No Filter: Young designer fuses sustainable fashion with innovative technologies

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.
No Filter: Young designer fuses sustainable fashion with innovative technologies
Sanah Sharma


She is, in fact, the creator of a cutting technique called Planar Flux and has recently won an award at the International Zero-Waste Design Competition conducted by Faculty of Design in Slovenia.

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.
Impact of #MeToo on fashion shows
The festive season has just started but last week was all about fashion for me. Ask any model in Chennai about the fashion shows held in the city malls and they will have various stories to share. From catcalls to being escorted out by bodyguards as the crowd got out of control to being groped and ended up in the police station filing a complaint. I was pleasantly surprised last week when I walked for a fashion show at a popular mall. The audience was enjoying the show and having fun. They maintained a decent distance putting the models at ease. Maybe, it’s the current climate of #MeToo, people have become aware of their actions and its impact on others. If that’s the case, it is a very welcome change.
I feel it’s a combination of factors and one of them is that in this digital age everyone is viewing shows not directly but through their smartphone cameras and this digital barrier that once made people overly familiar is also resulting in people respecting personal space. All the models that walked for the show last week were deeply appreciative of this.

Are you in Chennai?  Then click here to get our newspaper at your doorstep!! 

Related Stories

No stories found.
DT next