A Digital Talk Series

CHAPTER 4

Ms. Priyadarshini Rao

In the fourth edition of Why Fashion Matters The Design Village sojourns down the memory lane with the ever humble, Ms. Priyadarshini Rao as she heralds a fashion movement of her own accord and pace -- absolutely conscious, resilient and slow. With a career spanning over 2 decades and a half, Ms Rao has been a witness to the transitioning tides of fashion through these many years. Creating contemporary relevance by not conforming to concurrent trends, remaining true to design beyond form, advocating the act of dressing up to be comfortable and not mere fads.

She remains a firm believer of the notion that everything must go back to earth on which the discussion further advanced. She prefers using textiles and age-old dyeing techniques replete in sustainable practices. She elucidates that sustainability changes its meaning with each person using it. To her it is not only sustaining the richness of her products, rooted deeply in the cultural heritage of India but also sustaining the livelihood of her artisans, her craftspeople, her weavers etc. to her that is where the whole sustainability cycle begins, especially post pandemic. After that comes the notion of giving back to earth in the form of upcycling the products once they are used, the kind of dyes used, the amount of water used to wash the dyes etc.

The discussion went on with Ms. Rao explaining how the whole studio practices slowness and mindfulness in the whole process of creation, with each person having their own set of responsibilities, enjoying what they are doing and not being rushed into creating something. The focus of the studio never being on speed but always on quality.

At the end Ms. Rao concluded by asking all the younger generation to be humble about the work they do and always being open to learn.

“I’d like to tell them that you know design is a very Sacred Space. I think there should be a lot of gratitude in each one of us that we enjoy the design process and that we are part of it. Treating it with a lot of solemnity and you know wanting to better yourself, wanting to learn….so I think humility, gratitude, giving back to the community, all these ideas should be part of what makes you the designer.”