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Hunt for handloom brand ambassador

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 21: Girls from different parts of the state walked the ramp showcasing various handlooms and handicrafts of Orissa in a unique beauty pageant titled Ekamra Queen.

Held on Saturday, the event saw contestants displaying traditional outfits with a touch of fusion.

The contest was a part of the industrial exhibition held by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Orissa chapter at the Exhibition Ground. More than 50 participants took part in the Ekamra Queen pageant in which 10 were short-listed through various auditions.

The final 10 competed for several rounds in the finals on Saturday. The costumes designed by Sushant Bhagat carried the elements of the rich heritage of handicrafts and handloom of the state.

The appliqué, patchwork and shell work crafts of Pipili, Sambalpur and Sonepur handloom sarees, the traditional paata and others were presented by the contestants during a number of rounds on the ramp.

“I was asked to design something that looked elegant with elements of traditional crafts and had contemporary designs on the garment’s outline. Thus, I created some frocks and gowns with handloom fabrics of Orissa,” said designer Bhagat.

The contestants displayed various traditional crafts such as terracotta, lac work, jute bags and others during the western costume round.

However, the girls exhibited a complete Indian look during the saree round by adorning Sambalpuri, Sonepuri paatas and silk sarees. There was a question answer round at the end of the ramp sessions. The jury included various experts from the beauty and fitness industry.

“We were looking for the grace of traditional Oriya girls as well as the confidence of the modern woman during the ramp walks as well as Q&A rounds,” said one of the judges Suparna Nanda, state head, CII Orissa.

While Shayani Patnaik won the contest, Reshma Mohapatra emerged the first runners’ up and Munmun Samal, the second runners’ up.

Patnaik will now be the brand ambassador for textile, handloom and handicrafts of Orissa.

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