India, Bhutan celebrates their textile heritage

Last Updated : 16 October 2019, 19:13 IST
Last Updated : 16 October 2019, 19:13 IST

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Mahatma Gandhi and his legacy of 'Swadeshi' movement were at the centre as fashion designers from India and Bhutan came together on Wednesday to celebrate the textile heritage of the two countries here.

The presentation at the Royal Textile Academy (RTA), organised by the Embassy of India in Thimpu to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi and the friendship between the two nations, saw designers from India and Bhutan showcase their creations in Khadi and Thagzo.

Ambassador of India to Bhutan, Ruchira Kamboj started the evening by welcoming the members of the Royal family of Bhutan – Queen mother Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuk, Princess Euphelma Choden Wangchuk and Ashi Dekhi Yangzom Wangchuk, along with Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering, other ministers and Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) chairman, Vinai Kumar Saxena.

Kamboj said the initiative will further deepen the already strong partnership between Indian and Bhutan.

"Tonight, we honour our countries through collaboration, our people with compassion and our remarkable friendship through art...The night is not just about glorious textile presentation but also about the opening of new collaborations," she said.

Organised with the support of India's Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) and the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the event commenced with a soulful rendition of Gandhi's favourite bhajan "Vaishnav jan to tene kahiye" by renowned Rajasthani folk artiste Samandar Khan and his troop.

The presentation started with four leading Bhutanese designers – Chandrika Tamang, Kencho Wangmo, Tshering Choden and Sangay Choden showcasing their collection, an amalgamation of their traditional weaves and Khadi, provided to them by the FDCI.

Tshering’s range, in white and maroon, was a contemporary take on the country's traditional clothing, while Sangay’s creations were in white with Bhutanese weaves adding a touch of colour.

Kencho again opted for whites with a hint of beige, but her silhouettes from the mountains of Bhutan made a perfect choice for a beach vacation.

The first half of the textile presentation ended with Chandrika showcasing her collection. She chose yellow, the royal colour of Bhutan, to celebrate sustainability.

Her creations were an appealing mix of contemporary Indian silhouettes adorned by Bhutanese patterns and weaves.

The beautiful RTA building, one of the most visited tourist spots in Thimpu, acted as a magical background for the show, which was carried forward by Indian designers – Rajesh Pratap Singh, Anamika Khanna and Samant Chauhan Singh presented his signature modern designs crafted on Khadi in the shades of blue, black and grey, while Chauhan’s showcase was dominated by red-carpet-worthy gowns in beige.

Anamika, the only female Indian designer showcasing at the event, brought her contemporary versions of Indian drapes to Bhutan.

FDCI chairman Sunil Sethi said the presentation is not a one-time affair and he is looking forward to many more collaborations between the two countries.

"We have a lot of plans to carry this initiative forward. We are planning to have a Bhutanese stall and India Fashion Week in March next year," Sethi told PTI.

Chef Akshay Kumar had created a wholesome Satvik cuisine, especially curated for the event, from the spiritual city of Varanasi.

Published 16 October 2019, 19:13 IST

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