‘It will be the most exuberant era of fashion after the pandemic,’ says fashion designer Anamika Khanna

It is rightly said that fashion mirrors society. With the Covid-19 pandemic and the present social scenario, society has experienced turbulent emotions in the last one year. This year’s FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week brought in some of the collections which truly showcased the changing emotions of a human being – one of them being ace designer Anamika Khanna’s collection titled Timeless The World – inspired by the myriad feelings and emotions that a soul experiences.

Keeping the tradition alive, the collection pays homage to Indian heritage, her couture at the opening show of FDCI x LFW was all about casual comfort wear and fashion luxury. In her collection, the celebrity designer merged art and textile with fabrics that will create trends in near future. With her gender-fluid collection showcasing mix and match options with striking lehengas and sherwanis in a mix of hues, blacks, yellows, greens and impressive corals, her designs appeared boundary and timeless. In a candid chat with the Cinema Journal, Anamika talks about the changing scene of fashion, its sustainability and the fashion world post pandemic. Excerpts from the interview.

Anamika Khanna
Anamika Khanna

How easy or difficult has it been for you to maintain the position you have reached in the fashion industry?

To maintain the position that you reach in any industry is not an easy task as there are a lot of expectations and people look up to you for your next big project. You have to learn new things to stay relevant and not become out-dated, which needs 24*7 constant work. It cannot be an easy task to wake up every morning to get judged for everything that you do. However, the acceleration, joy and satisfaction it brings cannot be matched either.

Fashion in general is not constant and we do see some trends coming back, how do you see this change?

Fashion and design is a mirror of society so any change you see happening at any point also depends on socio-economic conditions of what the society is going through. If we are going through a social change it is going to affect your dressing as well. During the lockdown, when everyone was at home the dressing automatically became casual. As the moods are changing, people are becoming optimistic and so is the dressing. People want to dress up, they want to feel good so it is automatically a mirror of society.

‘It will be the most exuberant era of fashion after the pandemic,’ says fashion designer Anamika Khanna
‘It will be the most exuberant era of fashion after the pandemic,’ says fashion designer Anamika Khanna

How the idea of fashion has changed in the pandemic and post lockdown?

After the pandemic, we are not really thinking about trends and what is in vogue and what is not. The general feeling is how this fashion is created, what is its sustainability factor, what it means to people and what’s the change we can bring about. So, the trends really don’t matter much this time.

How do you see fashion in post-pandemic world?

I see a lot of optimism, individuality and experimentation. People really want to live it up and they have had enough of being sad, fearful and anxious. They just want to live. Fashion in the post-pandemic world will probably be the most exuberant era of fashion that one has ever seen.

Designers for the last few years have been insistent about sustainable fashion. Do you think in a country like India the idea is achievable?

There are different ways to look at sustainability. It is just not about using fabrics which are sustainable; it also means creating quality, moving away from creating lakhs of fast-fashion collections. When you create quality, you are allowing the consumer to use the same product for a longer period of time and thereby reducing the ecological waste that everyone is talking about. Sustainability also means that even one piece of garment can be versatile enough to give multiple wears and uses that in some ways is a way to look at sustainability. In a country like India, all of us are conscious people and if we make efforts, we can definitely achieve it.

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