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Return of the native

Joseph Sunder makes a comeback in the fashion world with his dreamy crochets


JOSEPH SUNDER can comfortably say been there, done all that. This mechanical engineer turned to fashion in the Nineties when it was hardly a career option. His love for music led him to be part of `Hum', Hyderabad's very own pop group. And finally this lad from Narsapur has decided to come home and spike up the fashion scene with Joyess, which he describes as "a single point solution for fashion. There is a ramp, a boutique where young designers can showcase their lines, a studio to shoot your portfolio, everything related to fashion under one roof."

"After doing my Mechanical Engineering in Bangalore, I got a chance to study fashion and music in Denmark in 1994. The medium of instruction was Danish which I managed to learn pretty fast." While Denmark is the nerve centre of the club music scene now, when Joseph was there, "DJing was not so hot. Anyway I am not very interested in DJing as it is not creative, right? I would rather compose my own music," which is what he did with `Hum'.

But we are getting ahead of our story. Joseph returned to Bangalore after his course but did not "take up fashion seriously as it was not a viable career option then." With encouragement from a certain fashion guru called Prasad Bidappa and a slew of awards including the Damania designer award, Joseph decided the time had come to do what he "wanted to do."

That was when he got a "call from Hum and fashion again took a backseat. Ironically I was the only Telugu in a Hyderabad-based band." Hum fizzled out "due to lack of promotion." Music continues to be Joseph's passion and he is coming out with a remix of eight Chiranjeevi numbers, called Megamix. "It was a conscious decision to leave out the most popular numbers as the video recall would be too strong." However, Chiru fans can take heart from the fact that Tapori from Gang Leader and Abanee teeyani (Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari) feature in a floor-stomping techno avatar.

If you are from Narsapur, it has got to be lace and Joseph was one of the pioneers in getting artisans to move away from the conventional tablecloths and cushion covers to garments. "I am not so big as to describe it as giving back to my native land, but I like to believe I am doing my bit for my people." Joseph does not believe in exploitation, which is "why my outfits cost more as I pay the workers more."

Joseph, who dared to create a shirt in pink crochet for men, long before all this was in, designs western wear for women. "Fashion forecasting in India does not make much sense as there are fixed festivals and seasons. So I can forecast for the next ten years. What does change are the cuts and silhouettes. Narrow silhouettes are in and frills, patchwork and the antique look are definitely out.

And finally a little tip from the man who has a finger in every fashion pie, "orange is going to make a big comeback." So dig out your orange dupatta, salwar, purse whatever and slink along Beat Street.

Model school

ALL YE who wish to set the ramps across the world on fire and feel the need for a little polishing of skills, head straight for a ten-day modelling workshop at Joyess (30901656).

The brainchild of Joseph Sunder, the workshop, which kicks off tomorrow (11-05-04) will have experts from every field like Gautam Pavate (choreographer), Anitha Anand (Miss India finalist), Jacob Henry (fashion photographer) and Himesh Arora (stylist).

Joseph is not looking at "financial viability. There are a lot of good-looking people in Hyderabad and with a little polishing, we can compete with the best of the best."

The workshop includes make-up tips, portfolios, mock shoots and etiquette pointers. The course costs Rs 4,000 and includes a mini portfolio. So if you feel you want to follow in Diana Hayden's stately footsteps, you could consider making a detour at Joyess.

MINI ANTHIKAD-CHHIBBER

Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

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