Iconic Japanese avant-garde designer Issey Miyake has launched a khadi exhibition at the Issey Miyake store in the US. Americans have been walking around this elegant white space draped in rolls and rolls of khadi cloth, and mannequins in khadi outfits, with an actual charka laid out and Indian ragas, chants as well as Bollywood music, wafting through the store. Videos tell the story of the evolution of khadi. As one of the pioneers of Japanese avant-garde fashion, Issey Miyake is celebrated for creating clothes with greater resonance. The way he exaggerates proportions and plays with fabrics shows how the sartorial can be an art form. It is that latter part of this equation that is the focus of the exhibition, where the impact of simplicity takes center stage. The exhibition aims at rediscovering this simple and deliberate craft and fostering an appreciation of it as something that complements one’s lifestyle.
Khadi is a draw because of the lure of hand-made excellence. In the present day, where everything is automated, khadi occupies a space of its own. Khadi has been called the fabric of freedom since it was Gandhi’s answer to the British monarchy in promoting self-reliance. He wove the khadi on his charka.