"It's very good to come here and showcase our rich handloom and handicrafts."
Paying homage to the incredible talents and craftsmanship of India’s Northeastern weavers, designers and creative minds, the North East Fashion Fest (NEFF) returned for a second year for a four day long fashion fiesta.
The festival took place between October 26 and 29, 2013 at the NSIC Grounds, Okhla in New Delhi, drawing in an international crowd that came in together to celebrate great fashion.
NEFF aims to provide a platform for local and regional traders and allow them to be recognised in front of an international audience.
The festival is spearheaded by Basics, a company that prides itself in creating powerfully cultural and worthy events across India. Mayank Jha, the CEO and co-founder of Basics insisted:
“Our main objective is to make the rest of India know about northeast and culture of northeast and to know about the rich fabric that comes from northeast, which is very fine. Effort is also made to make the rest of India, understand the music of the northeast and make them understand the talent of the people.”
The festival itself drew in a considerable Bollywood crowd. In particular, NEFF saw exclusive showstoppers on each day with the likes of Huma Qureshi, Aditi Rao Hydari, Mugdha Dose and Soha Ali Khan taking the runway.
Soha Ali Khan is the Brand Ambassador of NEFF. She has long been celebrated as a fashion icon in the Indian cinema industry and is a perfect match for the regalness of North Eastern design and fabric.
Soha walked the ramp as the showstopper on Day One for Sailex and Sunita Shankar. Speaking about her choice to be part of the festival, she said:
“I have come here to learn because it’s the first time I have come to the Northeast, as I never got an opportunity to come to this side, which is a part of our country.
“But it’s a beautiful place and I really liked the cause behind this North East Fashion Fest, which is to join different parts of the country together. As people should know the art and crafts of this state and also that there are many good designers here who make beautiful clothes.”
NEFF prides itself in its traditional handloom fabrics that are the heart and soul of the North East. The designs on the runway were a fusive mix of traditional garments that were given a contemporary twist – bringing together old and new styles into something fit for a modern Indian woman.
Esther Zamir, a model from Nagaland said: “This show is all about designing. It’s also giving platform to the weavers of the northeast. I think it’s a good opportunity for the people of northeast. I hope they keep doing such things in other big cities.”
The show saw the likes of Sailex, Munkee See Munkee Doo, Rajdeep Ranawat, James Ferreira, Yana Ngoba, Risha Deka, Sidharta Aryan, Rinzin C Bhutia, Atsu Sekhose, Wendell Rodricks, Krishna Mehta, Bambi K, Tonu Riba, Mayank Anand and Shraddha Nigam, and Soumitra Mondal.
Exhibitor, Tutumoni Talukdar said: “It’s very good to come here and showcase our rich handloom and handicrafts. It’s a very good exhibition; we also sell our products so I hope to come again.”
Audiences also enjoyed musical performances on each day from the likes of Joi Bania, Girish and Chronicles, Vinyl Records and the crowd-pleasing Alobo Naga.
NEFF was a huge success in showcasing some amazing talent from the North East, who are occasionally forgotten in the midst of India’s wealth of fashion and entertainment.
Following its arrival into New Delhi, the North East Fashion Fest will be aiming to take their designs and designers to Mumbai soon.