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Spotlight on artisans at Lakme Fashion Week

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

They often work behind the curtains while designers get all the limelight but five artisans took to the ramp at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017 to showcase their craft.

Dedicated to 'Sustainable Fashion', the show, titled 'Craft is Cool', had five master craftsmen from Paramparik Karigar, an association founded in 1996, collaborate with five young designer labels.

While they were happy to receive a big platform like LFW, they seemed concerned about the future of their craft.

"Bagh is unique as it can only be in two or three colours (black, maroon and beige). It is important to show this craft on big platforms otherwise it will not survive. There are only few people who want to take up this craft as it is time consuming. We are clueless about its future," Mohammad Yusuf Khatri told PTI.

The artisan, who collaborated with Vineet Kataria and Rahul Arya, started teaching his craft to tribal people of Dhar district in 1994.

He said the fact that their effort is not appreciated makes them feel "dejected and cheated"

"Our craft appears on the ramp and in the market but we are not given due credit for it. People create Bagh print through machines and take away the worth of the artisans."

Sarfaraz Khatri, who specialises in Ajrakh block printing, said he came to the city with the aim to promote his art form but the reluctance and negligence shown by people makes him lose hope.

"It is sad that traditional art forms are dying because of negligence. Craftsman put their whole life in taking an art form forward. In our country, craftsmen don't get the opportunity to take the front stage.

"Bringing them in front is important as we are working on dying art forms. The younger generation is also not willing to carry forward the art as there is a lack of recognition. India is so rich in terms of craftsmanship that we can capture the whole international market if presented in a right way," he said.

Sarfaraz, however, is hopeful that artisans will get more exposure in the future.

Gujarat's Shohel Khatri, who created unique Bandhej patterns for label The Pot Plant, said he brands and designers labels often don't give them their due credit.

"It is very disheartening for artisans when their hard work is taken over by some other brand or label. There is an immediate need to give them recognition and motivate them.

"Artisans are not given credits and traders have taken over their work. Artisans should be in mainstream," he said.

Life's day two is aimed at presenting a fusion of heritage and crafts to create contemporary designs.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, August 17 2017. 17:32 IST