RUNWAY Senior Designers: Sai Sruthi Ravishankar
Diversity is not simply inducing people of a different race into a typically homogenous environment, it is truly appreciating all different backgrounds and acknowledging every person's story.
What does Provoking Protopia mean to you and how is that displayed through your collection?
To me, “Provoking Protopia” is about seeing real change and embracing change with open arms. I personally think one of the things that really needs to change in this world is the idea that we have diversity. Diversity is not simply inducing people of a different race into a typically homogenous environment, it is truly appreciating all different backgrounds and acknowledging every person's story. Diversity is uncomfortable and tedious but in my vision for protopia diversity is real and not simply performative. My collection is all inspired by very traditional Indian garments and features fabrics that my mum and grandmother had. These fabrics are mostly old Sari’s, dupattas (shawls) as well as fabrics that my grandmother has had with her for a while. My grandmother is also a seamstress, and she had a habit of collecting pretty fabrics, all of which were sourced from local Indian fabric sellers. I want to show all the beauty that I grew up with to everyone else.
What was your inspiration to start working in fashion/textile design?
My inspiration for working in fashion has always been TV media that I consumed. I grew up on Indian cinema which tends to be very extravagant when it comes to costume design and I remember seeing those outfits as a child and wanting to make them. I also credit my interest in the field to my grandma who was a seamstress on the side. Watching her sew thoroughly fascinated me and pushed me to pursue a career in fashion.
What has been your creative process?
I am not very organized when it comes to my creative process, like sometimes idea would come to me the middle of a class, but for the most part I get inspiration from something
random that I saw, and I will jot it down and try to express it in the form of a thumbnail
sketch and then I proceed from there.
What has been the hardest part of the creative process?
The toughest part is keeping myself motivated, but usually I tend to do that by talking to my grandpa, he is my biggest support system and when I am in a slump or just feeling depressed I tell him everything that I was feeling and he always has the best advice to offer. He is also very excited to see my collection and so I keep myself motivated by imagining his reaction to the final collection.