‘India offers rainbow of fabrics and craftsmanship’

April 26th, 2009 - 1:43 pm ICT by IANS  

National Geographic By Shilpa Raina
New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) On his first visit to India, British designer Mark Liu is smitten by the rich craftsmanship and handicrafts of this country. India, he says, offers a rainbow of fabrics and craftsmanship and he has been inspired to use them in his designs.

“I have always read about India’s rich traditional heritage and crafts in books but it was my first face-to-face encounter with the intricate and traditional designs of the Indian designers. I must say I am impressed and bowled over by these beautiful pieces of art,” Liu told IANS in an interview.

“I would very much like to work on these intricate pieces of art,” he added.

Liu, 27, was in the capital to participate in an eco-friendly fashion show organised by the National Geographic Channel. The aim was to highlight the state of our planet and encourage the use of eco-friendly practices in our day-to-day life.

Liu’s designs were based on the concept of “zero waste fashion”, in which each garment was created without wasting any fabric.

“In every garment approximately 15 percent of the fabric is wasted in the pattern cutting process. I have created garments where waste is designed out of a garment from the very beginning of the process. To do this, all rules of tailoring and textiles are broken and reinvented,” Liu explained.

“I have researched a lot on this subject and it is my way of contributing to the environment. Every designer should wake up and start doing something about the environment,” he added.

Now the next mission of this young designer is to explore sustainable fashion and textiles and for this he will be testing new alternative sustainable fabrics, exploring the underlying chemistry of natural dyes and using hi-tech fabrics to create more efficient tailoring technique.

With Indian designers aping western designs and cuts, Liu feels that they should blend Indian skills with western concepts to woo the western audience.

“Here designers have access to thousand-years-old rich culture and history. They should not ape west blindly but yet they should create garments that have western influences with Indian craftsmanship. This is the key to success because even people in the West are fascinated by Indian tradition and heritage,” Liu said.

“The whole idea is to identify your forte and start working on it,” he added.

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