For designer Payal Jain it is about love, happiness and freedom — letting go of anything and everything that one has been holding back.
It was a historic moment when the Supreme Court partially scrapped the draconian Section 377 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) which criminalised homosexuality. And the Fashion Design Council of India is celebrating this idea of equality with its rainbow-themed grand finale which will see 40 designers coming together on a single stage at the Lotus Make-Up India Fashion Week (LMIFW) spring-summer ’19.
“The judgment is a huge victory to celebrate but it is the actual writing of the judgment that we should celebrate,” shares designer Amit Aggarwal, who will be a part of the finale where each designer will dress a model in an ensemble based on the rainbow theme, an emblem for the LGBTQ community, which was originally created by San Francisco-based artist Gilbert Baker in 1978 using six stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet to represent diversity and peace. “It has left a deep inked mark on the pages of the Constitution of India that protects the fundamental rights of the LGBTQ community.
It is not only a shield for the people of this community to live a dignified life but it also rights the wrong made in the past towards them. This one judgment will today allow space for laws of cohabitation and marriage to take place in the future which is hopeful for our nation,” shares Aggarwal whose ensemble is based on the idea of depicting a blooming flower that represents a transitional dance of a new growth, life and celebration in all glorious colours. “The blooming of the flower is a sign of hope, for a better tomorrow for our nation.”
For designer Reynu Taandon, one of the 40 designers lined up for the show, the Supreme Court judgment is a huge thumbs up for humanity and equal rights. “The judgment closes the door on a dark chapter of Indian history, marking a new era of equality for millions of people in India. Breaking stereotypes and welcoming an encyclopedic attitude is what my ensemble celebrates. It comprises of the colours red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet which will represent peace and the diverse environment which we all live in,” shares Taandon, adding, “I can see everyone participating in the victory. It’s truly a landmark year for India and there is no better way to end LMIFW platform to showcase this and slowly the fashion industry across India is making itself inclusive as the news is spreading through our FDCI platform.”
For designer Payal Jain it is about love, happiness and freedom — letting go of anything and everything that one has been holding back. “I have gone completely out of the box this time. I have used twenty different types of fabric, played with a lot of different colours and various other properties coming together as one ensemble. It may or may not be sellable or appealing to others but for me it is an expression of love and freedom,” shares Jain who believes that every creative medium — be it fashion or textile, art or ceramic — is about personal expression of what is happening around us, environmentally, politically and socially, as they affect our creative sensibilities. “For anyone in the creative field, what is happening around them will reflect in their work and for me fashion is my medium of expression.”
Neeleshwari Basak, founder of Worldwide Institute of Grooming and Pageants, lauds the idea of celebrating inclusivity on such a level. “This is indeed a creative, innovative step to reflect their empathy and oneness with society’s feelings. The fashion industry openly accepting the LGBTQ community on the ramp would ease out the space for a lot of them to express themselves freely. However, in order to make the industry truly inclusive, major reformation and transformation is required at the levels of perception and thinking of the masses. There should be freedom of expression and freedom for personal choices.”
Designer Pooja Shroff thinks it’s a great step to being liberal. “It is a step towards being a free country in the true essence of the word and of course a great step towards creating a more inclusive, broad, tolerant society. I support the designers’ decision to wrap the show standing together for love, the freedom of love and fighting against the discrimination of gender for the right of love.”
Adding to it designer Pankhuri Jain shares, “Designers dedicating the finale to the freedom of love is steering the positivity around and giving strength to people to stand for their right. If we can inspire and encourage or spread knowledge among people with our designs, then there can’t be anything better than that.”