Dressed in a yellow saree, Sonia shared her personal views on fashion with the students. “In the recent years, I have noticed a trend in Indian fashion to overdo, to over-embellish clothes. Sometimes a single garment will have zardozi, beads, patchwork as well as crystals. Apart from completely overshadowing the wearer, such garments are very uncomfortable to wear and lack elegance. In my view, fashion does not mean opulence. Indira Gandhi, who was also an MP from Rae Bareli, had a unique sense of fashion and the simplicity of her elegance was admired all over the world. Adding more and more ornamentation to garments is very easy, but that does not add to fashion,” she said.
Giving her views on what makes a garment timeless and elegant, Sonia added, “To find the right colour combination, cuts and proportion in a garment to ensure that it’s comfortable as well is challenging for a designer. It results in a garment that is timelessly stylish and elegant.”
Talking about different traditions, she said that fashion is not new to our country. “Indians have a very strong aesthetic sense which can be seen in the vibrant colours of a rural woman’s saree, lehengas, or the way in which men wear their turbans. Every state has its distinct tradition of weaving, dying. Foreign traders have looked towards India for craftspersons. I hope that you will take inspiration from this as we have a heritage which is unparalleled in its beauty and richness,” she said, adding that the NIFT campus was perceived during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure as the prime minister.