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DEFRA supports 'Shared Talent India'
Jul '09
Hannah Higginson, Project Coordinator, CSF & Dilys Williams Director CSF
Hannah Higginson, Project Coordinator, CSF & Dilys Williams Director CSF
Pearl Academy of Fashion (PAF), India's leading fashion and design institute joins hands with London College of Fashion's Centre for Sustainable Fashion's (CSF) key project of 2009 – 'Shared Talent India'. The project is supported by DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), UK Government. Born out of collaboration between UK and Indian designers, and students of London College of Fashion (LCF), Pearl Academy of Fashion, India and Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI), the project will explore and promote the design applications of a range of sustainable Indian textiles.

Earlier in the year PAF & LCF invited applications from UK based designers and India-based designers to participate in the project. The six selected UK designers with selected AMFI and LCF students traveled to India to participate in a week long design collaboration workshop -July 17th to 25th - to produce concepts showcasing the Indian sustainable textiles. Amongst the selected Indian designers are Gaurav Gupta(Akaaro), Jattinn Kochhar, Nitin Bal Chauhan, Padmaja Krishna, Samant Chauhan and Varun Gupta.

For Shared Talent India, the designers are using Indian sustainable textiles like Oak silk & Lamb's wool, organic cotton, bamboo yarn, ahimsa silk, nettle stoles among others to create their designs. Some of the designers have put to use waste materials like assorted fabrics, ribbed rubber sheet and packaging materials (waste). The culmination of the project will be showcased in a static exhibition on the Monsoon Stand at Estethica at London Fashion Week in September this year. The exhibition will then travel to Indian Fashion Week in October 2009. The outcomes of the workshop will be judged by 'Monsoon' representatives and the selected creations will be displayed for sale at the Monsoon store in UK.

To document Shared Talent India, London College of Fashion's staff and students will write, direct and produce a short film to promote the use of Indian sustainable textiles and their possible fashion applications. The team will record all activities using film and photography and document the journey that the textiles undertake from original conception to purchase by the consumer. The design concepts, the documentary short film directed and produced by the students and an exhibition of the photography from the project will be displayed alongside the launch of an online resource profiling sustainable textiles, Indian suppliers and the design concepts.

Dr. AKG Nair, Group Director, Pearl Academy of Fashion said, “Shared Talent India is a joint effort to address the issue of sustainability in the textile industry globally. We are sure that through this project we will be able to educate, inform and support the fashion industry to help facilitate change. The idea is to provide innovative and creative fashion industry professionals who will pioneer sustainable design and practice.”

Ms. Kim Elliott, Monsoon's Head of Designsaid, “This is an exciting collaboration between fashion students and designers in the UK and India which reflects our heritage and we are proud to be involved with it. The students brief for this project will showcase some quite directional design work demonstrating the fashion potential of sustainable textiles.”

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