Sunday, July 14, 2024

Easternlight Zimik’s debut collection Shim, a tribute to hometown


(Designer Easternlight Zimik is adamant to renovate mekhala (kashan) as an every day fashion wear and make it more acceptable through his debut collection.)

EKHON | UKHRUL: Well-known fashion designer and digital artist, Easternlight Zimik debuted a clothing collection by the name Shim, ‘Home’ in Tangkhul language under the brand name East, he told Ekhon here in Ukhrul district of Manipur.

Easternlight Zimik who is currently based out in Mumbai and worked for leading fashion designers like Manish Arora, Gaurav Gupta, Hemant and Nandita, insisted on launching his debut collection in his home-town Ukhrul as he felt that getting acceptance from local people who are real wearer of mekhala (kashan) is important.

His debut collection, Easternlight said is a tribute to his home town, Ukhrul “where I am going to start my real journey as a designer and to open my vision to the world.”

He went on to say that, “The collection is part of his journey to build a system where we can uplift and strengthen our weavers by showcasing their unique skills and creativity” which is diminishing by day.

On inspiration, the debut designer said there is no specific inspiration, “It’s more like a community project for me because this is not my personal interpretation. I worked with the weavers and we make things together. The collection is called ‘Shim’ which means home so it is much like a dream where we can all dream together. So that’s where the inspiration comes from”, he mused.

He draws his core objective from the reality of indigenous weavers in the community who are particularly skilled and has potential but without scope for growth. He further emphasized that no due respect was shown for their work despite them being the ones promoting our culture and identity.

It will be a revolutionary of sort for the designer if he can break through the norms and popularize the garment, that is restricted to formal wears. He lamented the fact that most younger generation today doesn’t know how to wrap ‘kashan’ properly as they don’t wear them often and do not consider them as a ‘fashion statement’.

The designer is adamant to innovate and renovate the material as every day wear and make it more acceptable through his debut collection.”

Through this collection, I am looking to make traditional mekhala more acceptable to the younger generation against the norm of seeing mekhala as only for formal occasion”, emphasized Easternlight.

The collection, the debutant said will further help and support the indigenous weavers and help them to generate income, adding that it will be a win-win for all.

Emphasizing on the reality of Ukhrul of its second hand business and how polluted it is to the environment, he felt the need to reinstrospect on our way of living. But also addressing the need to have such business in the community owing to overall living standard and poor economic conditions of the people.

Whilst working on the project, he simultaneously explored recycling garments by “collecting the unsold products and redesigning them through using different embroidery techniques, patchworks etc and produced as one single unique product to the market.” The designs of which will also be part of the Shim collection.

Known for his conversational digital art where he re-imagined the cultural and social life as well as prominent landscapes of Ukhrul, Easternlight is deeply rooted to his culture and nature for inspiration.

Brand East plans to build a lifestyle brand from fashion to home furnishings with full commitment to represent the North East weavers and their potential. It also plans to create a space for creatives to work together, adding that collaboration is the ultimate winner.

Through his parade of collection, Easternlight Zimik is bringing different aspect of creativity “by exploring who we are as community and what we are as our identity through our way of clothing, music, landscape and creatives.”

The designer’s visuals are a treat for the eyes. He captures the landscape of the country side with an eye of an aesthetician. His weavers are skilled and experienced. His models, though raw and untrained are handpicked with professional experience. The background music are unique and sourced from the best in the community. The amalgamation of these aesthetics in his debut collection marks Easternlight Zimik as an asset for the tribal community and for fashion industry at large.


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