TEDex Talk by Saumya Pandey

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Ms. Saumya Pandey is the course leader of the Fashion Design programme at the Indian Institute of Art and Design. She is a graduate from NIFT and completed her Masters in Fashion and Textiles with a distinction from Nottingham Trent University. An educator by profession, Ms. Pandey recently gave a TEDex talk on the incredible “power of the stitch” not only in its broader context of fashion but also in the way students and teachers are woven together.

Ms Pandey began her talk with the two tools that taught her the stitch, albeit in different ways – the needle and the scissor. These tools are particularly imperative when it comes to the fashion design industry. She spoke about how in order to inspire the next generation of designers, her students, she needed to stay inspired herself. Ms. Pandey finds this inspiration within simple acts of observation in everyday life. It is the beauty of what we often miss out in our fast paced routine that keeps her rooted and grounded and takes her back to her own childhood and her relationship with her mother – who introduced her to the stitch. 

Coming back to the present, she highlighted a grave problem modern society is facing today – the fact that communities and their craft practices are struggling to keep afloat. They are under the threat of disappearing if they are not given the acknowledgement they deserve. She also went on to speak about the value that the stitch holds for several communities. It is an identity, the only constant in an ever changing world. “It joins, gathers, binds, patches, mends, holds, traces, hems and repairs. It gives hope, happiness and humility through trying times, through loss, grief, through marginalisation and persecution” she explained. 

Distinct identities are important. However, merging to connect with the struggles and travails of the common man is a great deal more  important and it is in the stitch and what it symbolises that Ms Pandey finds we can come together as one, as humanity.

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