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PERSON OF INTEREST | DEEPIKA GOVIND

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A textile revivalist, Deepika Govind works with Indian weavers and creates design for a better world

A voracious reader, a wildlife enthusiast and an eco-fashion aficionado, designer Deepika Govind has been a part of the Indian fashion Industry for 17 years now. She leaves nothing to chance, right from the selection of silk linings to the manner in which a buttonhole is hand-bound. Known as a textile revivalist, the designer has diligently worked with native Indian weavers and craftsmen over the years. From Ilkal to Patola, Khadi and Eri silk, we were curious to know more about the designer. Excerpts from an interview 

deepika govind

How has the journey been so far | My passion for textiles spurs me on? I think it has been exhilarating and, at times, exceedingly frustrating, but overall, it’s given me a great deal of satisfaction. For me, fabrics are the alpha and the omega of the design process; everything begins with the textile. Once intrigued or excited by a textile, there’s no stopping me.

deepika govind collection

Where do you get your style inspiration from | Inspiration comes unannounced, often disguised in the everyday and the ordinary. It’s up to one to be alert and recognise it. It could be a picture in a cookbook that has an unexpected colour combination, or a headline in a newspaper that sets you thinking. It could be a texture on a wall that makes me work on a print pattern or it could be just about anything.

When I face a creative block, I surround myself with heaps of fabrics & somewhere, there is a spark.

Your journey as a textile revivalist has always been exciting| Which is your next textile destination| Gujarat is one state that excites me. This summer, I did a Gujarat-based collection with organic cotton, and all the forms of tie and dye practiced there; from clamp to bandhani to ajrakh and shibori. Now, I have focussed my attention towards the North East.

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What do you do to unwind | I’m a voracious reader. Anything from `The Kauravas’ to `Poor Economics’ grips my attention. I enjoy spending time with my two boys (aged 14 and 9); just hanging out with them, sitting all through their music class, watching them spin out some concoction after watching Masterchef Junior every night!

clothing by deepika govind

When you experience a “creative block”, how do you overcome it | I find being amidst nature very therapeutic. My sons and I are wildlife enthusiasts, and we’ve visited every jungle lodge, forest, a wildlife sanctuary in the country (inspired, of course, by Jim Corbett and Kenneth Anderson books). I try to divert my mind with music. If all else fails, I sit in my design studio surrounded by heaps of fabrics and somewhere, there is a spark.

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According to you, what are the classics of your label | I think Parchment Blues, layering and texturing with Ikats and specially developed fabrics, are one of my personal favorites. Apart from Pop Patola, which was truly a celebration of the weave, developing Eri-the Peace silk, gave me immense satisfaction. It felt like one minuscule drop in an ocean towards a better world. And then the Muga silk project. But khaki still tops my list of priorities, having blended it with Modal (a manmade eco fiber developed from the tree bark) to make it drape beautifully and yet strong. I try to work on Khadi almost every summer.



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