Archive for the ‘India’ Category

Been a while since I wrote a blog post…Let us both blame and share credit for this with The great Indian Lollypop!

For those who have never been to India or tasted this lollypop- it is a colloquial way to describe the intention to give false assurances to a person instead of adhering to a given commitment. Simply put, to take someone for a ride. This is (unfortunately) a common practice in my beloved country- we are used to both-getting and giving these Lollypops to each other, every other day.

Since the time I reached India (May 2011), I have been chasing basic stuff that I cannot get easily without paying a bribe…This has taken me to the local consumer court on several occasions and have spent countless hours fighting, screaming and sometimes just helplessly laughing over phone conversations with various customer service associates.

While I have been busy collecting my share of these lollypops thanks to Airtel ( a broadband connection pending activation since 2 months), BP gas (a gas connection took 2 good months of chasing and pleading), a landlord ( chasing the return of a security deposit we paid for a temporary unit) and many more…One would think that corruption exists only in the government offices but my recent encunter with Airtel has proven the fact that this disease is now deep-rooted within all sectors of our society. But, the reason I am writing this post is the greatest Lollypop of the season- the one Team Anna received recently.

Although I am happy that the parliament did not fall on its knees to oblige Anna Hazare and his fast. I always thought that his “my way or highway attitude” in dealing with the Jan Lokpal bill and some of the provisions insisted upon by Annaji were rather risky and required great insight and expert debating. I fully agree with Shashi Taroor when he says that “If the current governmental bodies tasked with investigation, vigilance, and audit are deemed to be insufficiently impervious to corruption, it is worth asking what guarantee there is that the new institution of Jan Lok Pal could not be infected by the same virus — and if so, what could be done about it, since it would literally be a law unto itself.”

That said, I am alarmed by the fact that Anna was taken for a good ride by the UPA, promising a resolution and assuring him that his key demands will be met ended up with sending him a letter informing him about the “sense of the house” that his suggestions have been sent to a standing committee and will take the usual course of action… This was flashing as break-through and then breakdown, time and again on all the news channels. I would say that this is only fair but its not free from malice because it could very well be another Lollypop and the Team Anna could end up waiting for a really long time with only false assurances of a resolution.

I look forward to the Parliament bringing in a strong Lokpat bill considering all the options available. The problem of corruption runs far broader and deeper than what the headlines suggest. Every time a common man is forced to pay a bribe to get his everyday life moving smoothly, we know that the problem is more deep-rooted and has almost become a necessity for survival in the country. Our system has failed us, without any doubt but overcoming it requires a change in our society’s mindset, more than anything else..

Needless to say, it is important that this matter reaches an amicable end and I am sure that there will be light at the end of this tunnel.

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Young designer from India, Samant Chauhan has brought a new dictionary of words to the fashion industry in his country and abroad with his passion for the “Silk route”. A household name in India, Chauhan is highly regarded for his passionate dedication towards the revival of the rich Indian silks and hand woven fabrics from Bhagalpur in Bihar, India. The designer wants to make these wild silks famous throughout the world with his fashion statements that have already quite a storm in most European countries.

He has now taken up the task of promoting the patented AHIMSA silks from India and proposes to make an entire range of garments from this ambassador from India to present them at the fashion weeks and trade shows in the west.
Samant Chauhan is an Alumnus of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, India. Having won three awards in 2004 for most innovative fabric development & best design collection, he worked on multiple projects right from his college days. He worked for an export house RMX Joss for a period of one year where he gained managerial skills and learnt the tastes of international big names like Armani exchange, Tommy Hilfiger, Marlboro Classic among others.

2005: He made his first international mark at the SINGAPORE FASHION WEEK – Asian Young Designer Contest ‘05 where he presented his prize winning collection – “Changing pattern of Buddhism along the silk route” which invited rave reviews from international fashion journalists including Collin Mc Dowell.

