Updated: February 4, 2017 3:20 pm
At a tender age when young girls dance and play, they were sold out at the Red Light area to step into the ugly world of prostitution.
The stage was set at the 6Degree Studio during Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2017 with dim lights and rectangular scraps of fabric dangling in the air. But that day, fashion stretched out its arms like never before. Instead of models strutting down the ramp, girls from Kamathipura, Mumbai’s red-light, presented a skit to recount their experiences on the dais.
Sketching out their story in six chapters from their life — Childhood, Teenage, Red Light Area, School, NGO and Kranti — girls from Kranti, an NGO in Mumbai, sashayed down the ramp for Mandeep Nagi of ‘Shades of India’.
From being abused by a family member and cheated in a marriage to being sold at a red-light area and facing discrimination in terms of caste, creed, colour — young girls spoke about heart-rending miseries that they were put through. Sending a shiver down the spine, their narration left the audience with moist eyes. They might have faced distressing times as daughters of sex workers or as victims of sexual abuse, but don’t they have dreams like any of us do?
Celebrating who they are, and speaking from their heart through an interactive performance, the woman filled hearts with hope, pride and joy.
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Starting a revolution to reach out with this thought to thousands of spectators, the Delhi-based fashion designer joined hands with Kranti – an NGO that empowers girls from Mumbai’s red-light areas to be agents of social change.
Founded by Robin Chaurasiya, the NGO’s aim was to challenge prejudices on beauty, dignity and gender that continue to plague our society and create an empowering experience. With sustainable fashion crafted in the story to give out a strong and powerful message, the performance by Kranti girls was conceptualised and directed by Neeraj Gaba of India’s “Next Top Model” fame.
Demonstrating pride and freedom in their attires from Nagi’s ‘The Bagh Collection’, Kranti girls performed and flaunted the warmth of the early flowers in blossom. White, orchid tint, haze, almond and rose pink colours were used with soft gold and silver metallics. Silhouettes were inspired by traditional kurtas and pyjamas and by re-interpreting saris with a bohemian look.
“I won’t call myself a fashion designer,” Nagi said in a statement, adding that her passion for textiles brings forth the style and confidence that she wishes to see in every woman. “I have always photographed them on women who may seem ordinary but are absolutely not. Association with Kranti has been the most enriching experience. The joy and energy of the girls was infectious,” she also said.
An unforgettable show, the vision of this collaboration at the second day of LFW was to merge inclusivity, diversity, gender equality and handloom/textiles to create a powerful narrative.
The message echoed in minds and hearts as the girls mesmerised viewers and left them with smiles and cheers.
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