Monthly Archives: November 2013

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Explosive Fashion Exclusive – “Creative Careers Conclave: Transforming Careers”

Here is an excerpt from  Explosive Fashion‘s Jasleen Duggal in conversation with Pearl Academy’s Nandita Abraham (Corporate Communication) on expectations from Creative Careers Conclave, which is scheduled to be held in Mumbai on Nov 24th.

One cannot teach someone to paint by telling them how to hold a brush.. one cannot teach someone how to be a fashion designer by just reading fashion bibles.. you have to let them taste the colors and the dreams. Practice makes perfect. Pearl Academy believes that in our journey of creative pursuits it is important to have interactions with seasoned industry experts who can guide, mentor and support budding creative minds.

Creative Careers Conclave aims to do just that. With this conclave we are looking at providing a teaser to our prospective students on how Life at Pearl which we believe would lead to a better future. Conclaves like these are a regular feature at Pearl Academy and our Mumbai campus which is being launched in 2014 will also follow the same. The panelists are gurus of the design and fashion world. We wanted young creative minds to interact, understand and continue being inspired to be The Next Big Thing in the field of the creativity with expert guidance.

Read the full interview here

Panelists include David James Baker,  Meher Castelino, Prof. Vikas Satwalekar and Narendra Kumar. You can read more about them here

Don’t forget to follow our live updates from the event on our Twitter handle.

 

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An Amazing Session with David James Baker

Having David James Baker for a Q&A session was truly a delight as he enthralled us by his in-depth knowledge of the world of film making. There were plenty of questions for him to answer and he obliged and shared his thoughts on a variety of topics. It was amazing to have this chat with him and we’re sure each participant has gained something from it.

David shared his excitement about visiting India for the first time and meeting everyone here. He will be one of the four main speakers at the Creative Careers Conclave and he will also hold a talk on Why Some Videos Go Viral on the Internet. Register for the events here:

Creative Careers Conclave, Mumbai: http://bit.ly/1a7mQvl

A Talk On Why Some Videos Go Viral, Delhi: http://on.fb.me/1hZbsYc

When asked about his expectations from the Creative Careers Conclave, David said, “You saved the toughest question for the last! I would like for all of the artists and creators involved in the CCC to realize that they stand to benefit most in the new landscape of art and media we are discussing. Especially, if they can adapt their work to thrive in the new formats of expression and feedback.”

To read the complete Q&A session, click here: http://bit.ly/I0u9Kj

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An Hour To Remember With Meher Castelino, First Femina Miss India.

Yesterday was indeed a very interesting day for everyone at Pearl Academy. We had our first, one-of-a-kind online Q&A session with the first Femina Miss India Meher Castelino. A humble lady to say the least, she shared her insights on the creative industry and also spoke about her experiences in the fashion industry and how it felt like having won the Miss India pageant.

There were plenty of questions and queries coming in from students and we accommodated as many of them as possible. The questions ranged from info on jewellery design to communication arts as a career option. Meher was kind enough to guide the students and all participants ended up learning more about the creative industry.
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The highlight of the session was when we showed her a beautiful picture of hers from 1964, here’s what she had to say:
“ 🙂 That was the official photo taken at the Miss Universe Pageant 1964. It was a dream come true for me which will be cherished by me always. It was an experience that cannot be put into words.”

Check out the complete Q&A session here: http://bit.ly/174vDgb.

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The man behind the camera.

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A film-maker like none other, David James Baker is not only an artist but an avid horseman as well. With multiple degrees, his education is nothing less than ordinary and his work speaks for its quality. He’s worked on various films, directed multiple commercials, promotional videos and more.

 

1.  What is your role in the modern media landscape?

I am an independent media producer. I travel abroad where I work with filmmakers, artists, and organizations who want to create viral or shared content. I work with companies and festivals that want to engage contemporary media producers and platforms. From ‘Gangnam Style’ to ‘What Does The Fox Say’ to “Kony2012” we see some media that simply goes viral. What makes successful content what causes content to hit a brick wall. I share what I learn about this topic with the world on Facebook: www.facebook.com/skyhorsefilms, Twitter.com:@theskyhorse, and other social media platforms. Some of the answers are surprisingly simple.

 

2. Where do the themes your my work come from.

First, I look for something that is not widely seen – a different point of view. Then I look for a way that it can resonate with a small cultural or affinity group. I am always aware that facts can be used to tell lies. And on the other hand, art – something that is fake – can reveal eternal truths. The latter is what I believe is the most important role of the artist. We are experiencing radical changes in the way people communicate. This is good. Finally, people are engaging in the story world broadly and lots of previously impenetrable, walls are coming down.

