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Mayank Mansingh Kaul in conversation with Bhavna Kakar.
In this illustrated talk, Mayank Mansingh Kaul will share selections from TAKE Fashion, a special issue of TAKE on Art magazine on the last century of Indian Fashion. The issue explores key moments in the evolution of Indian fashion through the primary prism of personal memories. In the process, he invites a discussion on the need for new formats for generating narratives which widen the scope of conventional approaches towards the very idea of histories themselves.
“There are a thousand Indias within our nation, in attire, in lifestyle, in socio-economic fabric. Owing to this kaleidoscopic cultural heritage and various socio-economic shifts in the Indian society—from the pre-Independence era till now—TAKE Fashion explores the amalgamation of native sensibilities with global influences through the decades. Starting from the British era and later during the Freedom Movement in the 1920s–40s (with the emphasis on indigenous weaves such as Khadi) followed by the vibrant hues and prints of the flower movement whose effects percolated from the West to Asian cultures. Following this was the huge cinematic influences of the 1970s and 1980s, and then from the 1990s, the exploration of modern fashion photography on a global scale, which in turn led to the evolution of the robust Indian fashion industry.” —Bhavna Kakar, Excerpt from TAKE Fashion editorial
In collaboration with TAKE on Art–
Hero image- This 1956 photograph by Nony Singh is taken from Nony Singh: The Archivist, first published by Dreamvilla Productions in 2013. Photo courtesy: Nony Singh, New Delhi
Thumbnail image- A group of working women in their early 1920s in Hyderabad, wearing long maxi-style dresses and bell-bottom trousers, reflecting influences of current trends in fashion in Europe and Northern America. Photo courtesy: Mayank Mansingh Kaul, New Delhi
Mayank Mansingh Kaul
Mayank Mansingh Kaul is a New Delhi-based writer and curator with an interest in post-independence histories of textiles, design and fashion in India. A graduate in textile design from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Kaul has been involved in the past in areas of cultural and creative industries’ policy.
Exhibitions that he has curated include The Idea of Fashion (Khoj International Artists’ Residency, New Delhi, 2011), Fracture: Indian Textiles, New Conversations (Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, 2015), Gold: The Art of Zari (Bikaner House, New Delhi, 2017), 25 Years of Abraham & Thakore (New Delhi, 2017), Crossroads: Textile Journeys with Ritu Kumar (India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, 2018), New Traditions: Influences & Inspirations in Indian Textiles (Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur, 2018) and Meanings, Metaphor – Handspun and Handwoven in the 21st Century (Chirala, Coimbatore, Bangalore, 2018-19).
He is the editor of Take on Art Design (2012), Cloth and India: Towards Recent Histories, 1947-2015 (Marg, 2016), Baluchari: Tradition and Beyond (2016) and Take on Art Fashion, which looks at a century of Indian fashion (2019). Kaul has represented the field of Indian design and textiles in prestigious forums internationally, and has received prominent mentions on lists such as The Most Influential Young Indians at the World Economic Forum Davos (2013 and 2014) and India’s Most Influential Creatives in Harpers Bazaar India (2018).