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Fashion merges with culture to form new designs
Aug '13
Fashion is a term which is always related with modernization and development but the evolution and expansion of fashion depends also on tradition and culture of various places. For example, it can be the hand embroidery practiced in a small village of Gujarat, India, or African culture and tradition, or the various sub-cultures found in Hong Kong.

Fashion designers from around the world create new and innovative collection by taking inspirations from their own culture as well as from the culture of other regions. They merge the culture of east with the west and the north with the south to create new patterns and designs.

In an interview with fibre2fashion, Ms. Shelly Gera, marketing head of Shrujan, says, “Hand embroidery from Kutch in Gujarat has influenced the fashion industry in a big way. Starting from the street fashion, where trendy bags and garments designed with bold and colorful Kutchi embroidery with lots of mirrors, to the high end fashion designers who use both its bold and finer forms in their products, are influenced by hand embroidery.”

Talking about the significance of Kutch embroidery, she says, “Hand embroidery from Kutch is not just about different techniques of embroidery but it is a means of social and cultural expression for the communities who practice them.”

“Each embroidery has a soul of its own lexicon of stitches and motifs and it is a very personal craft which women have been practicing for their own use,” she explains.

Shrujan is an organization in India which promotes the hand embroidery weavers in Kutch at Gujarat.

Kenyan fashion designer Liz Ogumbo, who has launched her own clothing brand after spending about 14 years within the fashion industry, says that African culture and tradition has been the inspiration for her entry in the fashion industry.

“Africa is the hub of art. The musical space (both vocal and instrumental), fabric, earth that produces clay for pottery, grass for the artifacts, beads created out of wood, mud, glass, precious stones etc., establishes a space for creative works and I have got my inspiration from Africa,” she mentions.

Various local and international fashion weeks held globally also plays a vital role in promoting local culture through emerging designers. Some of the examples of such platforms are the Zimbabwe Fashion Week, Hong Kong Fashion Week and New Zealand fashion Week.

Sandra Chau, an emerging fashion designer from Hong Kong who has created her own label Flux talks about the influence of Hong Kong in her life. She says, “Being in Hong Kong actually inspired me to think more about fashion and try to get out of the territorial boundary.”

“Hong Kong is a small city, yet it has gathered many different cultures and sub0cultures and it stands as an important platform in global fashion industry as it creates an interesting fashion culture between orientaland western,” she concludes.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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