Style is the Man: time to take a bow, Robert

Manipur stylist Robert Naorem's collection of the state's colourful and unique ethnic apparels created waves at India Fashion Week London, earning him "the most inspirational designer of 2017" award.

By Khelen Thokchom in Imphal
  • Published 15.11.17
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Robert Naorem (in white shirt) receives "the most inspirational designer" award in London

Imphal: Manipur stylist Robert Naorem's collection of the state's colourful and unique ethnic apparels created waves at India Fashion Week London, earning him "the most inspirational designer of 2017" award.

India fashion week, Europe's largest Asian exhibition and fashion event, was held on November 11 and 12 at Olympia, London. It was organised by Platinum Exhibition Europe Limited.

Naorem's collection was named Weaves of Valley and Hills and 14 outfits were showcased. The collections were inspired by the cultural diversity of Manipur. The outfits included those of Kuki, Naga, Tangkhul, Kabui and Meitei communities.

He also used the Meitei script on one of the apparels as a motive to support the cause to promote the regional script and seven clans' design of the Meitei.

"I have used the different communities' fabrics and made a fusion by mixing Meitei and tribal fabrics as a symbol of love and exchange of ethnic style of fashion," Naorem said in a mail to The Telegraph.

The show impressed the audience as the collections were completely unique. There was also an exhibition stall for different designs of Manipur handloom.

"We were sold out and many exporters enquired about our textiles and fabrics for future relation," Naorem said. "As an appreciation of our collection and designs supporting the state weavers and promoting handloom of the state, I was awarded the title of 'Most Inspirational Designer of 2017' by the organising team and JD Institute of Fashion Technology," he added.

Naorem used the track music of pena, langdeng and sembung (traditional Meitei instruments), evoking appreciation from the audience.

European Manipur Association supported Naorem's team. Around 30 Manipuris from different communities of Manipur who live in England witnessed the show.

Chief minister N. Biren Singh, Congress MLA R.K. Imo Singh and Joybi Sinam, an automobile dealer of Imphal, had extended financial assistance to Naorem.

"It is because of the support extended by the people of Manipur that I could showcase ethnicwear of Manipur to the world and in the process earned the title," the designer said from Mumbai over the phone.

Naorem also received accolades on social media for his success.