Designer Vaishali Shandangule’s couture debut at Paris meets huge admiration

The modern, artistic collection is made using traditional Indian weaves

July 19, 2021: Proudly representing Indian heritage on the global stage, coupled with her conceptual design language, designer Vaishali Shandangule presented her debut couture collection at the Paris Haute Couture Week 2021.

Vaishali Shandungle Paris Couture Week 2021

The first woman designer, and one of the two international guest designers that have been invited by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, Ms. Shandangule’s debut added the extra sparkle to the celebration of two decades of her label.

Presented live at an iconic landmark on the left bank in Paris, Lycée Victor Duruy, the show titled ‘Shwas’ which means breath in Sanskrit, made history in Indian fashion and also marked a groundbreaking moment for the label.

Drawing her inspiration from two things indispensable to designers - breath and thread, Ms. Shandangule was struck by the parallel between this instinctive, involuntary biological function and thread, an equally essential element of the fashion industry.

Vaishali Shandungle Paris Couture Week 2021

This collection not only showcased her unique talent for easily blending traditional weaves and techniques with dramatic silhouettes, but also her unique interpretation of nature and its flow of energy.

The 30 garments in this futuristic collection featured craftsmanship from all over India, including indigenous weaves from West Bengal, Khun from Karnataka and Merino wool woven in Maheshwar. Comprising of darker hues, and known as ‘wearable art’, this collection included some of the designer’s signature techniques such as engineered deconstruction, texturing and cording. The presentation was partnered with Forevermark, a diamond brand from the De Beers Group.

Vaishali speaks of her showcase at PHCW with elation, “As an Indian woman showcasing at the pinnacle of global couture, this is a significant milestone. India has a strong design language in terms of craftsmanship combined with social impact, richness of technique beyond embroidery or plain manufacturing. The idea was to put the Indian peace on the highest platform, in its purest form.”

Vaishali Shandungle Paris Couture Week 2021

But more than a personal milestone, she also talked to WWD about the crisis that the pandemic has brought upon the Indian textile sector. By showcasing the beautiful textiles, handmade fabrics and threads, she feels that she attempts to bring some hope to the approximately 900 families spread all over the country, that depend on her business.

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