In Talks: With Bright Young Designers

With the Finalists of #Coronial_Innovate Design Contest 2020


“True sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

ASFDT along with Club Ami-Trendz conducted the ‘Coronial Innovate Design Contest’ on Innovation Day which is celebrated on 28th September 2020.

10 finalists were selected out of 65 entries from various schools of AUM, namely Avni Singhal (M.Des Sem 3), Nikhitha Jayakumar (Sem 7), Akarshi Shrivastava (Sem 7), Vasanti Choudhary (Sem 5), Arundhati Abipsha (Sem 5), Chinmayi Sawant (Sem 5), Dona Ajay (Sem 5), Aishwarya Babar (Sem 3), Sushmita Mandal (Sem 1) & Anushree (MT).

With ‘Versatile Geometry’ as the theme the contestants were asked to create a design for a mask and pair of gloves with their own creativity and innovation added to it. Their ideation and design thinking process is briefly looked at in this interview.

What was the inspiration behind your design?

Nikitha Jayakumar (Nikhitha): Masks always overshadow the real beauty of lips, but during these times wearing mask is of utmost importance, I decided to incorporate a geometric embroidered version of tinted lips on the mask with few contrasting cross motifs to better suit the wearers.

Aishwarya Babar (Aishwarya): Can people make their masks and gloves at home with used or waste fabrics? What are the problems people have been facing with masks and gloves? These problems and these questions helped me to think and design my mask as a solution to these problems.

Arundhati Abipsha (Arundhati): My mask design was inspired by the versatile culture worldwide. Our lips speak a variety of languages and we do numerous tasks with our hands. This is what inspired me to come up with this design, where they are so similar yet so different.

Anushree Agarwal (Anushree): My inspiration was Spiderman (I was binge-watching all movies) *cheeky grin*.

Finalist: Vasanti Choudhary

How long did it take for you to come up with this idea and make it into your design?

Vasanti Choudhary (Vasanti): To be honest, I always reuse my old Kurtis to make pillow covers, small blankets or doormats. So with the Covid-19 still affecting us, when I saw the contest, I thought that it was the best way to utilise them and make new sustainable masks and gloves. In total, it took 2 hours to conceptualise by hand first, and then digitally.

Akarshi Shrivastava (Akarshi): As I mentioned before, this idea struck me a while ago but I didn’t think that much about it. It was actually through this contest that I brainstormed. It took me a couple of hours to come up with this functional concept which could be DIY-ed at home easily.

Sushmita Mandal (Sushmita): It took me 2-3 days to decide on the motifs and patterns I wanted. Then I finalised on the design that doesn’t call for too much attention, but worth noticing.

Finalist: Nikhitha Jayakumar

Post Covid-19, how do you think your product will perform?

Nikitha: The usage of mask wouldn’t see its end quite soon post Covid-19, since such upcycled denim masks mass manufactured with modern technology, its increased usage would definitely find its place in the world of fashion and the world of pollution.

Akarshi: Post Covid-19, my mask would work well because since wearing masks is the new normal, my product is highly customizable so everybody could rock this face mask with any kind of outfit, with or without the shield.

Finalist: Aishwarya Babar

What age bracket is your design aimed towards?

Akarshi: I don’t have an age bracket as such because I want my product to reach every person especially the working-class population who can’t wear masks and face shields for a long duration while at work because they can be straining.

Sushmita: The design is subtle, has a hint of ethnicity, and chic. I believe it will suit all age groups.

Finalist: Akarshi Shrivastava

How would you work towards achieving mass production of your Design?

Aishwarya: For mass production, we can replace the umbrella fabric ( used in gloves ), with polyester which is made from waste plastic ( bottles, bags, etc.) The fabric can be recycled and coated with polyurethane to make it waterproof. Cotton fabric can be used to line the inner layer of gloves. Keeping in mind the soft feel and the functionality, the inner layer of the mask can be lined with cotton too. The mask’s outer layer can be made by sewing up patches, unused industrial waste fabrics to make the mask.

Chinmayi Sawant (Chinmayi): I would really love to have my design mass produced and start up a thrift store of masks where people can give their old shirts and clothes. These can be used to develop recycled and sanitised masks. The idea of such sustainable yet fashionable masks can reach a large audience.

