Mumbai: It was yet another benchmark for Indian fashion and design industry when India was declared the winner of "Best Country Award" for exhibit curated by IMG Reliance at the International Fashion Showcase (IFS) during London Fashion Week.
The British Council, British Fashion Council (BFC) and Mercedes-Benz announced India as the winner of "International Fashion Showcase Country Award" at a prize-giving ceremony at Somerset House, London, beating 25 other nations judged by a panel of industry experts, said a statement.
The top award was presented by Sarah Mower, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent; chief critic Vogue Runway to the IMG Reliance Fashion team of Jaspreet Chandok, Gautam Vazirani, Nikhita Punja and Shruti Singh; designers Alan Alexander Kaleekal, Karishma Shahani Khan, Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama, Ragini Ahuja, Ujjawal Dubey, and exhibition designer Wasim Khan.
To celebrate India-Britain Year of Culture 2017, IMG Reliance in partnership with 6Degree and supported by Etihad Airways and British Council, presented "The Indian Pastoralists" -- a special sustainable fashion exhibition at the International Fashion Showcase (IFS) held during the London Fashion Week.
The five designers were selected based on their contemporary Indian aesthetics that offer a global appeal.
Each of the five designers created special looks that represented "The Indian Pastoralists" theme conceived by IMG Reliance and aligned to the global theme of IFS this year, Local/Global.
The five Indian designers' creations drew inspiration from the multi-faceted ethnic lifestyles of India's nomadic pastoral communities. Their collections interpreted the deep heritage of Indian textiles and handlooms for a global audience.
For designer [KA] [SHA] by Karishma Shahani Khan (Womenswear), the inspiration for the exhibit stands as an ode to one of India's most iconic pastoral nomads, the Rabaris who are predominantly based in Kutch. For Kaleekal by Alan Alexander Kaleekal (Menswear), the inspiration is from the Todas in the Nilgiri Hills, South India.
Ikai by Ragini Ahuja (Womenswear) has drawn inspiration from the Drokpa in Ladakh, in northern India, whereas PELLA by Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama (Womenswear) has drawn inspiration from Lachen and Lachung tribes of Sikkim in north-east India. And last but not the least, Antar-Agni by Ujjawal Dubey (Menswear) has taken inspiration from the Van Gujjars of the Himalayas in northern India.
The exhibition featured conceptual installation elements designed in collaboration with spatial design expert Wasim Khan and sustainable furniture designer Sandeep Sangaru.
"Through initiatives such as the International Fashion Showcase 2017, we will present India's emerging talent on prestigious international platforms for global exposure. IMG Reliance through its lead platform Lakmé Fashion Week has always delivered compelling stories around sustainable fashion and focused on supporting young and emerging designers and this is an extension of the same," said Jaspreet Chandok, Head of Fashion, IMG Reliance.
"This victory showcases the true power of the young Indian designer mind that is breaking pre-conceived notions on Indian Fashion in the world. This puts Indian Fashion on the map like never before - I've been told that the entire London Fashion Week is buzzing about our installation and design talent," he added.
Jaspreet said, "We'd like to thank 6Degree and Etihad Airways for their support in taking the lead to promote young Indian design talent across the world."