“We have several bird sanctuaries in Bihar but none of these are all known and rarely appreciated. Commoners kill these migratory birds and sell them as rewards for bravery in different parts of Bihar.”
In 2020, the government of Bihar initiated an annual three-day bird festival in Bihar named ‘Kalrav’ to acknowledge these travellers of our sky. This collection entitled ‘Pankh’ (wings) is an homage to the unsung migration anecdote of birds in Bihar, as part of a craft-based product development module in NIFT Patna. The student collective is seeking to acknowledge, honour, and safeguard the natural world.
They describe the mood of this design collection as ‘feel and flow’, with different pieces showcasing the unique junctures of migration spread over three stages — the dawn of the journey to a destination, the stay, and the flight towards home. It also traverses through some distinct bird-related imagery, like travelling, nesting, parenting and more such features throughout their designs.
Campaigning the collection under ‘vocal for local’, the fashion line incorporates several innovative elements, such as the use of locally made and sourced Khadi, in addition to promoting the magnificent textile of Bihar called ‘Khatwa’ which was incorporated through the stitches and hemming techniques.
As textile making and adornment have been an inseparable part of women's lives in Bihar, starting from birth and followed by lineage of knowledge; the students also explored this unique form of heritage through the collection. The designs and craft work was done in the Kurji Khatwa cluster by three prominent state awardees, Mrs. Sushila Devi, Mrs . Neetu Sharma and Mrs. Sarita devi.
The entire collection showcases the brilliant use of various sustainable materials and each name in the line correlates with Vedic meanings of nature. Some of these sets are named as ‘Aranya’ translating into the forest, ‘Megha’ to clouds, ‘Vaari' to water and so on. The collection was also showcased at the Asia’s largest cattle fair ‘Sonepur Mela’ in December 2022.
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