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Mon, 28 May 2018

Northeast Today

Paris Highlight for Looms of Assam

Paris Highlight for Looms of Assam
June 19
15:48 2017

May Edition, Fashion, NET Bureau, Sayantani Deb

2017 seems to be a lucky year for Assam handloom. After an amazing show of designer Sanjukta Dutta in Lakme Fashion Week where Bollywood actor and show stopper Preity Zinta draped herself with a beautiful black “Mekhla Chador”, Assamese handloom has again managed to grab eye-balls when noted designer Kunal Kaushik showcased his unique collection of Assam silk, under his label ‘Looms of Assam’ at the prestigious Tiffany’s Fashion Week in Paris. The Parisian crowd was so enthralled that Kunal was awarded with the Best Designer prize.

“This is a big achievement not only for me but also for the whole state as this is the first time Assam silk has got a global exposure. Weaving of Assam silk was started in 17th century when Ahoms came in Assam. Silk weaving is going on for generations and now it has become an integral part of Assamese culture. However, despite being an important part of the culture all these years we have failed to give it a global exposure, as a result it is confined in a domestic market,” says Kunal.

‘Pat’ as a fabric has a potential to capture larger market, “In Tiffany’s Fashion Week, people came to know about this handmade fabric.”

Kunal’s collections completely mesmerized the models and audience of Tiffany’s fashion week, “In Paris, people generally use white, black or grey. Thus when they saw the vibrant colours and beautiful fabrics they were completely stunned. According to them, these are divine collections,” shares Kunal.

Upcoming projects

On May 23, Kunal will showcase his collection at the red carpet show of Cannes Film Festival. In Cannes Film Festival he will present 12 garments. Besides, he will again present ‘Looms of Assam’ in Paris and Monaco. In Paris, Kunal is set to promote Sualkuchi, the silk weaving hub of the Assam.

“Even after being an integral part of the state, the condition of Sualkuchi is deteriorating day by day. In the last few years, I have witnessed that due to lack of opportunities, new generation is losing interest in weaving. Also, a large number of veteran weavers have switched their occupation and started working as daily wage labourers,” explains Kunal.

He further warns that if the same situation continues then the day is not far when the weaving tradition of Assam will vanish. With the promotion of Assam silk in an international platform, the demand and production of the same will automatically get increased. “For large production a large number of man-power is required, which will create empowerment opportunities for a large number of youths.”

Kunal believes through proper utilisation of Silk and Handloom, Assam can easily tap the international market and can become one of the richest state of India. However, according to him there is no support from state government.


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