Shillong Fashion Week boon for northeastern designers

Shillong, Oct 21 (IANS) The first edition of Shillong Fashion Week (SFW) has turned out to be a boon for local talents who were looking for a chance to showcase their creative skills to the fashion enthusiasts across the globe.

Approving the two-day event that ended Saturday, Senti Nongrum, a designer from Meghalaya, told IANS: "SFW is a very good base for young designers like me who will take time to get their first break into major fashion weeks. SFW has given me an opportunity to showcase my designs to the world."

"There is a lot of talent in the northeast and we just need a platform," added the designer who used handloom from her region to create modern apparels, inspired by a traveller's suitcase.

From maxi dresses to formal wear to accessories, her collection had everything for those who love travelling.

Elizabeth Marbaniang, another designer, presented their traditional attire Khassi on the ramp with a little modern twist.

"My collection has got a very traditional theme as we tried to showcase the Khassi attire in a modern way by adding bling and sequin work on the 'poshak' (garment). Our culture is known for many things, so it's always good to promote it though SFW," said Marbaniang.

She thanked organisers of the event for giving preference to northeast designers over established names.

This was Marbaniang's first ever participation in a fashion show.

"Before this I was doing individual shows and I am thankful to SFW for bringing in this initiative here and giving all the local designers chance to prove themselves to the world," added the youngster who is also from Meghalaya.

Initiated under the leadership of state Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, SFW, kick-started here Friday at the North Eastern Hills University (NEHU) convention centre.

From established designers like Nachiket Barve, Raakesh Agravwal, Anand Bhushan to local talents like Bung Keisham, Senti Nongrum, Heritage Mizoram, Magic N and Sophia M Sangma, the fashion gala had the mix of both the world.

Rapborlang, a local designer, is overwhelmed with the experience.

"I think this is the biggest platform for me and now I can move aheadit's amazing," said the designer who presented a collection inspired by 1960s look of Audrey Hepburn.

In terms of business, there were hardly any buyer, but it didn't disappoint the established names as the felt it was time to explore "new territory".

"We haven't really done any stall and I haven't met any buyer as yet, so business is not something that I am thinking of. For me, this edition was basically to introduce the idea of fashion week in the northeast area. I think slowly other things will work when people will start looking around for designer stalls and retail possibilities," Urvashi Kaur, one of the participating designers, told IANS.

Anand Bhushan agreed and said: "I have not come here for business. Not many people know my label here, so for me, it was start off to introduce myself to the people here. SFW was more about exploring new territories."