Britain good market for Assamese apparel: Designer

New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) Assamese designer Dhiraj Deka, who recently showcased his creations at the Fashion Finest off-schedule show for the London Fashion Week, says that Britain is a potential market for clothes inspired by Assamese traditions and that he is trying to tap this.

Deka, who set up his Bibhusaa designer store in Guwahati under the Niru Garments brand name in 2009, has a passion for silk fabrics including muga-gisha, pat, tussar and eri and he uses modern technology to spin out royal yet modern outfits with these fabrics.

"Yes, Britain is a good market and I have plans to tie up with buyers in London. It is under process. Hopefully, it will materialise next year," Deka told IANS in an email interview.

The designer, who displayed his work at shows in the capital, and also in Guwahati, Shillong, Chennai, Durban and Bangkok, received good response from these places.

Asked how he reached London, he said a buyer visited him during his show in Chennai and suggested he take part in the prestigious fashion event.

"The journey from Assam to London started from Chennai when I participated in the International Hand Woven Fair Fashion Show in March. After I finished my show, a buyer from Britain came to me and asked: 'Why don't you try the UK market? It is a very good market and there is a demand for designs like yours'," said Deka, who also worked with a garment export company in Gurgaon.

"She gave me the link (of the London Fashion Week). I then contacted the organiser and told them about my work," he said, adding that the journey would not have been possible without "help from my team members Ranjita Pegu (fashion coordinator) and Anu Marbaniang (fashion stylist)."

From tops, gowns and skirts to traditional Assamese mekhla chaddar, saris made with muga, eari and pat silk - he displayed all of this at the London Fashion Week.

The response was encouraging.

"A lot of people enquired about my collection. Now, I am following it up," said Deka, who is also preparing for the North East Festival in the capital in November.

Most probably he would go for a fashion weekend in the US in March next year.

An alumnus of the capital's J.D. Institute of Fashion Technology, he has no intention of working outside his hometown as he loves Guwahati and also has easy access to raw material.

(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at natalia.n@ians.in)

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