2021 has been a golden year for Indian fashion industry so far. You know why? Indian fashion admirers were astounded to hear the news of Priyanka Chopra was one of the seven personalities to join the Victoria’s Secret and the presence Indian fashion influencers like Massom Minnawala, Diipa Koshla and Nidhi Sunil at the Cannes 2021 to uphold the Indian culture and now the news of Vaishali Shadangule at the Paris Couture week.
Designer Vaishali Shadangule was seen in 2021 Paris Couture week. Paris Fashion show is one of the “Big 4” fashion weeks including London Fashion week, Milan Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week. It was her debut Paris fashion week and she displayed her collection “Breath”. Paris was not her first global show, she has already made an impression in New York fashion weeks in the previous years. She is the first Indian women designer at a global fashion scene and the second Indian designer to be at global scene after Rahul Mishra. As she walked down the boulevard in Paris Fashion week, she still wore those titles proudly. The emotion of satisfaction, victory and pride were well evident on her face all throughout the show.
Vaishali posted a photo after the news of Parish fashion week captioning, “Vaishali S has been chosen as this year “Invited Member” of the Paris Haute Couture Week. It is a dream come true, I think the dream of any designer that is in love with her mission. I am. I have always dedicated my work to revive the treasures of Indian hand weaving tradition, through the India ancestral way of life, which today has become mainstream: Sustainable (Socially. Environmentally, economically), Circular, focused on intricate hand work. It is a tough moment for India, with a lot of people suffering and fearing, and bad news making the headlines around the world.”
Who is Vaishali Shadangule?
Vaishali Shadangule is 43 years old Indian fashion designer. She is the founder of the eponymous brand Vaishali S. She is from a small town of Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh. A girl who ran away from her home, that’s what she was for the starting of her life. Then she discovered her true passion for fashion and rest was history. She started her dream from scratches by studying designer courses and opening a boutique. Vaishali started her brand Vaishali S. in 2001.
“Vaishali Shadangule draws inspiration from her ability to observe and listen allowing her designs to speak for themselves. Relying on the honesty and authenticity of her designs to do the talking, Vaishali is an enigma to her Indian as well as international patrons.”
Vaishali S. is all about hand-woven textiles and traditional designs. Her main goal is to bring Indian traditional fashion in the global spotlight. Her designs and collections are rooted in Indian tradition and culture.
What is “Breath”?
“Breath” is the title of the collection Vaishali Shadangule displayed at the 2021 Paris Couture Week. The designer comments that she was inspired by curves, shapes and lines of corals, and tree barks seen in the nature. The collection was an overall exhibit of art from all across India. It included Khun from Karnataka, Merino wool woven in Maheshwar, and other extraordinary weaves from West Bengal. There were 20 garments in the collection showcasing the traditional Indian weaves all with darker shades of green, brown, red, and a white gown representing the snow.
“Breath is something that has remained unacknowledged in most of us. Ironically, we all feel it and it is the only thing that is happening every moment, continuously from the moment we were born. And still, it’s presence is taken away for granted. It is the only inevitable exchange that is happening between us and the rest of the world. Why did we stop acknowledging the most prominent, evident and essential process that ensures our existence here?”
“Breath is the thread that unites everything as one and supports life as a whole. Handwoven fabrics from various states of India become a canvas to celebrate life and restore a zero-waste approach, preserving the museum-quality weave in innovative corded texture. This signature cording is braided along with Merino Wools and Chanderi Silks throughout the collectionto remind us of all living beings around us. The collection embodies an artistic interpretation of handloom fabrics as our second skin, with a desire to wear ensembles created with nature itself and its timeworn in its quality. With an ageless paradigm of Indian textile vocabulary, every thread and fibre sings the songs of lost tales and soil of the Indian Lands.”
“This collection is a collective breath we take connected with passion and thread of creativity.” – Breath according to Vaishali S.
The success behind the Breath collection was not easy. In this time of Pandemic, it took extra effort for the designer to finish the collection. The karigars returned to their homes during the pandemic, and only 10 of them were left, so it took 6-7 months to complete the collection. On top of that, Vaishali was infected with Covid-19. But all these hardships and challenges never scared her off. She made it through all of the adverse situations and showcased her collection flawlessly. She said, “The pandemic emphasized the importance of nature and breathing. It taught us how important nature is to us – almost an extension of our body – and that we can’t stop taking care of it. So, if you’re damaging nature, you’re essentially damaging yourself. My collection pays homage to nature.” She believes that the pandemic was one of the reasons for naming the collection Breath.
The designer said, “As an Indian showcasing at the pinnacle of global couture, this is a significant milestone. Indian has a strong design language in terms of craftsmanship combined with social impact, the richness of technique beyond embroidery or plain manufacturing. The idea was to put the Indian weave on the highest platform, in its purest form.”
Vaishali Shadangule, the creative powerhouse of Indian fashion industry can be a role model for all the Indians out there who wants to chase their passion. Vaishali created the history from scratches. A common girl in a village of Madhya Pradesh became India’s face of fashion in the Paris Couture week. Now, Indian Fashion lovers are looking forward to her next presence in a global fashion event.