14 Days to Go for “Season – 3” At War with the Obvious! – Artist Anita Ahuja speaks about contemporary textiles, her designs and her inspirations

I will be displaying my favorite handbags at the art exhibition. Being a textile designer I believe in creating fabrics for the future. I believe in transforming trash into textile, revealing the power that the fabric industry has to regenerate the urban landscape and improve individual lives. Textiles have always held the promise of the future. How can we forget that woven fibers were a technological breakthrough for early man and have been source of progress and rebellion in recent past.  Today’s textiles are married to technology but are not divorced from craft skill. When I created handmade recycled plastic I was using modern technology but continued to embellish with traditional crafts, creating employment for the skilled and unskilled.

How I create a collection?

In the beginning of a new collection I collect things which make me curious or inspired like music, books or just small things in everyday life. I collect a lot of junk from the dump-sites. Then the next step is to make collages, which create a certain atmosphere and give an impression of the proportions of the new collection.  At that point, I start concentrating on the motif and then start cutting the patterns, along with an accomplished tailor, for the next collection. It’s very important for me to hold on to a certain impression in my mind till I have finished designing it.

My inspirations

Urban life has been my biggest source of inspiration, resulting in collections such as the living in the city and street fashion. I like my work to tell a story. Mostly the stories are from the poor areas that I visit often but can also be from artistic performances, newspaper stories, musical events and cultural festivals. It’s not easy to find the wealth of creativity that exists in our community. I like to create prints that reflect how we live, our surroundings and our environment.

My Color schemes

My color schemes are very vibrant and positive to reflect the color of Indian streets and communities. I mix high street fashion and Indian textiles, which has been a source of constant inspiration with my drawings and photography and other elements of youth culture such as hip hop music.

To close off, textiles are everywhere and part of our everyday lives – in our homes, at work, our uniforms, our fashion. What we wear is a big part of how we express ourselves. I love fashion and get a buzz from creating designs and textiles that people like.


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