How Shalini James, a Kochi-based designer, went from regional fashion to the mainstream matrix of 'Indianness'
Last season, the Amazon India Fashion Week’s (AIFW’s) Spring/Summer 2016 edition in Delhi had an unexpected debutant in 41-year-old Shalini James from Kochi. Her riotously colourful collection, titled Indian By Choice, was a “protest", she explains, against the Western imperialism evidenced in the names of colours. Krishna (blue), amla (green), anar (red) and saleti (grey) made cultural sense to her; not marsala, tangerine or pink champagne. Indian By Choice included clothes made from the textiles of one region juxtaposed with those from another—Rajasthan’s Bagru prints with Andhra Pradesh’s Kalamkari or Ikat from Telangana with Mangalgiri, also from Andhra. Well-known beauty and hair expert Ambika Pillai was James’ showstopper.
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