 

3. Would you agree that storytelling is an art more than science?

In the workshops I give and the consulting I do in a number of countries. I assume every person is an artist including and especially scientists. It’s hard for me to believe that

there is a pure art any more than there is a pure science. If humans are involved you can rest assured they are doing it in creative and subjective ways. Art is what makes us human. Some people are very successful at engaging the marketplace in a unique way. We may choose to call them successful artists. We may choose to believe that they are not trying and no one is helping them. Some people are engaged in scientific activities, but are in fact using a great deal of creativity and producing aesthetic results we perceive with our senses. Aesthetics is a kind of human created information. PEARL Academy Creative Careers Conclave Q&A with David James Baker, M.A., M.F.A. What’s important is that creative work impacts us and advances how we think about the world.

 

4. Is it really important for a content producer to not be emotionally involved with their subjects to maintain objectivity? What are your thoughts on this?

Every pixel on every screen – including the camera – is mediated light. It is a re-creation.

I think it is dangerous for us to look at media or assume that we have created media that lacks human subjectivity. Media creators have a special responsibility to show us unique and interesting views. But when we choose to believe that mediated content represents reality we could be making dangerous assumptions.

 

5. Do you think there are trends in media or film over or a lifecycle that every society/region goes through?

It’s an interesting question. Are we just repeating content or are we growing from content that has already been created? I think the power of geography, borders, and previously closed distribution channels that contained content are now in a transformative state. Bollywood and Hollywood are now competing for attention and views of content create by young people who have no formal training or vested

financial interest in the marketplace. I think this is wonderful!

 

6. What has been your experience like working with young artists and creative content producers who are beginning their careers? What advice would you give them before they choose a career?

a) Learn to concentrate your focus on what you do that works, can be easily replicated, and shared broadly.

b) Learn to manage and master your emotions so that you rule them and they do not rule you.

Do these so that you can concentrate on your creativity and not be addicted to any kind of instant gratification. The myth of becoming the overnight sensation and failure to live up to these two standards is what stops most creative people and projects in their tracks.

 

7. What are your expectations from the Creative Careers Conclave?

As the ‘water’ of human-created content is seeping over the world. We are all more aware of each other than ever were before.

In every country I visit, I see that Laureate International Universities are uniquely positioned to create global change through new models of education and sharing.

Recently, they acquired a sleepy liberal arts college that was financially bankrupt in the desert of the South-western U.S. and transformed it into an impressive international art school now known as Santa Fe University of Art and Design. I attended a registration of new students. It was standing room only and the students I saw were International students. Creating a truly international art and design school in such a short time is remarkable!

I have heard that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were both frustrated by the inability of education to innovate. It has taken some time, but that innovation is happening in

Non-traditional ways and I am counting on Laureate to me a leader. Everybody who delivers content from media producers to educators is being challenged. Our old assumptions no longer hold true and all of us who are creative professionals or educators must look for new ways to produce, deliver, and constantly measure the efficacy and relevance of content we create and share. The world is now post-International. Online artists and developers have led the way. It is amazing. I know I am going to learn a lot from the students and media professionals participating in the Creative Careers Conclave in Mumbai, India. I want to know what they think so that I can think about is and share that with others I work with. I would also like to visit an important historical shrine. I am always seeking to understand what people believe and why. When I get there, I expect art had a lot to do with it. We ‘are’ all human and we breathe the same air and now experience the same content too

Read up on the other three speakers at the conclave here http://bit.ly/1j8I1hD

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The Real Miss India @ the Conclave.

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She won the Miss India pageant way back in 1964 and was the first person to be selected by Femina to represent the country at Miss Universe. A fashion critic like none other, Meher Castellino has instituted awards, been on the jury of international awards and she was even honoured at the Kingfisher Fashion Awards 2001. Read up on a one-on-one interview with the legend.

1. How was it like to be crowned Miss India back in 1964? Do youthink Indian society has become more accommodating to the idea of beauty pageants since then?

 It was a great experience being the first Miss India in 1964 selected by Femina. But it was a bit scary since there was no one before me who could guide on what happens, so Femina and I were as clueless about the contest. But after my participation I was able to give them some tips on what happens and when Persis Khambatta was crowned in 1965 I was able to give her some guidance. Beauty pageants then were of little importance and while Femina is part of the Times of India Group the main edition did not publicize the event since it was considered “fickle” news for a mainline newspaper.

