Fashion and textile industry leaders gathered to celebrate Cottonscape, a day dedicated to celebrating cotton in fashion. The event featured fashion shows by designers Rina Dhaka, Anita Dongre and brand Provogue, a fashion trend forecast, denim art installation featuring fabrics from Arvind’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection as evening wear, a cotton photography exhibit, and a seminar about the future of cotton in India at the consumer level.
The event centered around an industry discussion titled “Cotton Promotion in India: what has been done, what needs to be done, and why it's important”. The discussion was led by the Cotton Association of India. The panel addressed issues facing cotton at the retail level such as eroding market share and competition from synthetic fibers.
"Creating strong awareness and preference for cotton is an essential component in ensuring a healthy and viable long term market for cotton and supporting industries in India,” said Agnieszka Fijol, Cotton Council International Representative (Program Head-India). “Cottonscape is conceptualized to bring together the entire cotton value chain to encourage discourse about challenges and accomplishments by the various segments of the value chain. With increased communication the industry can more effectively address challenges and secure a bright future for Indian cotton textiles,” she added.
The evening opened with a trend presentation, by Cottonscape’s fashion forecast partner, Stylesight. “It is exciting to develop cotton specific forecasts as cotton is such an important fabric in India, but has been somewhat overlooked in recent years”, noted Suna Hasan, Trend Director at Stylesight. “Cotton will have a strong presence next season. Many people associate cotton with spring/summer, but there are a lot of offerings in cotton in the cooler months also. The thermal properties of cotton make it a great fabric for layering and keeping you comfortable in winter,” Hasan added.
CCI also honored industry members for their commitment to cotton. While the ‘Best Menswear in Cotton’ award was bagged by Hemant Lecoanet, Rahul Mishra got the ‘Best Womenswear’ in Cotton award. Masaba won the ‘Emerging Influencer in Cotton’ title. The ‘Outstanding Achievement in Promotion of Cotton by a Designer’ award went to Narendra Kumar, whereas the ‘Outstanding Achievement in Promotion of Cotton by a Brand’ went to Fabindia. Commenting on his achievement, designer Narendra Kumar said, “I work with cotton a lot and I am always looking for something new happening on the cotton front. Though cotton is the staple diet for Indian consumers, the staple diet for Indian manufacturers is polyester.
Commenting on her association with the CCI, post her fashion show showcasing an exclusive collection of gowns, jackets, pants, skirts and salwar suits under her brand Grassroot, Anita Dongre, Director, AND Designs India said, “I have joined hands with the Cotton Council, since as a designer, I predominantly use cotton in my collections. When I started my career, my first collection was in cotton and I continue to use a lot of cotton as a part of my collections.”
Provogue’s Spring/Summer collection 2012 took masculine fashion to a new level with a new range of colors including pinks, oranges, cobalt blues and whites, in stripes and check, with detailing around the cuffs and collars. The bold shirts were paired with trousers in greys and blacks. For a more casual look graphic tees were paired with distressed denims. The women’s collection exuded femininity with laces, nets and ruffles featuring heavily. “We are proud to be Cottonscape’s brand partner. Though initially we were known more as a polynosic brand, today 80 to 85 per cent of our products are cotton-based. Cotton has great properties fluidity and versatility and we have included cotton very successfully in our product line irrespective of what you want to blend it with, lycra or spandex,” said Akhil Chaturvedi, Director, Provogue.
The evening came to a close with an exclusive cotton collection by Rina Dhaka. Dhaka showcased her Indian prêt wear line with block printed and hand dyed fabrics sourced from the emporiums of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The color palette ranged from subtle creams to luxurious ivories and earthy browns with unexpected pops of bright burnt orange and white.