Ingenious designs, global sensibilities, sustainable ideologies and some of the best dressed audience in town in attendance, Whistling Woods International’s (WWI) annual fashion graduation show, AIYANNA 2019 was an evening to remember! Initiated in 2015, AIYANNA has granted the highly talented students of the WWI School of Creative Arts, Department of Fashion, a platform through which they showcase their creativity with displays of their work.
Curated for the graduating students of WWI’s Department of Fashion, the extravaganza was a dazzling celebration of the creativity and vision of budding designers and stylists. The evening also saw a host of notable influencers, such as renowned designer Aparna Badlani, who was joined by Tanya Chaitanya, Editor and Chief Community Officer, Femina, Shereen Sikka and Trishala Sikka, the Creative Director and Partner of Love and Other Bugs LLP, respectively, and acclaimed designer Amy Billimoria in serving as the jury for the event. Celebrity fashion designer Neeta Lulla and celebrated photographer Subi Samuel graced the evening as the chief guests.
“I would like to thank Whistling Woods International for having me here. It’s an honor to be a part of Aiyanna. I would like to thank the faculty that has helped these students come up and also to the families who have backed up their children. It is not very easy to help these children spread wings and fly. So congratulations to all the families and faculties”, said Subi Samuel, Chief Guest for the evening.
With the stage set, each budding fashionista presented their unique aesthetic, with 19 collections displayed over the course off the event. Drawing inspiration from an array of sources, incorporating their own personal twist, it truly was a sight to behold. The collections showcased were: Fossil From Hell, Pakarnnattam, Past And The Future In Present, Life Without Greys, The Zestful Tranquility, Lights And Shadows, Sheep Rock, Mardaani, The Last Pharaoh – Cleopatra, Beauty Behind The Covers, Forbidden City, The Dream World, Mosantine, Maroc Madhkal, Phantasmal Beings, St. Petersburg Mosque, Desiccated Blooms, Frosty Winter Tide, and Ekaaya. As each peerless collection took to the stage in turn, the crowd and judges showed their approval with wave after wave of applause.
This year’s edition of Aiyanna evolved from being a fashion show to a platform for highlighting various causes. It witnessed the screening of fashion films, each of which brilliantly showcased their creators’ insight into topics, often regarded as taboo in the nation, ranging from depression and insecurity to self-growth and empowerment. The powerful films shown were Proudly Flawed, Metamorphosis, and Stare Until You Get An Idea, each of which was met with the universal appreciation of the guests, jury and audience.
Neeta Lulla, Chief Mentor, School of Creative Arts, Department of Fashion, shared, “The younger generation will redefine the future, as they are the powerful youth of the coming generations. The best advice I have for the students is to think beyond your imagination because you are the youth of the country.”
Commenting on the occasion, Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, WWI, said, “From both the aesthetic and design sense, fashion has always been a part of our lives. These students who showcased their talent tonight have succeeded in bringing out the essence of fashion brilliantly. It was wonderful to watch this kind of talent and I take great pride in their achievements.”
Speaking at the occasion, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI said, “I’m very proud of these children who showcased their design and films at Aiyanna. I would request each one of them to stay focused as there would be ups and downs, joys and sorrows, however, that should not deter them from attaining their goals in this constantly evolving industry.”
The jury, highly impressed with the efforts of the energetic and enthusiastic students of Asia’s premier Film, Communication and Creative Arts institute, were faced with a tough decision to choose the best. As the event drew to a close, the jury, the chief guests, and Meghna Ghai Puri presented well-deserved awards for the following categories – Best Commercially Viable Collection, Best Fashion Film, Best Styling (Diploma Film), Best Styling (Photoshoot), and Best Collection. The respective winners for each coveted award were Mansi Joshi; Durva Gandhi, Gauri Vartak, and Rashmi Khatri; Aditi Jain; Abhay Bharat; and Riya Dey and Gautham Krishna. And as each award was presented to the talented students, the applause of the captivated audience filled the auditorium.