Finalist: Arundhati Abipsha

How can your design bring about the change in the world today?

Nikitha: The main message is that sustainability doesn’t limit the doors to fashion. There is always a way to look stylish and up to trend without harming the earth.

Aishwarya: In today’s time, the change this world needs is saving the environment. The more the people and industries go towards sustainability, the better we will be, my design was to try and make things from waste materials and prolong its usage.

Sushmita: In today’s time, the change this world needs is saving the environment. The more the people and industries go towards sustainability, the better we will be, my design was to try and make things from waste materials and prolong its usage.

Finalist: Chinmayi Sawant

How do you want your client to feel when wearing your design?

Akarshi: The most important thing I want my wearer to feel is to feel safe because, during these dark times, where everyone is scared and anxious about their well-being. Secondly, I want them to feel fashionable again because my masks are customizable and one mask can give you 3 different looks (without shield, without cords & shields and cords both) so they could style them as they wish!

Finalist: Avni Singhal

How have you managed to incorporate your personal style into this particular design you have created?

Vasanti: Generally, I am the kind of person who doesn’t want to waste things, and also being a housewife, we don’t waste anything. If we can recycle everything from food to our old clothes, we can do anything. In India the ladies are so much creative with their foods and clothes, as I am, this is the reason I have prepared this kind of gloves, the Kurtis which was used by new mothers which won’t be used after that, this is my style to reuse the old Kurtis into the designer masks and gloves.

Nikitha: Bold, unusual and quirky is my style. People usually question the comfort and the ease of a denim mask. My bold design and techniques answer those questions. Everyone wants to look different, unique and up to date with the trends. I feel my designs are just the right amount of innovative and different.

Arundhati: I’m a very versatile person. I prefer casual and comfort over power dressing but with small yet fashionable touches. My design is a mere reflection of my style. It consists of something as simple as a cotton base and a power design that spices up the entire design.

Sushmita: I have always wanted to make designs that convey a message. This design is exactly how I wanted it to be. It has a lot of meaning and history associated with it.

Anushree: I personally only lean towards the kind of fashion that brings me comfort, make me feel confident, and something that is relatable to me. So my designs aim to bring about a combinations of all of my likes.

Finalist: Sushmita Mandal

What were the limitations that you faced while coming up with this design?

Vasanti: So many! The clothes’ textures, colors, feel, their sustainability quotient, maintaining the continuity of the designs… These are the design’s demands. Also, since they are so colorful, senior citizens may not prefer it. Moreover, matching the patches was a big task.

Akarshi: The only limitation I faced was to find an eco-friendly alternative for the shield part because those are made from plastic. I brainstormed a lot to find a replacement for the plastic sheet that was affordable as well as recyclable, and I found that OHP (Overhead Projector) sheets were cheap, easily available and can be reused.

Sushmita: I didn’t want the design to take away the attention from the user as I wanted it to complement their personality. So it was difficult to choose the right color palette and motifs.

Finalist: Dona Ajay

Why should we care about sustainability according to you?

Aishwarya: For many years environmentalists have told us repeatedly why sustainability is important for us and our future generations. Now we have reached a point where sustainability is needed in all aspects of our lives.
The fashion industry is one of the biggest pollutants in the world, so I think young designers like me should try to incorporate sustainability in our design processes.

Sushmita: For many years environmentalists have told us repeatedly why sustainability is important for us and our future generations. Now we have reached a point where sustainability is needed in all aspects of our lives.
The fashion industry is one of the biggest pollutants in the world, so I think young designers like me should try to incorporate sustainability in our design processes.

Finalist: Anushree Agarwal

Author:
Dona Ajay
Finalist of “Coronial Innovate” Design Contest

3rd Year, B. Des. Fashion Design

Editors:
Sthuthya Shaminder
4th Year, B. Des. Fashion Design
Prarthana Kapadia
4th Year, B. Des. Fashion Design
Shalini Mohanty
Assistant Professor, ASFDT

Graphic Designer:
Rutuja Konde
4th Year, B. Des. Fashion Design

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