Meet the designer who challenged the traditional idea of gendered fashion in India – Times of India

Meet the designer who challenged the traditional idea of gendered fashion in India - Times of India

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Fashion has the power to change the world and it’s the true reflection of our society. There are very few designers in India who are not just bringing in avant-garde designs on the table but also kickstarting meaningful conversations. Designer Anvita Sharma‘s label Two Point Two has become an eponymous brand when it come to gender neutral clothing. We speak to the designer and ask her how she brought about that change in Indian fashion with her designs.
1. How would you define queer style in India?
AS: I feel that the queer community is much more flamboyant in their expression in terms of fashion. They are more free and open to taking chances when it comes to colours and silhouettes. It is always fun to draw someone up who is more enthusiastic about experimentation and taking risks.
2. What made you start a gender neutral brand? Did you have second thoughts on trying something else before you started the label?
AS: While I was studying fashion, I always used to question the categorisation that we have in clothing. I personally shop from the menswear section quite a lot so I couldn’t understand why there was a separation especially in 2017 where the binary definition if genders had already starting blurring. For me, gender roles has always been a societal construct and things like clothes shouldn’t belong to any one particular box of gender indentity. Individuals should be allowed to wear what they want to wear and be comfortable in their own skin without any judgement of which category the clothes come from. With the brand I’ve tried to remove the difference between masculinity and femininity in clothing and try to form a balance for people who want a unique clothes, irrespective of which categorisation of menswear womenswear it lands in. Due to this want and necessity to break the status quo and the pre-defined gender roles of the society, i always envisioned 2.2 as a genderless brand. Surprisingly, I actually studied economics and finance before I got into fashion. Even four years of studying in a different field, couldn’t diminish my interest in the field of fashion which I felt was my true calling from the start. So apart from those four years of university, I never felt misplaced or had any second thoughts about what I was destined to do.

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3. Are Indian cis men more ready to experiment now and not scared of being labeled?
AS: Yes, definitely in yesteryears cisgender men have become more and more open to experimentation and less strict about the codes and rules of what society has defined masculinity and menswear to be like. Apart from the general trajectory of growth of the society, I feel that media has played a very big role in this transition where idols like actors, entrepreneurs, businessmen have come forward with their own experimental image, leading for the masses to follow.
4. Where do you think queer fashion is heading in our country?
AS: I am very grateful and lucky to be part of a movement that started relatively recently in our society regards to openness and acceptability for the queer community. And of course, this has led to more openness in terms of fashion and identity expression for the queer community in India. There is still a long way to go but I would hope that the future allows everyone in the queer community to be more true to themselves and to be able to wear whatever they want to wear without any negative consequences irrespective of which category the garment lies in.

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5. Name a few designers’ work that you admire.
AS: That is a long list, but my all-time favourite is Yohji Yamamoto and Rajesh Pratap Singh. Their craftsmanship and runway shows are truly a spectacle to be admired.
6. What are the new things that you are planning for your label in the years to come?
AS: We are experimenting with different fabrics that we haven’t worked with in the past, including sustainable handloom textiles of India, amalgamating them with western silhouettes, and aesthetics and with that are planning to debut in the American and European markets soon. Hoping for the best.



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