India Field Trip for Fashion Students

Photo ©    adamkuehlphotography   , tattoo art © Farid Hadechini

Photo © adamkuehlphotography, tattoo art © Farid Hadechini

This April, a group of bright young students and distinguished professors from a leading global fashion school spent 7 days of their spring semester in India as part of the INDIA BY HAND Apprentice program.

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The week got off to a swinging start with LOOM TO LIFE - a customised workshop devised and hosted by leading designer Gaurav Jai Gupta of Akaaro, India’s only fashion brand that makes its own fabric on a hand loom and uses innovative blends of cotton, silk, wool and metal.

Photo courtesy    ebugracephotography

Photo courtesy ebugracephotography

Designer-maker Gaurav Jai Gupta took the students through the exciting start phase of developing a collection, from inspiration to moodboards and colour palettes and fabric-making for fashion, with a “ live “ example of his work for the spring/summer 2020 collection, information that’s not open to the public.

The fashion design students improvised their own colour palettes and got the rare opportunity to weave their own fabric on a hand loom, guided by a Master Weaver, something very few design studios in the world can offer.

Photo courtesy Katie Ulsh, Scott Clare, Chester Siu

Adding lights ! camera ! action ! the students orchestrated a photo shoot within the confines of Akaaro studio and outside on the bylanes of Lado Sarai, an emerging designers hub in Delhi. They even managed to pose the model in a laundry shop !

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Onward ho to Rajasthan where the group made its way to the very special village of Bagru, the hub of hand block printing - an ancient textile printing craft that goes back centuries and today thrives only in India.

Pics courtesy Adam Kuehl

They got a first hand look at the labour intensive process of getting the fabric ready for printing - making colours from natural substances to the washing, drying and dyeing.

Having learnt the ropes from the artisans, the students got hands on with the hand carved wood blocks and natural dyes and practised the thousand year old craft of block printing, stamping their own individuality in the process and producing some great work.

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Designer Manish Tibrewal of Rasa Jaipur then had the students enthralled with a fashion designers’ perspective on the ancient craft, demonstrating new techniques and contemporary applications.

It was an exhilarating week, intense and inspirational. Hands-on learning with top designers and artisans, and immersion in the visual extravaganza and sensory overload of India

And of course it was not “ all work and no play” ! Our merry band of students took time off to get large doses of inspiration from architectural marvels of Jaipur and Delhi, explored markets and scoured street shops, dined in palaces, private homes, members-only clubs and funky restaurants, hobnobbed with locals and even danced at a wedding !

INDIA BY HAND Apprentice trips are suitable for students of fashion, design, product, luxury, photography, art and related subjects and are open to leading design schools and universities worldwide. Bookings are now open for Fall and Winter 2019 tours for minimum groups of 16 students. To get a sample itinerary click here or email us at for any enquiries

Presented by Gormei Travel and Studio Ingrid Burgos. Curated by Natashajeyasingh, Mitakapur Soulconnectexperiences. Travel partner Sanghmitravoyages