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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Khadi Becomes a Movement


True to its reputation as industry leaders Sushant School of Design (SSD), Ansal University Gurgaon, held its annual Revolution by Design Conference this week during November 10-11, 2016. Endorsing the vision of Prime Minister Modi's Khadi campaign, the key focus was on Slow Fashion, a trend that has taken the Fashion World Internationally by storm.

The PM's chosen ambassador for the campaign, renowned designer Ms. Ritu Beri, spearheaded the event, which was well-attended by industry practitioners, design faculty and students. In the words of Ms. Beri, "I approach everything I do with a passion but for me the Khadi project brings out even more than my expected 100 % in production, finesse, detail and glorious beauty it speaks volumes about our beloved India and her wonderful people. There is so much to Khadi people don't know about. Just look at the glorious colours used by the students in their super production." Ms. Beri' s personal guru for this project, Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi, BJP Member of Parliament and avid supporter of human rights, graced the Conference with her presence. Referring to the Magic Indianness of this national treasure, she passionately pointed out just how vital it is to build the Khadi industry back to its former glory and beyond.

The Chairman of the Khadi Village Industries Commission, Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena ,was the Chief Guest of the event. His passion for Khadi and enthusiasm for both this project and the Conference was inspiring. The Special Guest of Honour for the day was a passionate supporter of crafts folk, Lady Asquith, wife of the British High Commissioner to India, Sir Dominic Asquith. Luxury Product extraordinaire, Laurent Blin, had flown in specially from France for the Conference. His vision of the place of Khadi in the world of luxury is very clear and he has offered to stay in India for a short while to mentor students on this subject. A fashion show, The driving force behind the event, Ms. Sheetal Ansal, Trustee, Ansal University, lavished her praise for the work done by the students. Playful Khadi featuring the work of the students, was the highlight of the two-days event. Director SSD Professor Mike Knowles commented, 'We have deliberately grown our Fashion and Textiles School slowly but surely. We mentor tomorrow'sleading designers, not just churning out technicians. This was so wonderfully apparent in both the product designed and produced by the students, and their love and respect for artisans. Project leader, Professor Manika Walia, led a ground to Kutch, followed by a week long workshop at the School, to create many of the wonderful fabrics featured. These students become industry ready very early on in their life at SSD.' Dean-SSD, Professor SM Kulkani played a pivotal role to bring in important industry experts to give insight about the khadi industry and how it works.

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