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Covid has taught us nature is the hero, says PELLA designer

Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama, the winner of ‘NEXA presents The Spotlight’, talks about her fashion film and collection for FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week

Both the fashion film and collection are inspired by nature, says Lama.
Both the fashion film and collection are inspired by nature, says Lama. (P.E.L.L.A)

Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama spent last year’s lockdown doing what she loves the most: designing clothes, inspired by the beauty of nature.

And a week from now, the force behind the label P.E.L.L.A. will be presenting her work at the six-day long FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week, which starts on 16 March. There’s another reason the designer can’t stop smiling.

She’s the winner of ‘NEXA presents The Spotlight’, a program that makes its debut this season and recognises the effort and concept behind creating a collection and a fashion film. Each of the designers were given the task to interpret the theme “Utopia: A Designers Journey” in line with NEXA’s "create, inspire" ethos in their submissions. Her film, The Hive, which takes inspiration from the understanding of life in slow motion, will be showcased at FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week.

Explaining the idea behind the initiative, Shashank Srivastava, the executive director (marketing and sales), at Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, said, “It is an initiative to provide a platform to budding designers to express their creativity without the limitation of physical space. In its first edition, the initiative saw participation from 60 budding designers, of which Priyanka of P.E.L.L.A. showed tremendous talent through her unconventional presentation of The Hive, which captures the creative expression of life and its essence.”

Jaspreet Chandok, head (lifestyle businesses), RISE Worldwide, added that the initiative is another step “towards our continued effort to promote and nurture deserving talent in the Indian fashion industry. This program has been developed to give artists the chance to express their design story... . We look forward to see how P.E.L.L.A. leverages the power of audio-visual presentation to showcase her latest collection at FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week.”

Talking about her collection, Lama said she translated the theme “Utopia: A Designers Journey” during the design process through zero-waste pattern making and construction, weaving together indigenous handwoven textiles, from silks to the finest Pashminas and stinging nettle weaves in hues of eggshell, beige and creams. It also incorporates silk painting by hand and thread “as it evokes the unpredictable nature of time.”

Her fashion film has been shot in Tonglu, near her hometown Darjeeling, to capture the “magic and vastness of nature”. “We had a tough time shooting this fashion film as my entire crew had to adjust to what nature threw at us, from hailstones to harsh cold wind. It was a complex situation, something I had never been in but all the team members kept marching forward. The entire experience reminded me of a line my friend once told me, ‘If there’s anything covid has taught us, it’s that nature is the hero. It can overpower us and shape us',” she told Mint.

When asked if it’s possible to bring the offline experience online, Lama said: “Mixed media and different online tools can certainly help create an immersive experience that goes beyond fashion.”

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