Every model in her/his career would have walked for design school graduation shows and can usually tell which ones have great potential. One such designer whose show I got attracted to was Sanah Sharma — I wish I had run away with the outfit! Her design was so trendy then as it is now.
I caught up with her in light of this award and we reminisced about that fashion show and her graduation project. She tells me that while she was exploring innovative ways of draping back then, she accidentally created a new technique with a high sustainability index. What this means is that there is very little to zero waste fabric left while making a garment. Turns out there is such a thing as a happy accident for this is definitely one. As more and more brands are trying to be economically conscious and sustainable, Sanah is leading the way from Chennai.
“Later, under the mentorship of Prof. Julian Roberts, who is a renowned pattern cutter and faculty member at Royal College of Art (London), I began exploring specifically sustainable design strategies with my technique. However, I think my journey had begun subconsciously quite a long time ago. I remember cutting outgrown/damaged clothes that were to be discarded and using it to make dresses for my dolls as a child. My first tryst with design was born from the sustainable ideology of reuse,” she tells me.
When I ask her how this competition came about, she tells me, “My friend and mentor Prof. Julian Roberts had put up a post about this competition. Another friend from London College of Fashion suggested to me that I participate and I thought it would be a good fit for me,” she recalls. The next time you are social media browsing and get caught by your parents, remember to use Sanah as an example — you never know when an award or international recognition may be on the cards.
She has achieved so much success in a short time after graduation and from where she finds the time to research this technique and push its boundaries is beyond me. She has authored a chapter in an academic book and was invited to lecture the PhD students at Iowa State University where her technique was incorporated into their official syllabus.
However, like any other twenty-something-year-old, she had plenty of misgivings and doubts but this lecture lead to her gaining some much needed self-confidence. Currently, she is looking forward to building an ethically produced and sustainable clothing brand and conducting workshops on the same.