Top models to feature in Manipur fashion fiesta

Former Miss World runner-up Parvathy Omnakuttan announces third edition of event in Imphal

By Khelen Thokchom in Imphal
  • Published 2.03.15
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Parvathy Omnakuttan and Robert Naorem at the news conference in Imphal on Sunday. Picture by UB Photos

Imphal, March 1: Former Miss World runner-up Parvathy Omnakuttan and a host of top models of the country will walk the ramp in traditional Manipuri attire during a fashion extravaganza here in May.

The models will don traditional handloom apparel, designed by the country's top designers. Well-known choreographer Sheetal Sharma will also be a part of the event.

Parvathy flew down to Imphal from Mumbai today to finalise the event with Robert Naorem, a well-known name in India fashion circuit and to announce the event. "This year's theme is unveiling handloom design, a tribute to weavers," Naorem, a resident of Imphal and the man behind the event, said.

This is the third edition of Manipur fashion extravaganza organised here by Naorem. The first event took place in 2013. The earlier two programmes also focused on traditional fabrics and designs of Manipur.

"My dream is to take Manipuri handloom products to the forefront of the country's fashion circuit so that our weavers can benefit. My vision is to sell our handloom products outside the country. I want to contribute something in bringing change in the Manipuri society," Naorem said.

Naorem has invested about Rs 3 lakh for the weavers who would contribute in the fashion event.

Citing an example, Naorem said metei khudei, a loin cloth for men, will be used in designing shirts in the fashion parade.

"Our weavers earn very little. I want to help them by taking the handloom fabrics to better markets to connect our products to other parts of the world. If the top models of the country wear them, people will definitely notice," he said.

Parvathy, who was in traditional Manipuri saree, said she was happy to be a part of the Imphal event.

"The Northeast has a range of culture and tradition. It has not caught the attention of the people of the country. Such an event will bring the Northeast's fashion trend to the forefront of the fashion industry," Parvathy said.

She said the region has distinct cultures and dresses, which need to be highlighted.

Naroem said at least 12 top models of the country and three to four local models would take part in the event. The apparels will be designed by designers like Aslam Khan of Mumbai, Jayanti Balla of Karnataka, Ashikumar Rehman of Bangladesh and Arshi Jamal of Lucknow.

Naroem hoped that local designers would pick up tips on fashion designing from these designers. "If well-known designers display Manipuri designs people will certainly take notice and it will benefit our weavers," he said.

Naroem did not announce the names of the models from outside the state, saying it would be a surprise.