From loom to the studio

Going organic is a process, not a status, says Neesha Amrish
Going organic is a process, not a status,” says Neesha Amrish, a city-based designer and proprietress of Aeshaane, who has been chosen to present her collection at the prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK in September. Her words strike a chord, giving us a cause to reflect on the organic and handicrafts industry in India. The 36-year-old Chennaiite has been in the fashion industry for almost seven years, working closely with handloom artisans.
“When I started out, reviving the industry was never my objective. I wanted to do something with silk without hurting the silkworms. But now that I am in this business, I have found my niche. I am here for good now,” she says with a reaffirming smile. The journey, with a team of artisans supporting her and depending on her, has taught her to challenge herself and never give up. The philosophy, or core of her label goes deeper than just handloom products.
For people to take notice of handloom is a big deal.” Neesha says adding, “So many people are doing this. Geometric prints in handloom are rare, especially on organic silk. My brand is Indian at heart, sticking to what our country stands for. I have given it a global appeal, while shying away from bling — it’s an understated look that stands out. However, it is bold and vivid.”
Her new line for Maison & Objet in Paris, an exhibition she will be participating in before the Victoria and Albert (V&A), is a reflection of this style. Inspired by the Japanese art of origami, the line will feature geometric animals and birds, and sharp edges. Any hints about the London collection? All that we were told is that it’s carefully curated and highly customised for V&A, but she is stoked about presenting alongside big names like Manish Arora and Abraham & Thakore.
Neesha’s experiences outside India gave her a new perspective on the fashion industry back home. “Over there, it’s more about the product. They don’t care about who is endorsing the brand, or who the face of the collection is. Not like in India where a brand endorsement by a celebrity of a showstopper is the only way people are encouraged to buy something. I have never chased celebrities, nor do I look for people to wear my label. Which is one of the reasons why I don’t participate in
fashion weeks. What makes me happiest is for people to walk into my store and purchase one of my designs,” she tells.
That said, Neesha can’t help but confide one wish — to see US First Lady Michelle Obama wearing her collection. “I can just see her wearing one of my products. She’s a woman of substance and that’s my goal,” she concludes.
( Source : deccan chronicle )
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