Sailex Ngairangbam, 26. Fashion Designer
I was born to a mother who was already in the same profession, and I, quite literally, grew up in a pile of clothes!! I had always been fascinated with pieces of clothing around me and knew how to sew by the time I turned 8. I was lucky because I had understanding and encouraging parents who didn’t force me into a conventional field of study – which then was either engineering or medicine.
Studying and working
I was one of the laziest students at NIFT. My faculty frequently wanted to flunk me because I refused to work and was never on time, but somehow I managed to get through. For my graduation, I created a collection called “Lust Bug.” If I looked at it now I probably would want to throw up. Post NIFT, I worked for Lee at Arvind Brands in Bangalore, but I quit before my probation period ended. I couldn’t survive in a corporate environment.
Domus and Italian influences
I realized I needed further exposure in the international fashion scenario; it didn’t really matter to me where I was going to study. I had heard about Domus, and I wanted to be in Milan, so I decided to give it a shot and enrolled myself. I would surmise that technically NIFT furnished me with the basics and Domus polished the rest. Though, to be completely honest, the best education was just living in Italy and watching fashion conscious people day in and day out. The typical Italian city-goer was my biggest influence and living in Milan broadened my fashion sensibilities, which, until then, had been acutely “Indian-Corporate –Fashion” driven so to speak.
I sorely miss the Italian appertivo, a happy hour culture which starts at 6 pm and includes unlimited food on the house if you buy a drink !! And, of course, I miss shopping there too!!
I started working as a student. I stitched & created prototypes for Rafael Lopez & made technicals for Costume National. I worked with a design house in Milan for a while, but due to visa issues, I had to head back.
Gen Next 2008 and subsequent Collections
My first public showing was Gen-Next 2008 for which I created a collection based on the cartoon character “Emily the strange”. My recent Lakme Winter/festive collection “Duality” was inspired by Lucifer, fallen angels; the duality between good and evil in the same being. It took me 20 days and 20 nights to create it. I’ve come a long way from my first collection at LFW in 2008 and have grown a lot over time. I’m very fickle minded. For me, to create a collection like this one, I need to sort my head out first. Once I’m mentally prepared the rest follows through.
Photos from Duality.
Shirt/shorts/bow tie – self made
Belt – Sarojini market
Bag – Sisley
Footwear – custom made
Edited by Nidhi Sunil