Being influenced by designers of the future studying in India’s top fashion colleges
Fashion is very important. It is life enhancing and like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.
If we truly come to think about this quote by the popular and reputable designer of the fashion world responsible for bringing modern punk in the industry, we can really find its significance in our lives. Fashion, as the term has been popularly or say un-popularly been used in the past, has been confined to just the idea of dressing up in a unique and attractive manner. Fashion designing has been understood as the job to make people dress in bizarre and ‘out-of-the-world’ costumes and make them walk on ramps (some might consider Ranvir Singh a fashion star of this bizarre-unique combo for once). But all this doesn’t reach the point of understanding fashion and the work of fashion designers in the truest sense.
Fashion, while giving you accessories to adorn yourself with, lets you feel comfortable in your own skin. It gives you confidence, boosts morale and makes your self-esteem sky rocket in the air. Contemporary designers are not just working to create sustainable and user-friendly clothes but also to raise awareness about issues existing in our world. For instance, a famous designer in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, tries to raise awareness about acid attacks, domestic violence and violence against LGBTQIA+ community through his designs and his fashion shows. He attempts to create fashion that the people of such marginalized communities could wear and exist bravely in this world that had done them wrong.
Now, when you are finally able to grasp the meaning of what fashion and fashion designing means, it is safe to discuss a lighter and interesting aspect related to it. Fashion colleges! The places where young minds, driven with a desire to watch the world dressed in their creations, struggle with fabrics, scissors, accessories and assignments as they try to get their name as a designer or a stylist. The places where these young minds are inspired, get exposed to fashion trends around the world and learn what they can do. While Paris and Milan might be the glorified centers of fashion and the heaven for any fashion student, it doesn’t mean that country lacks in fashion stylists or fashion universities.
Set up by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, National Institute of Fashion Technology has several branches all over India where students learn various dynamics of fashion and clothing. NIFT has given several renowned designers to the country – from Manish Arora to Kritika Kamra. Pearl Institute of Fashion Designing is another popular, private university that teaches fashion designing and styling.
Though the stories of creativity and extraordinary talent of students from these universities were already in the air, Team Yoof was interested in knowing whether studying fashion had an impact on students’ personal sense of fashion as well or not. What was the impact of being surrounded by knowledge of dresses and fabrics on one’s mind? How did it change them as an individual? When we talked to students of NIFT and Pearl academy, we got some interesting responses.
A person studying accessory designing at NIFT agreed with our team that studying in a fashion college affected her personal fashion choices. “When one is exposed to different styles in which people carry themselves, you try it too. This way, you learn what suits you or what doesn’t.” Students recalled that when they entered college, they were asked, ‘What does fashion mean to you?’ and they believe that the definition has changed for them over time.
Our team also wanted to know if fashion institutes become a trend creator for fashion these days to which many didn’t exactly agree. They believe that these institutes and the students may gain traction from other people because they are believed to hold credibility and a sense of expertise when it comes to dressing. Institutes do a lot of fashion forecasting, to assess the trends existing in the market and analyze what might come next. That doesn’t mean they are themselves creating trends. Some students mentioned that while universities themselves may not tend to create trends, it’s the students who take up this responsibility. They try to put their knowledge out on social media and their networks, and gain support for their designs and ideas.
The future designers also talked about how they changed as a person due to their course. “Personally, I became observant of things around me. I notice the finish of the items, the materials and the joints in them. I notice things carefully now, I believe.”, a student of leather designing told us. Another one said, “Our choices and tastes in clothes have diversified after we started studying on-campus. We observe other people and that, to some extent, influences us.”
Another one added, “We are pushed to explore unconventional fashion. We need to be unique and inventive. We have a safe and non-judgmental space to explore our creative inclinations.”
One last interesting idea we had to discuss was does a competitive spirit exist in such colleges to dress best each day to which there were different responses. Some believe it’s a healthy competition, if anything. People are more appreciative and complement each other, and try to learn from one another.
“It’s completely up to people. Fashion studies are tough. If someone has the energy to dress up, kudos. Most of us just barely get out of bed and go to class.” One of the students chuckled.
So, through our interesting conversations with students of India’s top fashion colleges, we got an understanding of what these studies develop in a person and over the duration of their course, how do people evolve as an individual and grow.
If you are interested in fashion and want to talk about it more, connect with Team Yoof and we may have some surprisingly amazing opportunities for you.