Arunachal tribal jewellery shines at northeast fashion event

Itanagar, Aug 21 (IANS) Indian coins in various denominations got a chic twist when a designer from Arunachal Pradesh presented them as fashion accessories at the ongoing North East India Fashion Week (NEIFW).

Coins form an integral part of tribal jewellery, but not everyone gets to see them on fashion runways — Jewellery designer Renu Logum, however, made it happen on Saturday at the NEIFW, held in the capital of Arunachal Pradesh.

Logum, who believes in preserving her tradition, showcased a collection that consisted of neck pieces made of coins and colourful beads, long ear pieces, a headgear and bracelets.

Though she used beads in colours like red, white, black, orange and yellow, it was blue that dominated the range for men and women.

“Blue is our main colour. That’s why my collection has so many pieces in blue,” the designer told IANS.

Asked about sale of her products at the three-day fashion week, which began on Friday at the newly-constructed multipurpose cultural centre, she said: “Not many people have turned up. I believe it’s because of the venue. Not many people know about it.”

Hosted by designer Yana Ngoba Chakpu, NEIFW is being held in the Arunachal Pradesh capital for its second edition after a successful opening stint here.

The event is an attempt to promote the weavers and designers of northeast India.

And in line with its mission, the fashion week also had shows by weavers of Karbi Anglong from Assam and West Kameng from Arunachal Pradesh on its second day.

“A Helping Hand is a year-old NGO. We have been helping underprivileged children and those in need. We approched Yana to collaborate with the weavers of West Kameng,” the NGO’s founder Rinchin told IANS.

The collection had maxis, belts made of colourful threads and coats for men.

Inspired by Chakpu, Rinchin is planning to do an event in Arunachal Pradesh just for the weavers by the end of this year.

Assamese designer Arita Kashyap brought the beauty of Khadi on the stage through her collection, which is inspired by nature.

“I wanted to do Khadi so I came up with this collection. I extensively used eri silk. The colours are also inspired by nature like blue denoting the sky and brown the earth. Then I used creepers, jute and water hyacinth to complete the collection,” Kashyap said.

Her range had skirts and dresses of different lengths. Some had a slit on the side and others in front.

Soon after the showcasing of Kashyap’s collection, weavers of Mishing tribe from Assam presented theirs. The models walked down the ramp in mekhela chador in bright colours like yellow, blue and red. Male models wore short dhotis with ethnic waist coats.

The attendees, including Satya Gopal, Principal Secretary-Finance in the Arunachal Pradesh government; Chief Secretary Shakuntala D. Gamlin and state Tourism Secretary Joram Beda, were seen enjoying the show.

(The writer is in Itanagar at the invitation of the fashion week’s organisers. Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at Natalia.n@ians.in).

–IANS

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