Connect with us


‘Through this collab, I aimed to bridge the gap between consumers and talented weavers from my hometown’

Mahima Korde, a fashion design student at Apeejay Stya University in Gurugram, recounts her remarkable experience and success in a ground-breaking fashion show



Mahima Korde, a talented Fashion Design student at School of Design & Visual Arts, Apeejay Stya University (ASU), Gurugram has been making waves in the fashion industry with her creative pursuits. Growing up, Mahima was always drawn to extracurricular activities and creative endeavours. Inspired by her mother, who ran a boutique, Mahima developed a passion for fashion and decided to pursue a career in this industry. In a recent interview, she shared about her latest collection that revolves around ‘Radha Krishna’ and their mythological characterisation of love and beauty. Read edited excerpts of the interview:

What inspired you to pursue fashion design as your field of study, and how has your experience at Apeejay shaping your journey?

I’ve always been a student who enjoys extracurricular activities and creative endeavours. My mother, who has been my creative idol since childhood, inspired me to pursue a career in the fashion industry. Helping my mom after school in her boutique boosted my confidence. At Apeejay, I found a new home for the future, and the teachers are highly motivating and supportive along this journey. It is a great stage of development to go from knowing nothing about the profession to understanding its diversity and adding to my skill set of knowledge and expression.

Can you share with us the concept behind your final project for the fashion show and how you contributed as both a model and a designer?

The concept behind my final project was ‘Rati: The Hidden Rainbow of Serenity.’ Rati SS’23 is a collection of five ensembles inspired by Shringara rasa (Beauty and Love), one of the nine emotions in Nava rasa, and different expressions of Rati bhava. The design elements are inspired by various symbols related to the divine Indian mythological symbol of love (Radha-Krishna). This collection aimed to revive and celebrate traditional textiles and craftsmanship, along with the Indian mythological essence of expressing through stories and emotions, with a sustainable approach towards ethical fashion. It is a luxury couture collection creating contemporary ethnic wear for the wedding, spiritual, and festive seasons, with a conceptual essence of mixing mythological elements, characters, and emotional messaging, incorporated with a touch of fictional modern visual play without losing its authenticity in the process. Beauty and love are expressions from the soul, mind, and body together, yet we modern intellects often avoid this beautiful emotion and search for it in the materialistic world.

As a designer, I hoped to make social, environmental, and economic contributions by connecting businesses to heritage textile art, surface embellishment techniques, mythological stories as inspirations, characterisation of unseen emotions, and more, while empowering local artisans and the heritage traditional art of India on a global scale. With this project, I attempted to develop a raw and impactful manifestation of my vision as a designer and expressed the concept behind the collection as a model.

Additionally, the fabric used in this collection consists of fresh handloom leftovers, chosen with great care to address the issue of fabric waste and the pollution associated with the fashion industry. Collaborating with the weavers of my hometown, my aim was to bridge the gap between consumers and these talented artisans, thereby fostering a deeper appreciation for their craft. Through this endeavour, I aimed to contribute as a designer while addressing the challenges of waste fabric landfill and pollution in the fashion industry.

What were the biggest challenges you faced while preparing for the fashion show, and how did you overcome them?

After finishing my graduation project, I was eager to find a platform to demonstrate and expand my knowledge of the complete process of designing and presenting it to an audience. However, I had little knowledge of how to connect with these platforms without any networking or connections. Being a student and not a professional in the industry, this presented a challenge, but also an opportunity for me to delve deeper into this part of the fashion industry. While I had some experience organising a fashion show, choreographing the runway, and dealing with backstage issues as a member of the organising team of a college fest in my first year, the COVID-19 pandemic halted my exploration of this aspect for two years.

When I was looking for an internship opportunity, I came across this platform for early college students and fashion enthusiasts to showcase their talent and learn the ropes of the industry. I had conversations, presented my work and vision to the team, and gained their confidence in me to work as a designer and plan the choreography, music, and overall vibe of the show as a team leader. This experience helped me connect with media professionals and other industry experts, creating meaningful collaborations for the future.

How did your collaboration with Mehak Gulati come about, and what was it like working with her as a fellow designer?

I reached out to Mehak Ma’am inquiring about an internship opportunity. After reviewing my portfolio, she invited me to participate in a show organised by her @taleofatrend. I had my collection ready and agreed to participate after gaining practical experience in all aspects of the show. She was incredibly supportive and encouraged me to participate as both a model and a designer, enabling me to network with more individuals in the field.

What were some of the key elements or unique aspects that you incorporated into your designs for the fashion show?

In my collection, the key elements revolved around ‘Radha Krishna’ and their mythological characterisation of love and beauty. I utilised hand painting, an age-old craft technique, to print motifs inspired by elements such as peacock feathers and lotus associated with ‘Radha Krishna’. The fabric used was hand-woven chanderi silk, adorned with pearl detailing in a modernised way to add a glamorous touch to the attire.

As a model, what was the experience like walking the ramp in your own creations? Did it add an extra layer of meaning or significance to the overall presentation?

As a model, it was a great experience to showcase my designs on the ramp. It added an extra layer of meaning and significance to the overall presentation. Walking in my own creations allowed me to confidently face the limelight and effectively convey the soulful vibe of my thematic collection. It boosted my self-confidence and provided valuable experience in working alongside the show as a whole.

Looking back at your time at Apeejay and your participation in this fashion show, how do you feel it has prepared you for your career in the fashion industry?

Apeejay has played an important role in my journey by providing a platform in a city with great exposure to the fashion industry. It has prepared me to embrace future opportunities with confidence. My participation in this fashion show, along with my time at the college, has helped me grow into a more professionally confident individual. I am ready to take on future endeavours in the fashion industry. The show provided me with networking and communication skills, enhancing my overall creative development.

Divya is a Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has a degree of Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. She was a former sub-editor at News 24. Her passion for writing has always contributed to her professional and personal growth.