Fashion designer Jenjum Gadi, who has reached the heights of creativity and fame, over the past few years, was in the city recently to showcase his collection titled ‘Brides Maid’ at the Madras Bridal Fashion Show. The designer talks about how he fell in love with the city and the people at the first sight, his endeavours in the industry, as well as his inspirations before creating a collection. Though he has travelled the world, which in turn left a deep imprint in his career graph, he seems to be very close to his tribal roots in Arunachal Pradesh. The collection unveiled in the city was a colourful blend of tradition, innovation and flair, and at the same time had a few quirky trendsetter pieces. The designer chats with City Express after the show:
Wish I Had More Time
I wish I could spend another day in the city. I took some time out from my busy schedule to visit the Kapaleeswarar Temple. I really liked the place. I went inside and did meditation.
Also, the people here have been so good to me, including the organiser, Sunil and others. It has been a wonderful experience for me, despite being my first visit to the city. I definitely want to come back to Chennai and do more shows.
Chennai Fashion Sense is Cool
I find that the fashion sense of people here is very cool. I can see a lot of fashionable people out there. Still, I see their connection to the roots, as people are wearing a lot of gold jewellery. It is good to see how they are incorporating traditional jewellery with a modern outlook.
It has been quite a roller coaster ride for me. I believe that there is nothing called a bad experience. Every experience I gained has been a learning experience, no matter how it was. When I look back at my journey, it has been wonderful.
Showstoppers from the South
I liked Ashok Selvam, who was the showstopper for my collection. He really matched my inspiration, with a certain quirkiness. My collection at this show is very young, vibrant and current.
I have been listed in Vogue, Elle and other magazines as a young designer or a designer to look for. They have really been kind to me and my work. It will really encourage you to go further and work harder.
I am from a very small village in Arunachal Pradesh. With the passage of time, I realised that whatever I did, my upbringing and my roots inspired my collection through the colours and beads. Whatever I do, the culture somehow finds a way into my collection.
The ‘Brides Maid’ Collection
This is the first time I have worked on a traditional collection. My earlier collections have been modern, aimed for a global market. The collection titled ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ is for those brides maids and friends who often get sidelined as the bride’s attire and accessories is usually the cynosure of all eyes at the wedding.
We have all been working together. Nupur Kanoi from Kolkata is my friend. Dev and Nil and I had been in the Lakme India Fashion Week and Wills together, several times. Whenever we meet on such occasions, it always feels like a get together of friends, full of fun.
When I made my debut at the Lakme India fashion Week, there was a competition of Gen-next designers for anti pollution garments. At a time when global warming and other environmental issues have become rampant, I would definitely want to try out a collection on anti-pollution garments.