After failing to get selected last year, GenNext designer Diming Rubu, 24, got lucky the second time.
Here she tells Anita Aikara/Rediff.com the reason behind her failure and the fashion scene in Arunachal Pradesh, her home state.
First big break
There is no one in my family who is into fashion; they're all into academics. I am the only one. I did my graduation from NIFD Bangalore.
I did a couple of internships and freelancing before starting off. I started my label almost two years back. This is my first big break.
Family was not happy
They were so against it. My sister, uncle and aunts didn't want me to get into it because they thought it is a dead end job.
They felt it has no future because back home fashion is more about pretty girls walking around with short clothes. They don't know that there is a bigger perspective to fashion outside.
It is not their fault; they don't know what fashion is like outside home (Arunachal Pradesh).
I never knew I would get into fashion designing but I loved to create stuff. When I was in school I used to do a lot of artistic stuff -- whenever it came to designing garments for Children's Day or Teacher's Day, I was always up for it.
At that time I was in Class 8. A computer teacher asked me if I was interested in fashion designing. I said, 'I don't know.'
He told me about NIFD and suggested I should give it a shot. That's how I started getting interested in this field.
My theme is inspired by human emotions. It is called The Missing Piece and is about finding the humility inside you.
We mask our insecurities under so many layers of emotions, and often forget who we are. Once you stop being so insecure, then you take off all those layers and just be the real you.
That's how I thought of the idea of layering.
When I think of humility, it comes across as something nice. I couldn't think of anything too loud because humility has to be subtle.
It had to be in earthy colours. I applied for GenNext last time and didn't get through. Maybe, I got over confident. I thought maybe it was because I was not humble enough and was not ready for it.
I think comfort is in right now. No one wants to wear something that is over the top.
Handloom is a trend that is here to stay. Many designers are embracing the idea of green fashion and handloom is not factory made and does not cause pollution.
I try my best to use generic fabrics like cotton, khadi, etc. Actually we have more than 30 different tribes in Arunachal and each tribe has five different variations; imagine the number of varieties.
There is so much but the problem is that the traditional fabric is wool. It is not very season-friendly. Selling outside of Arunachal doesn't work. But the designs could be replicated in lighter fabrics like cottons and khadi.
I did a show in Arunachal once and tried to promote the traditional pieces. It will make for the most beautiful piece but it doesn't sell due to the fabric. There's no market for that.
It is about comfort. If it is not comfortable then I am not wearing it. A design can be really out-of-the-box but it should not be uncomfortable.
As soon as it is uncomfortable I don't wear it. That reflects in my designs too.
I made a conscious effort to make my design wearable. Although it is an art, it should be a wearable art.
I am looking forward to my next show in Hong Kong in September. I will be promoting the same designs.