USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change

Updated: January 31, 2019 18:43 IST

The charm of Kashmir's picturesque lakes, snow-capped mountains, and lush forests is matched by the richness of its cultural heritage. From handicrafts to the exquisite pashminas, the valley boasts a rich history of arts and crafts passed on through generations and yet the state and its craftsmen are yet to realise their full potential. In an attempt to tap into this immense pool of talent, in the year 2018, the USHA Silai Label set up a garment design and production cluster in Kashmir.

USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change
Kashmir known for its scenic beauty was once on every travellers' bucket list. For long tourism was the main source of employment for Kashmiris. But decades of strife have impacted not just tourist inflow but also ruined its once flourishing handicrafts business like wood carving and handloom sector.
USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change
To rediscover the hidden talent among Kashmiris, especially women, in the year 2018, the USHA Silai School set up a garment design and production cluster in Kashmir. The objective was to select few deserving contenders to work on the fashion line - Silai Label to be showcased at Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.
USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change
Women from different walks of life came to the assessment session with their work samples to showcase their talent and skills. USHA organised an assessment session in the tranquil premises of the Kashmir University with Virendra (trainer) and Shruti (IMG Reliance Pvt Ltd, that organises Lakme Fashion Week).
USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change
After many gruelling hours, the assessment session came to its conclusion and 17 women were selected for the next step of the program - the training. The training of the women for the final production was set up at the Social Work Department of the University of Kashmir.
USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change
Rohit Bal, ace fashion designer and mentor for this cluster, had sent four samples to be made by the selected women. Being a trainer, Virendra, briefed the women about each of the samples and took them through the process of replicating these designs and achieve the perfect finishing.
USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change
Virendra started the training with basic details like teaching to make straight lines. Though making a straight line looks simple but a lot of practice goes into perfecting it.
USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change
To ensure women are on right path, Virendra kept a hawk's eye on samples being made by the women at the center.
USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change
Along with teaching the craft, the holistic training session focused on other aspects of being a professional designer.
USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change
Training center set up at the University of Kashmir saw 17 women hone their skills and reproduce Rohit Bal's designs for the final assessment by him before work on Silai Label to be showcased at the Lakme Fashion Week 2019 can begin.

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