On the 4th of August, we saw over 120 people silently fill the G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture in Mahalaxmi, Mumbai. Over the next 3 hours, the venue was filled with ideas, conversation and inspiration. This little session saw four extremely thought-provoking names from art and design come together to share their experiences and projects with a diverse audience and marked the launch of Design Fabric’s newest monthly property – WIP Sessions.
The idea of WIP Sessions is to bring to the front what truly is ‘work in progress’ and allow that to initiate conversation and inspire. Our intention is to connect with the designers and artists of tomorrow and inspire them in the right kind of way.
The speakers for our first session included paper cut artists Hari & Deepti, fashion blogger Kayaan Contractor, fashion designers Huemn and type designer Shiva Nallaperumal. Here’s a quick low-down on what went on that evening.
We Are All Explorers - Hari & Deepti #
Hari & Deepti, the artist couple based in Denver and Mumbai, known for their exquisite paper-cut book covers were first to take the stage. From the story of their first piece ‘Orange Lotus’ and building their first lightbox, marrying the positives of both light and shadow to telling us how they find joy in creating an ethereal world in their art that would make people want to live in it. Throwing light on the books, movies and travel stories that inspire them, their talk weaved around their journey, their process and collaborations and was equal parts heart-warming and awe-inspiring.
While Deepti’s focus has been on organic, classical art and painting, Hari’s work has been deepset in minimalism, and they used their skills to create a third style which neither of them could create alone. The audience was also privy to some secret information, like the fact that they designate work to each other and never sit together in the same workstation! And how assembling is the most consuming and frustrating part until the lights are turned on and the whole thing comes to life.
Read more about them and their work here.
You’ve Got It All Wrong - Kayaan Contractor #
Next up was fashion and beauty blogger, Kayaan Contractor, who has worked with brands like Gucci, Dior, Nike and even been featured on the cover of Grazia Magazine. Kayaan took us along a journey, introducing us to her latest property shapeshifter.in and spoke to us about how she is deeply interested in selling an experience. She discussed the blogging industry in India and showed us the serious side – the research, the innovation, the collaborations, the business calculations and risks – to blogging that’s until now been hidden under a flurry of layered dresses and #yolo posts. Her passion for Shapeshifter was evident in the effort she took to scout for locations, building the right team, creating a story and so on.
Finally, she left us all with some insider info and how hoot and how she feels fashion films and conceptual videos are to become the next big thing in fashion blogging in India.
Read more about her and Shapeshifter here.
Relevance Is Everything - Huemn #
Shyma Shetty & Pranav Misra of Delhi-based fashion label Huemn spoke about why they do what they do. They started out by talking about the inception of brand Huemn, the name, the conception of its philosophy, the marketing and campaigning strategy and how the very name came into existence. They shared how relevance is everything in fashion; what is a trend today is tradition tomorrow, what leaves an impact today becomes passe tomorrow.
They spoke about intentions, values, conscious relevance and how they are hardly about making clothes. Instead, they want to be consciously aware of the society and all that is relevant in the world today. Their focus is inward and outward at the same time - on evolution over change, on political dialogues, shifts in power, the gender dialogue and so on. For them, marketing campaigns, visual representations and imagery of their collections are critical. They also took us through their upcoming projects, Fall 2017, The Huemn Project and Huemn Stories.
Read more about them here.
Find Your Passion & Give It Time - Shiva Nallaperumal #
Finally, the last speaker of the night, graphic designer and type designer Shiva Nallaperumal presented three unique projects that he’s been working on. The first one he presented was called Oli Grotesk (named after Olivetti Typewriters) which he’s working on in collaboration with his best friend and type designer Aarya Purohit. It was an attempt to formalise every script into one, covering every major Indian script as well as major world scripts.
Next, he spoke about his first and longest design type design project, Calcula, which was inspired by the oldest Arabic calligraphic style of Kufic, on which he spent over 3.5 years. He built an artificially intelligent typeface where each letter would mould itself differently according to the letter typed before it. Finally he shared his latest WIP project, a collaboration with Taxi Fabric to design the graphics for a legendary Red Bull Tour Bus. He shared how he went about arriving an illustrative style inspired by the principles of typography. How he kicked out the no’s and got closer to the yes’.
Read more about his process and Calcula here.
The evening came to a close with networking drinks by The White Owl Brewery, many congratulations to the artists, a beautiful piano recital by musician Lennart Altgenug and a bunch of perspective.
Make sure you don’t miss the next one on September 07, 2017 in Mumbai again, featuring Prarthna Singh, Sajid Wajid Shaikh and Avinash Kumar.