Purely by Design
The best fashion design institute for three years in a row, NIFT Delhi fosters an entrepreneurial spirit and builds self-belief
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.
STUDENTS PREPARE OUTFITS FOR AN INTERNAL CURATION SESSION
TEACHERS ASSESS OUTFITS DESIGNED BY STUDENTS