The whole concept has changed and beauty pageants are now held in every nook and corner of the country and used as promotion vehicles by not only beauty brands but even totally unrelated companies.

 

2. You have been actively instituting awards to encourage talent inthe industry. What is your philosophy behind this?

 I have two awards in two institutes and they are for Innovative Garment construction which I feel is a bit weak in India since designers depend more on embellishments and less on construction which the foreign designers are very strong in. I want students to push the envelope as far as construction is concerned and go beyond just the A line or Anarkali silhouettes.

 

3. Do you think men and women these days are more conscious of their appearance and know more about grooming than ever?

Yes, today everybody is fashion and beauty conscious not only in the metro cities but also in the smaller towns. People have realised that with stiff competition in every field of life, grooming and dressing well is important to make that first good impression, which is what people notice even before one speaks.

 

4. Who are your favourite Indian and international designers? Do you think Indian fashion designers have a lot to catch up when compared to their international counterparts?

 I wear whatever suits me. I don’t go for labels or trends but from Indian designers I have the maximum styles from Lina Tipnis whose creativity suits me. I like simple timeless clothes with a hint of embellishments. International designers would be Anne Taylor and the label Marks and Spencer which is for my casual clothes. Indian designers need to know their customer and create collections that are stylish and affordable. Indian designers are very good with ethnic wear but when it comes to western wear it is difficult for them to compete with the western brands.

 

5. What would be your advice to those interested in taking fashion Journalism/blogging as a career?

 Ans) For fashion journalism one must have a solid knowledge of fashion as well as perfect knowledge of the language one is writing in.

 

6. Fashion disasters or runway malfunctions have become part of the fashion industry? As a fashion critic do you think it is a necessary evil or carefully devised promotion strategy for some?

Ans) I would attribute fashion disasters and runway malfunctions to just plain bad tailoring and finishing and if the designers are using these as a promotional strategy then it is truly a very cheap avenue and does not speak highly of their creative skills or production techniques.

 

7. How would you describe fashion in one word?

Ans) Personal 

 

8. What are your expectations from the Creative Careers Conclave? What do you think is the potential of a career in fashion in Indian industry?

Ans) I hope the participants who attend the Conclave understand what goes into being a fashion designer. It is not just starting a label for bridal wear, taking a bow on the ramp attending parties to network.   It is much more and I will be talking about the different avenues in the fashion industry at the Conclave.

Read up on all the other three speakers at the conclave here http://bit.ly/1j8I1hD

 

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The Four Creative Virtuosos

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On the 24th of November, Mumbai will host a one of its kind Creative Career Conclave by Pearl Academy. Pearl Academy is bringing to you a fabulous set of people who will enlighten and speak their mind about the creative industry. International and national A list celebrities, fashion critics and film makers will be joining us such as Narendra Kumar Ahmad (Fashion Designer and Creative Head Amazon) , Meher Castelino (Fashion Critic), David James Baker (American filmmaker), Prof. Vikas Satwalekar, Design Consultant.

 

Narendra Kumar Ahmed

A Founding Fashion Editor of ELLE India magazine in 1996, Narendra was intrinsically involved in the conceptualization of India’s pioneering foreign fashion publication. After acquiring a vast experience in the Fashion business and being associated with magazines like ELLE and VERVE and collaborating with some of India’s foremost textile companies; Narendra launched his eponymous line in 2000 with a complete range of western wear for men and women. The line is based on modern cuts and silhouettes but integrates the luxurious aspects of specially woven Indian fabrics and hand crafted detailing. Currently is sold through two flagship stores in Mumbai and Delhi, and through India’s leading men’s multibrand designer store – AZA Men. In 2008, Narendra contributed to the study on luxury in the emerging markets (India) undertaken by the Bocconi University, Milan. Narendra Kumar’s company, Arenah Design Studio, undertakes various corporate identity-clothing projects such as Marriott Group of Hotels, HSBC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Unilever and most recently involved in re-imaging the uniforms of the 30 New Vivanta Branded Hotels for the Taj Group – India.

 

Meher Castelino

Meher Castellino’s involvement with fashion and beauty goes back to 1964 when she won the Miss India crown, soon after graduating from Lawrence School, Lovedale. She was the first Miss India selected by Femina to represent the country at the Miss Universe and Miss United Nations Contests Ms Castellino has instituted a fashion award for the Most Innovative Garment Design for the students of the Premlila Vithaldas Polytechnic’s fashion designing section since 1994. Her second fashion award instituted in 1998 is for the National Institute of Fashion Technology Mumbai. Ms Castellino was invited on the jury of the 24th International Apparel Federation International Designer Contest in Maastricht the Netherlands in 2008. Ms Castellino was awarded the Hall of Fame Fashion Writer Award by at the Kingfisher Fashion Awards in 2001. Read excerpts from her interview here http://bit.ly/1fFV7TL

David James Baker.

