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‘Arture Connect’ Rocks London

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The worlds of fashion from across the seas and disciplines were brought together at the London College of Contemporary Arts in Central London as the inaugural ‘Arture Connect’ came to the British capital…reports Asian Lite News

Arture Connect event
Arture Connect event

The event’s focus on cultural exchange has special significance given that this year marks the 400th anniversary of the beginning of formal relations between India and Britain.  The London session  saw a plethora of designers of from Britain and India come together to showcase their wares and bring to fruition the mantra of the legendary Coco Chanel, who said:  “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Arture Connect landed in London following a successful series of shows in India. From London, Arture Connect now moves further east for an exhibition and conference at the Anglia Ruskin University on 24th and 25th October 2015. The series ends with a fashion extravaganza in one of the great fashion capitals of the world – Mumbai on 31 October 2015.

In keeping with that legend’s ethos, the event saw a celebration of everything that constitutes fashion – from veteran designers like London heavyweight Keith Khan to first-time designers; from a fashion student who promotes recycling in her designs to a talented artist who celebrates multicultural Britain.

Aside from a stunning catwalk show featuring everything from “geometric” saris to evening wear, the event also featured experts in the fields of Social Media, fashion marketing, public relations and fashion education.

Preeti Gaikwad
Preeti Gaikwad

The brainchild behind the event, Preeti Gaikwad, said:  “Our theme is connecting creative communities because there is a need for a platform that connects the worlds of fashion and arts.  We could have done with established designers and artists but what is missing in the marketplace is a platform for emerging designers and artists.  That’s where Arture Connect comes in.”

A work by artist Jaya Baheti
A work by artist Jaya Baheti

Refreshingly, the event featured volunteers across all segments and, in a move that would doubtless cause much chagrin for the “mainstream” fashion industry, models who didn’t subscribe to the “size-0” school of thought.

Sagi Hartov, the Executive Dean and Managing Director of the London College of Contemporary Arts, said: “We live in the world of Facebook and Twitter so everything is moving very rapidly and communication is becoming far easier.  People are communicating from one side of the world to the other in a matter of seconds.  So Arture Connect is a fantastic networking event to explore the possibilities that are available when it comes to fashion and art.  The whole point of an artist is to introduce people to their own culture and to the way they work.  That’s why events like this are so important”.

Fashion designer Keith Khan said: “Events like this are very important.  For me personally, it opens up a new audience and helps me to be attuned to what’s happening in the worlds of fashion and art.  Ultimately young people are the lifeblood of any industry and especially the fashion industry which is so youth-focused.  And what interests me about this kind of event is the Anglo-Indian connection which consumes me because there’s so much dynamism in India so I think any exchange of culture between these two countries should be welcomed”.

Preet adds: “We have been analysing the opportunities and working closely with the artists and designers from India for over two years now and see a massive potential for cross border collaborations.  With an industry growing at the rate of 20% per annum, it is important to recognise unique designs and support the designers to create a market for the same. We will be actively promoting new designers and artisans at Arture Connect2015.”

The event is backed and supported by the likes of Cambridge Style Week, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, IG2N IT Services and the London College of Contemporary Arts.