As a committed slow fashion designer and much respected researcher and educationist, Dr. Vaibbhavi Pruthviraj Ranavaade straddles both ends of the fashion industry
What drew you to academics?
The foray into academics was by choice, as it provided the opportunity to explore and work on a diverse range of design solutions. I felt there was a compelling need to share my learning and exchange ideas with young learners and help them find their own voice. I used to conduct guest lectures and workshops, and realized that the process of teaching-learning was enriching and satisfying – there was never a dull moment. I believe we have the responsibility to grow the current set of knowledge in our domain and share it with the community so that more work can be based on our insights.
How do you define ‘slow fashion’?
Slow fashion is about clothes made responsibly with love for the maker, wearer, environment and heritage craft techniques. The clothes are hand crafted with genuine techniques, hand woven, detailed beautifully, and made to last. It is about promoting the concept of buy less, buy good. Slow fashion includes trans-seasonal clothes and classic silhouettes which can be worn often; separates and co-ordinates which can be styled differently each time.
When did you launch your own label?
I had been working with various craft clusters across India, and empathized with their challenges and also the immense opportunities that lie ahead. I had also been observing the evolving relationships of people with their clothes and the changing expressions of fashion. This resonated with my design sensibilities of slow fashion, mindful consumption, and Indian heritage weaves, translated in fusion fashion lines for the contemporary women. The label ‘Vaibbhavi P’ stands for all this.