Indian cinema inspired Indian fashion industry: Designer Anju Modi

New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) She has been an integral part of the Indian fashion industry for over two decades and is currently busy crafting Deepika Padukone’s look for “Ram Leela”. Veteran designer Anju Modi feels that Indian cinema has played an integral part in promoting the Indian design industry in every era.

“Cinema plays an essential part in every Indian’s life. We always get mesmerised and inspired by cinema. I remember every era on Indian cinema which gave different recognition to costume designing,” she told IANS.

“From those grand sets and elaborate costumes Indian cinema became an important part of the Indian fashion industry. And since then everything is about movies and cinema,” she added.

Modi, who launched her label in 1990, is one of the founding members of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the industry’s apex body.

She has been a quiet but strong force in the vehement increase in growth, awareness and potential of fashion in India and believes in taking risks for creating new things.

“Creativity and vision are always important for a designer, but to do justice with designs, you need to learn to take risks. Also if you know what people want to wear and what is new they are looking for, it helps to create something new,” she said.

“Most of the Indian fabrics are so versatile that you can do a lot of experimentation with them. And since the fashion trends change every season, the challenge is not the fabrics but creating something which can be accepted by gen-next,” she added.

In 2006, Modi was one of only four Indian designers selected for Heyers Fashion Festival in Paris, organized by the Chambre Syndicale, also the organisers of the Paris Fashion Week. In the same year, she was also invited to present her collection at the Miami Fashion Week.

Behind the scenes, Modi has been tirelessly working with master artisans across the country. She has delicately revived age-old Indian techniques, including vegetable dyeing, block printing and embroidery.

She has also been working on contemporising traditional crafts like Chanderi weaving, Kota fabrics, Varanasi zari work and Bandhani printing.

With India at the centre of her inspirations, Modi designs keeping in mind the demand of the people.

“I travel a lot to the rural parts of India whenever I get time from my work schedule. We have such a rich variety of fabrics and handloom techniques. The handloom fabrics are organic and versatile. With silk, khadi and gudi-mudi you can do a lot. So every time I work on my new collection this knowledge helps me to create something altogether new,” she said.

With such a huge experience in the fashion world, Modi felt that the “Indian fashion industry is emerging and making its own place in the domestic and international markets”.

“In the last few years, the industry has grown bigger and better, and International designers and fashion houses are getting inspiration from Indian textiles and fabrics. I have been working on development of new fabrics and colourways for the last two decades. My work has been appreciated internationally,” she said.

Technology has also helped Modi a lot.

“The fashion industry is growing bigger and better every day. Since we have fashion institutes like NIFT and NIFD, they are giving us so many talented designers every year. Most of them have their own style and creativity. Also, the advancement in technology has taken designing to a new level,” she said.

Modi retails through her stores at DLF Emporio and Crescent in the national capital.

(Nivedita can be contacted at [email protected])

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