Gaurang Shah vs LFW debutant: Designers in plagiarism battle

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By Nivedita

New Delhi–Established designer and textile revivalist Gaurang Shah has accused Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) newcomer Shailesh Singhania of showcasing “exact replicas” of his 2012 creations.

The latter, on the other hand, is wondering what he has copied and says this sort of behaviour from a senior designer “demoralises younger designers from working with handloom”.

Showing IANS the lookbook of his brand’s 2012 collection which was also shown on the LFW runway, Shah says that “apart from the unnoticeable tweak, the clothing and silhouette of the overall look (that Singhania showcased at LFW Summer/Resort 2017) appear to be an exact replica”.

According to Shah’s statement, the collection presented by Singhania — which ranged from pieces which were identical or extremely similar to his own pieces — were a rip-off.

“Each one of the fashion pieces had striking resemblance to my Calico designs (at the LFW Summer/Resort 2012 show),” Gaurang told IANS over email from Mumbai.

“While I would love many designers to join and accelerate the Khadi wave, what is important is to be original and create freshness rather than repeating. What is disheartening is blatant copying, that not only lets us down as a designer, but also beats the very purpose of sustainability,” he said.


Hyderabad-based Singhania showcased his collection titled ‘Actuality of Consonance: Khadi’ at the just-concluded LFW Summer/Resort 2017 edition on its Sustainable and Indian Textiles Day.

Gaurang Shah\’s calico collections

According to the designer, each sari in his line was created with handspun khadi thread and is woven with real gold zari.

“Handwoven is a heritage of our land. I and the other designers are committed to lend a hand to our weavers to ensure the longevity of our crafts and craftsman. My work in this collection is Khadi Jamdani which is a technique that can be traced back to hundreds of years,” Singhania told IANS on phone from Hyderabad.

He said the Khadi saris were woven to highlight the harmony that our choices can bring about in our environment. With the advent of un-eco friendly saris, the need to highlight the sustainability angle of handspun, handwoven ones is even greater,” Singhania told IANS on phone from Hyderabad.

He said he worked on this collection for over a year to bring out various facets of nature via his saris.

“For my debut show, I wanted to create something close to my heart and belief. I fail to understand how I can be accused of copying. What have I copied? The Khadi weave? Jamdani technique? The birds? The flowers? What is in my line that is exclusive to the accusing designer,” he questioned.

He said he feels demoralised by the accusation.

“But I am committed to preserving our craft and sustaining my craftsmen, whatever the challenges may be,” Singhania said.

This is not the first time that designers have played the blame game over designs.



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