Daring, spirited and innovative are some of the synonyms used for this Bangalore-based designer in the Indian couture. Deepika Govind is a strong believer of natural fibres and has often used fashion as a medium to voice her concern for the dying Indian tradition and crafts.
Whether its the Corn silk (silk made out of corn fibre), Paperweight silk, Organic Denim Collection or aromatherapy on silks, every creation of Deepika epitomises her design philosophy i.e ‘Fashion for the EARTH’ (E=Elements, A=Art, R=Revolution, T=Technology and H=Human Hand).
She is a firm believer in eco-friendly fabrics and sustainable fashion as an alternative way of life. “I believe that one should be sensitive to the planet we live in and realise the perishability of its precious resources, if we do not take care to preserve them,” she says.
About her long-lasting affair with tradition, she tells, “To me, fabric is the alpha and omega of fashion - it’s the starting point, my passion, my inspiration. The designs and drapes flow thereafter. I also believe that in order to preserve dying weaving and craft traditions, one has to contemporise them and give them a relevance in the modern world. This, I feel, is my calling.”
Since she launched her label in 1995, she has come a long way and describing her journey, she says, “It has been an exciting and exhilarating journey and following the path-less-trodden can have its own rewards.” Though Deepika is of the opinion that culturally rich weaving communities like Asjrakh, Mushroo, Patola and Paitani are on the brink of extinction in our country, there are many designers who have contributed to Indian textiles, right from Pupul Jayakar, Martand Singh to Rakesh Thakore. “There are so many of us, both known and unknown, who contribute to Indian textile and crafts, besides weavers,” she adds. When we ask her the inspiration behind her designs, she says, “A passion to recreate the traditional hand-woven textiles of India in a modern capsule, infusing contemporary motifs or weave patterns to achieve this. To revolutionise ethnic fabrics and designs, using Indian textiles in Western constructions. To open the eyes of the world to the universe of Indian textiles.”On plans to go international, she feels her products deserve a bigger audience but need other marketing professional tie-ups for that to happen.
“Besides, we already sell to a wide audience across the world,” she adds. And on being called a daring designer, and a harbinger of textile innovation, she says, “It finally feels gratifying and inspires me to continue being passionate and spirited.”
We couldn’t help asking her about the fashion quotient of Bangalore, the city she hails from, on which she says, “Bangaloreans were always fashionable but with a western sensibility. That has changed with a lot more Indian couture influence from people who have migrated from Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta.”
Pop Patola collection: Deepika is showcasing ‘Pop Patola’-her Winter Festive 2012 Collection until September 22 in the city.
It is a tribute to the extraordinary weaving tradition of the Patola from Patan, Gujarat. Merging single and double Ikats with silks and satins, the designer has worked with a wide range of stunning colours right from shades of yellow, orange, magenta, aqua and red to complete the story which she had set in motion with fun motifs like cars, buses, fruits, flowers, planes and TV sets.
Of the collection, she says, “Pop Patola spells a new thought and dimension to my design direction. It is a lively, effervescent celebration of Patolas, with a tongue-in-cheek Pop Art interpretation. It’s a story about Janvi Patel, a New Yorker for decades, who intrigued by her cultural lineage, embarks on a voyage to her hometown Patan in Gujarat, home of the vibrant Patola weave. Her translation of her heritage is captured through a fun-filled lens, thus injecting a delicious layer of irony and wit.”