Monday, 7 October 2013

A Fashionable Day 4

The exhaustion of Day 3 with all the drama and activity had the children stay in bed till a little later than usual, but, once ready they all looked bright and colourful dressed for their day out.
As always they were only informed the previous day that we shall be going out of campus but where we were going was to be a surprise.
The National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai, was established in 1995. It has since become a center for fashion and fashion studies in South India. Dr.Anitha Manohar, Director, NIFT, Chennai was gracious to accept our request to visit the institute with the children and also to organize a day long fashion workshop for the kids.
The NIFT bus was at Dakshin Chitra promptly at 9 and we set out for a day at the college. During the bus journey when the children were asked what they knew about NIFT, we got answers like – “it is about modeling of clothes” since their exposure to fashion is FTV.
On reaching NIFT, we were welcomed by Kartikeyan, faculty of Textile Design and Sridhar Amanchy, faculty of Knitwear Design, and four smiling young students of Textile Design. The kids alighted the bus like VIPs and were welcomed as VVIPs to NIFT.

A quick introduction to NIFT, and a tour got them settled down for their first class with Geetha Ranjini, faculty of fashion, who helped them classify the clothes we wear on a daily basis and helped them understand how basic shapes actually make clothes. Most of the children were amazed that one has to actually study so much to make clothes, they thought of it only as a tailor’s job and some people who work for FTV.

The excitement grew when Geetha told them that now in pairs they would make their own garment.
Probably for the first time kids below the age of 16 entered the state of the art pattern making and draping labs of NIFT to try their hand at draping with a muslin.
Again Geetha after introducing them to the basic tools of draping and the dress form left them to figure out what garment they would like to make and get started on the dress form.
The draped garments that were created had the NIFT students, faculty all shocked at the creativity. Without any knowledge, we had a draped gown, a cowl neck top, a lapel jacket and a clean bodice.

The children were also invited by Professor Mathews Abraham of the Fashion Design faculty to participate in his Costume and Theater class.  In this session the children actually heard the story of CANDYLAND and saw some of the costumes being worked on using chocolate and candy by the students of the class. Mathews also showed a couple of videos of famous characters like Spiderman and Lion King explaining the need for creativity and ideas to create garments for theater.
Lunch was quick because there were many more activities planned but was entertaining as the NIFT students showed them some films made by them during class projects.
Post lunch, we began with a basic print design class with Kartikeyan, who using a simple square and basic shapes helped the kids to create a complete surface design, which then the Textile Design students used to create a repeat pattern which was applied to the photographs of their draped garments to create a complete CAD of their garment.

The smile and amazement on the faces of the children was priceless.
The day ended with a little interaction with Dr.Anitha Manohar, who spoke a them. Answered questions like Which year was NIFT started? Do people really make garments out of chocolate?

Finally when asked by her how many want to study fashion, from the group of 12, we had 8 hands that were up in a second, including Keerthika who did not want to go back to Dakshin Chitra or back to her school, she just wanted to stay on at NIFT.
The day was planned to end at 4 pm by stretched on till 5.30 pm and it would have seemed that after such a long day the children should be tired to not want to move a finger but somehow they just wanted to go on seeing more and talking more to Kartikeyan and his students.
The goodbyes were silent with a promise by the children that they will come back soon to see them all.
Definitely a fashionably inspiring day !


  1. Delighted to read this. :) It was a pleasure spending time with you all :)

  2. its not about giving...i received a lot by this workshop...

  3. Well done Sridhar and team NIFT for the great initiative. You have added colour to their lives.
    Ramakrishna Dastrala