2006: Samant debuted at the INDIA FASHION WEEK and received remarkable encouragement for his creations from the biggest names in the fashion fraternity. The same year he was also one of the finalists for the WOW, New Zealand competition. He was a part of the IMFF in Bangalore India. The response from the fashion fraternity to his collection made it clear that Chauhan was here to stay.

2007: He presented his first catwalk show – “Kamasutra” at the India Fashion Week – A/W ’07 & received an overwhelming response from the media & international buyers. This collection was recognized by all as the most promising talent of India in the years to come. Subsequently he got an opportunity to be a part of “Esthetica” at the London Fashion Week SS’08. Since then it has been no looking back & Samant has shown at the last 2 consecutive season’s of the London Fashion Week. He carried his hand made, hand woven ethical silk garments to the international market and created a unique place for himself in the fashion industry. This brought him the invitation to showcase at a solo show at the CARROUSEL DU LOUVRE, PARIS

2008: Oxidized Street at India Fashion Week, AW’08
Samant Chauhan created simple cut jackets for men with eye – catching organic motifs which crawled from back to front. The color palette was inspired by nature and showed earthy shades of brown, beige and sand which were juxtaposed with silver and zinc.
YOUNG FASHION ENTREPRENEUR: In 2008, he won the runner up award at the Young Fashion Entrepreneur organised by British Council.

Continuing his commitment to ethical fashion & taking a leap forward Samant showcased his SS’09 line at the Ethical Fashion 2008, Paris on the 10th October. This woman’s wear eco line – SS’09 collection consists of hand-woven and knitted 100 percent raw silk, linen and cotton linen blends – using all eco-friendly dyes and processes.

Wills India Fashion week-Spring/summer 09 :
Autumn Wedding
This collection is a marriage of Indian craftsmanship with western silhouettes. The jewel tone dresses blended with the use of leaves in the prints, embroidery, headgear and accessories gives one an autumn feel. Samant Chauhan has continued his romance with the silk and textiles that are hand woven and hand knitted with embellishments that are hand made by the village craftsmen of India. He was covered by the Wall Street Journal’s mint and featured on the cover page for bringing the Khadi back to limelight.

2009: He started the year with the showcasing of his AW09 at the LONDON FASHION WEEK’s Esthetica and WILLS INDIA FASHION WEEK AW09.

His whole collection shimmers a pale biscuit gold pool of sunlight and sanctuary in a crowded and noisy fashion spectacular. The pieces are statements in shape or contour, although most take their key design elements from the classic Indian silhouettes but the simplicity and monotone of the women’s wear garments have been set off with elegant appliqué and embellishment in pastel colored silk flowers and subtle embroidery ( Courtesy

On the 25th of February 2009, Samant Chauhan speaks in front of an eager audience comprising of fashion journalists, stylists and buyers about his work, the ethical part of these and the way forward at the London College of Fashion in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion’s Shared Talent India Competition with a celebration of ethical movers & shakers working in India.

Taking his motivation to promote the dying textiles forward, Samant Chauhan has started a project with his Irish friend to revive the dying linen in the village of Monivea in Ireland. Under this project, chauhan will be creating a marriage of the linens from the Irish Village Monivea and the silks of the Bhagalpur Village in India. Samant Chauhan’s capsule spring collection being created for the Spencer retail’s HYPER stores is dedicated to this endeavor with the Monivea Village in Ireland.

Samant Chauhan’s unusual and contemporary creations have created a unique name for him in the industry. What Chauhan has done to the fashion industry and the mind-set can only describe him as a genius of sorts. His knitware work is obvious in its ingenuity.

His collection Kamasutra, showcased at WIFW, was one of the best seen on the runway at the indian fashion week and now he is showcasing an extended version of the same at the London Fashion week Fall collection.

He has received extensive coverage from media. The critic reviews have been most encouraging.

We look forward to welcoming this genius to SO ETHIC in Melbourne.

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