I feel that in India, there aren't enough documentation of this craftsmanship. Most of the books about Indian textiles are actually written by foreigners and not Indians.    

Your favourite  part of being a fashion designer?

What I find most fascinating is that, on one hand, I have spent so much time in the villages with the craftsmen but on the other, I also spend a lot of time on the streets of Frankfurt and Paris. It sometimes feels that I am living in two different time zones.  

Your role model...

Japanese fashion designer  Issey Miyake.  

Other interests apart from designing...

Cooking, it is as creative as designing. I like to travel and meet new people. Having conversations with interesting people is an absolute pleasure.    

 A fashion tip you would like to give...

Love your tradition and try to look at alternative ways to wear it, so that it can stay in fashion.  

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