“Don’t get too swayed by the limelight of fashion weeks”
You have come a long way from being a NIFT graduate, having been awarded the” Most Commercial designer Award” by Pantaloons India and today showcasing your work at the Lakme Fashion Week and having your own label. How has the journey been?
The journey’s been quite a ride! It’s been an amazing learning experience. In the process of learning about my craft, I learnt so much about my own self! The past few years have been extremely eventful and frankly I wouldn’t change any thing about it..
How would you describe your personal style?
I am all about comfort first, which is why I prefer wearing or styling with clothes which are statement yet easy to wear. I tend to pick up absolutely different looking clothes and then love to mix n match and pair them up in interesting ways. I am a bit of a bohemian!
What process do you follow while creating an outfit and which aspect of it do you enjoy the most?
Firstly, I have to be able to fall in love with the fabrics and colors I am using. Since we work only with handwoven fabrics which have beautiful motifs on them, I make sure that I do justice to both the fabric and the cut! I always keep the Indian body type in mind when I am design a different cut. We always make a test-fit before finalizing any particular cut. I enjoy the entire process as it’s always exciting to see a particular style bloom from the test-fit to the final garment!
Which has been your most memorable project and why?
I work with my own team of weavers in West Bengal. So everytime a new design has to be handwoven, there’s so much to learn and experiment that I enjoy that bit the most! Apart from that, I think the Lakme Fashion Week shows are always memorable as that’s one time we get to see the entire look on the ramp.
What are the challenges you face as a young entrepreneur in this profession?
Well, every day we are learning something new… designing and making garments is just one part of running a business. There are so many aspects to running a workshop with tailors, weavers, dyers etc. Then there’s the marketing part of it. It’s a pretty tough job..
Tell us a bit about your collection. Who or what inspires you to create such varied designs?
I love handloom.. But I found it very difficult to get striking handloom clothes in nice colors etc. So that’s where we come in…We are all about edgy handloom clothes which are ethno-cool yet earthy. I am very driven by things which we tend to think are difficult to attain. That inspires me to find a way to achieve them. For ex- our first studio handwoven new-age Jamdani collection had these big house motifs hand woven in two colors which was a very difficult task on a simple handloom. But after a lot of struggle, we achieved it..
How has your work evolved since you started your own label?
I am constantly growing. I dislike stagnation and I feel as a designer that’s the worst thing that can happen to you. My work has definitely evolved.. with each season, I feel my work has become more matured..Also I feel now we understand our wearer better..
What is your opinion on gaining international exposure in this profession in today’s scenario?
See, there are a lot of International exhibitions, trade fairs and even awards that one can apply to. It’s become easy to find out details about them and apply ‘cause of the internet. But surely it’s difficult to get through them as there are a lot of upcoming brands and the competition is pretty tight..But if your product is exclusive then it’s easy to get noticed!
Other than creativity, what tools or technical skills should a designer be equipped with?
I think a bit of knowledge about pattern making is important. Also understanding weaving, dyeing processes, embroidery is all needed too. Apart from these some marketing and branding skills are important too..
What advice would want to give to the aspiring fashion designers?
I would advice young designers to take criticisms as stepping stones and move on to find new inspiration and make way for the new collection.
Be original and stick to your sensibility – don’t get too swayed by the limelight of fashion weeks – find your centre and believe in it.
Visit Label Debashri Samanta’s Facebook page here.