Purely by De­sign

The best fash­ion de­sign in­sti­tute for three years in a row, NIFT Delhi fos­ters an en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit and builds self-be­lief

India Today - - BEST COLLEGES - By Shilpa Agar­walla

IALWAYS WANTED TO study de­sign and be­come a fash­ion de­signer. Even as a child, I used to ex­per­i­ment and em­bel­lish my shoes with bric-a-brac and make them look dis­tinct and stylish. Study­ing fash­ion af­ter Class 12 was the ob­vi­ous choice for me, and the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Fash­ion Tech­nol­ogy (NIFT) Delhi was the only in­sti­tute I wanted to at­tend.

The four years I spent at the sprawl­ing Hauz Khas cam­pus—study­ing, learn­ing and re­learn­ing the tricks of the trade, putting them to prac­tice and pol­ish­ing my skills—were full of fun and hard work.

I took up a Bach­e­lors in Fash­ion De­sign, a four-year pro­gramme that equips stu­dents with al­most ev­ery­thing re­lated to the field. In the first year, for in­stance, we stud­ied the ba­sics of fash­ion, but from sec­ond year on­ward, it got in­ten­sive. We learned very spe­cific things, such as pat­tern mak­ing, il­lus­trat­ing, drap­ing and crafts­man­ship to men­tion a few, as well as tak­ing on in­dus­try in­tern­ships and work­shops.

There is a great deal of creativ­ity on cam­pus, and you are sur­rounded by cre­ative minds. There is a dif­fer­ent en­ergy, very unique to NIFT, which you can feel the mo­ment you step past the gates of the de­sign school. A store­house of tal­ent and the alma mater of some of the best known fash­ion de­sign­ers in the coun­try, the school is filled with life, de­sign and lots of learn­ing. There is stress on prac­ti­cal as well as the­o­ret­i­cal knowl­edge, and pro­fes­sors know how to push stu­dents to do their best. Our classes would be­gin at 9 am and go on till 3 pm; and there were ex­tra classes af­ter that, where we would work on dum­mies in the labs, learn­ing how to drape and cre­at­ing mood boards. I, for ex­am­ple, cre­ated a col­lec­tion of Ben­gali saris for drap­ing while study­ing, and also did a mood board for Bho­j­pa­tra.

We did not just learn in­side the class­rooms but out­side as well. We were, in fact, en­cour­aged to go out and ac­quire first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence from lo­cal crafts­men. I re­mem­ber go­ing to See­lam­pur market in East Delhi to get swatches for my projects.

What I re­ally liked about study­ing at NIFT is that there is a fo­cus on en­trepreneur­ship, and stu­dents are en­cour­aged to start on their own af­ter grad­u­at­ing. That’s how I was in­spired to start my own la­bel. The in­fra­struc­ture and on-cam­pus fa­cil­i­ties are the best in the in­dus­try; we had so many dum­mies to drape while work­ing on projects (and mood boards as well). We even had JUKI sew­ing ma­chines to work on for mak­ing clothes.

I most vividly re­mem­ber my days sit­ting in the can­teen, brain­storm­ing with my batch­mates over pip­ing hot samosas, Maggi and bread pako­ras. Those days were simply great, and will al­ways be fond memories for me.

I still re­mem­ber how well I was cared for, when, in 2012, I fell down some stairs in col­lege and in­jured my hand. I was hos­pi­talised for a week, and it seemed as though ev­ery­one

DUR­ING ZERO HOUR EV­ERY WED­NES­DAY, STU­DENTS TAKE PART IN CON­TESTS, TALKS BY EM­I­NENT DE­SIGN­ERS, MU­SIC, DANCE AND LIT­ER­ARY EVENTS

at NIFT had come to the hospi­tal to take care of me. I get emo­tional ev­ery time I think about it.

If I am asked to­day what I learned study­ing at NIFT, I would say that I learned how to fo­cus, and also, that I gained self-be­lief. I learned that if I re­ally want to do some­thing, I can do it. The ad­vice I would give fash­ion de­sign as­pi­rants is that if they want to be in the in­dus­try of de­sign, then they need to study at NIFT, and nowhere else. It is the only place for de­sign, and for de­sign­ers.

YASIR IQBAL

STU­DENTS PRE­PARE OUT­FITS FOR AN IN­TER­NAL CURATION SES­SION

YASIR IQBAL

TEACH­ERS AS­SESS OUT­FITS DE­SIGNED BY STU­DENTS

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.