Culture

3 emerging designers from FAD Academy showcased their collections at London and Milan Fashion Week

Anjali Jhangiani

Showcasing their collection at the prestigious London Fashion Week or Milan Fashion Week is a dream for all fashion designers. This dream has come true for three emerging talents from FAD (Fashion Art Design) International Academy. The institute recently unveiled the work of three of its designers, who are called FADTalents, in the prestigious London Fashion Week and Milan Fashion Week earlier this month. We catch up with the designers behind the FADTalents labels — Myuzu, House of DK and Warp by Kuship Parmar, about this grand opportunity, the inspiration behind their collections and their fashion philosophy. 

Myuzu by Shagun Chauhan
Founded by designer Shagun Chauhan, the brand Myuzu focuses on emphasising and celebrating Indian craftsmanship, rich hand embroidery and bold colours. From evocative and intrepid graphics to asymmetric imbalances, Myuzu’s designs are all about combining elements from the past and the present. Talking about her collection that is making heads turn at international fashion events, Chauhan says, “What inspired me to make this collection is the story of Lilith, who is believed to be the first wife of Adam and Lucifer, the fallen angel. The inspiration is not just a story hidden in the pages of Bible, but how each character of the story is perceived in today’s world. My collection is vocal and narrative. As per my understanding, the main characters were misinterpreted and betrayed. I tried to bring back their persona through my style, portraying Lilith as the alpha — the first feminist,  and Lucifer as ambitious,” says the designer. 

To tell this ancient fable through her outfits, the designer has used a colour palette inspired by the Garden of Eden. “The colours of the collection are inspired by Garden of Eden, where the infamous incident took place. The colours are also taken from each character’s persona. I used polyester and mesh fabric with structured silhouettes. I gave the collection a contemporary vibe by using my quirky prints. I used digital prints that incorporate Indian traditional embroidery,” says she. 

These showcases were stepping stones for Chauhan’s career. “To be on this platform is a dream come true for me. It was a much-needed push to put my identity out there,” says Chauhan, who studied graphic design for five years before she decided to take up fashion design. “I had a keen interest in fashion and always wondered how I could do both together. My main interest was illustrating, so I ended up interning at a fashion and lifestyle brand called The Quirkbox. This is when I realised that I wanted to do fashion, and soon after my graduation I took up a fashion design course,” shares the designer who looks up to late Italian journalist and the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, Franca Sozzani who boldly introduced topics in her magazine that were avoided by other fashion publications such as domestic violence, drug abuse and recovery, and so on. 

Warp by Kuship Parmar
Everyone’s wearing athleisure nowadays. And why not? The latest trend is all about staying fit and being comfortable. Warp by Kuship Parmar is an athleisure label that focuses on bright colours with geometric detailing and interesting shapes. Featured in many fashion magazines, the label has recently showcased their collections on the ramps at the biggest global fashion events. Talking about the inspiration behind his work, designer Kuship Parmar says, “The Goth Gender is an amalgamation of my two previous collections — The Gender Bender and The Turkish Goth. The notion of being genderless, or not having to conform to one specific gender group, is what the collection is about.”
 
He adds that the collection is all-inclusive. “This collection is created so that it can be worn by all shapes, sizes and genders. Our collection is inspired by Turkish oversized layering and their colour blocking, along with Japanese gothic culture inspired by Goths,” he describes. 

For maximum comfort, the designer has used fabrics such as lam lam, lycra, rexine and PVC. “We’ve used neon as well as primary colours. I’ve tried to enhance my outfits with detailing such as futuristic pockets, David Bowie prints, metal plates and riveting. The gender bender silhouettes are oversized street fashion. They are androgynous and gender fluid,” he says.

This has been a big opportunity for the designer to make an appearance on the international runways. “Showcasing on international runways is always a great feeling, and we’ve had the opportunity to showcase on four different locations across the globe – Rome, Arab Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week and London Fashion Week. It’s really good for our brand as it helps us to grow globally and expand our business in different countries, different culture groups and create a strong network globally,” says Parmar, who started fashion designing career in 2017. 

“I took fashion designing because it was one of the fields which had the freedom to express my creativity. Every time I made a collection, I wanted to create something new for all kinds of people and I’ve always tried to change the perception about clothing and designing in the fashion industry,” says the designer who is inspired by American designer Rick Owens and Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto to create something new all the time.

House of DK by Devesh Kothari
House of DK designer, Devesh Kothari, focuses on fresh and exciting textiles and fashion techniques to create interesting designs. His forte lies in coming up with innovative concepts to use upcycled, pre-worn denim and champagne and wine bottle corks in his outfits. The brand’s collection for the international runways reflects these new-age eco-friendly concepts. “The collection is inspired by the ability to create and innovate textiles using fabric waste from all around. We have created a concept to use pre-loved denim to create an alternative to traditional fur. We also  have fabric inspired by the use of upcycled champagne and wine bottle corks which are azo-free dyed and printed. Through the art of storytelling and disrupting traditional textile methods, we want to draw a focus on sustainability of fashion,” says Kothari, adding, “The patterns have a basic cut while also keeping oversized silhouettes in mind. Pop colours are used in combination with denim to create awareness about upcycling pre-loved denim.”

Concerned about the damage that clothing factories are causing to the environment, many designers are now taking up the responsibility to recycle and upcycle waste. Kothari is one of them. His collection of disruptive streetwear offers a poignant statement about waste in the industry, while simultaneously drawing focus onto the sustainability of fashion. 

For him, this opportunity to showcase his work on some of the world’s most prestigious runways serves to meet like-minded designers. “This was a great platform where we designers could share our innovations among the fashion industry, spreading the message of converting old denim to denim fur for a totally new look,” he says. 

Kothari has been figuring out the fashion industry for three years now. “Coming from a fashion background in textiles, I have always wanted to do something different and had an interest in developing garments from scratch rather than using the fabric in its base form. I look at fashion as a blank canvas that I can play with in my own way,” he says. 

The innovative designer looks up to brands like Stella McCartney, who are taking up sustainable fashion on a major scale. “They are the true inspiration towards the ‘recycle clothes’ revolution. Recycling doesn’t mean restricting yourself to your old clothes, it means exploring a new world made of the same clothes,” he says.

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