ERUDITE – CURATOR – JDADA2019
“For me, fashion is an expression of art that is very closely related to both me and to my body. I see it as an expression of identity combined with desire, moods and a cultural setting.”
—- Iris van Herpen —-
Designer Khushi Prasad’s collection “Erudite” means culture and draws inspiration from different colours and patterns of the Chhau Mask. The mask is used to perform the Chhau dance in the Purulia district of West Bengal. The designer has created a collection from industrial waste fabrics to represent the allegory of the extinction of the Chhau mask due to modernisation.
The word Chhau is derived from the word ‘chhaya’ meaning ‘shadow’ or ‘chabbi’ meaning ‘picture’. Though the Chhau dance is found in Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha, the designer has concentrated on the Purulia Chhau of Bengal. It uses masks adorned with ornamental decorations and vibrant colours. The characters of the Purulia Chhau dance are predominantly mythological characters and different colours signify different deities.
The designer has drawn her concept from industrial waste fabrics. Wastage is a bane of the textile and readymade garment sector. Particularly in the apparel manufacturing industry, the wastage percentage is high. The designer has created her collection by using the waste fabrics and has given it a new life. The technique of matt weaving has been used in the collection, wherein the fabrics have been used as warp and black coloured threads as weft. Industrial waste fabrics have been used to created decorative patterns through macramé knotting. The colours of the garments are yellow, grey, blue, red, dark turquoise, white and brown.
Through her collection the designer has tried to bring about awareness to the intricate work associated in making masks. Revival of this art by incorporating it in various forms but keeping its aesthetics in place can help the people associated with it, to secure a better future. In a similar manner identifying the particular areas of wastage, effective steps need to be taken to control and reduce it.
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