David James Baker is an American filmmaker, artist, and horseman. Baker holds a B.A. from the University of Denver an M.A. from New Mexico Highlands University, and an M.F.A from New Mexico State University. . Baker has produced numerous videos abroad in several countries around the world. Baker is the director of “Cabalgata – A Horse Pilgrimage in Mexico” (2012) and numerous commercial and promotional videos and short films about people and horses. Baker is the writer-director of Portraits of the Southwest, a documentary series produced by Public Television for Southern New Mexico and West Texas. Portraits of the Southwest, profiles people and their environments in the American Southwest. The most recent episode “Portraits of the Southwest – Road Closed” reveals the story of a gay couple from Austin, Texas who tried for 10 years to restore and open a hotel in Radium Springs, New Mexico. Baker began his career in film and media working for Disney. Read up on a one on one interview with David here http://bit.ly/17v8bG9

 

Prof. Vikas Satwalekar.

As the Executive Director of NID as well as the Head of its Visual Communication program, Prof. Satwalekar has given to NID years of nurturing and mentoring design education, especially its visual communications education program.

Apart from being an inspiring teacher, Prof. Satwalekar has also worked on prestigious exhibition design projects – Khalsa Heritage Museum; conecpt, design, proposal for the exhibition: ‘Bharat Ek Darshan’, ‘India Exhibit’, Commonwealth Institute, London.
As a graphic designer for corporate identity programs for Mother Dairy, National Dairy Development Board, four regional identities for channnel tara – creation of logos, channel identity graphics and signature films for Bradcast Worldwide Pvt Ltd, Doordarshan Channel identities, DD news, Metro, National Sports, Regional Doordarshan Channels, Prasar Bharati and others.

Catch all these amazing people talk at the Creative Career Conclave in Mumbai @11:00 am. Just register here http://bit.ly/1a7mQvl

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From Reliving Memories To Creating New Ones

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“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him”- John F Kenedy.

It has been 20 years since the idea of nurturing Pearlites took shape, and here we were once again welcoming them back with ‘Pehchaan’.

The emotional event that it was, the idea is to make Pehchaan the most sought after event to catch up with batch mates, teachers and relive the memories of time spent in the campus.

“Working on projects late night and then going to the class next day with red eyes,” said Priynaka Modi, owner of fashion brand AM-PM, “is something I remember from my good old days at Pearl.”

Abdul Halder was full of praises for Pearl and it’s teachers. “Studying here was a happy time. I have some great memories and it was a different kind of fun here.” said the designer who has been featured in magazines like: Vogue, Verve, Savy,Maxim, India Today, Femina, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, and others. He had shows in Paris, Dubai, New York and Lakme Fashion Weeks.

For some lucky ones like Ashima from the 2005 batch, the bond with Pearl has never been stronger. She joined back as faculty after her graduation and has been part of Pearl’s growth story. “I have been a part of Pearl for over 8 years now. I love to be here,” she beamed with a smile full of excitement.

Alumni meets are as much about students as it is about teachers, who have left an ever-lasting mark on the students’ lives. “Mr. Nair (the group director) was very humble and an intelligent person. He played a great role in shaping the initial days of Pearl,” said Ashima.

“It’s been a decade since I passed out. I remember Nancy, who used to be full of energy and we all were fond of her,” pitches in Priyanka Modi.

Pearl alumni are for sure impressed by the current lot and have high expectations from them. Priyanka Modi had some very encouraging words to speak about Anupriya Bhagat, who is doing a project with her company currently.

“No doubt there is a huge talent base at Pearl and the industry too is growing and it will be getting bigger and bigger,” said Abdul Halder.

While the guests poured in, we caught up with the host Mr. Sharad Mehra, CEO, Pearl Academy. “It feels great to see everyone come together tonight. The alumni really help us stay connected with the industry and they also help students a lot for placements and internships. We even seek their advice and inputs on how the curriculum could be improved.”

We also took this opportunity to launch the logo for Pearl’s 20 years. The final selection and its creator, Sachin Rathi, were felicitated on stage. He explained the concept and showed his gratitude. There was a huge round of applause as it was announced that he won an iPad for the same.

 

All in all it was a night to remember. Here’s to many more to come! Cheers!

 

 

 

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