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The STEP UP Journey of Ashish Dhaka - Pearl Academy

Recently one of our faculty members from New Delhi campus, Ashish Dhaka was selected in the top 3 finalists for The STEP UP. A unique mentorship program in the fields of food, fashion and music, The STEP UP gave a chance to Ashish to prove his mettle in front of the avant-garde designer Nikhil Thampi. During the entire churning process, Ashish showcased his brilliance in the one of its kind India’s first digital mentorship platform where designers from different parts of the country were participating too.

Ashish went to Mumbai for the audition round after getting shortlisted for the show. Talking about the audition round, Mr. Dhaka said “We were given the task to design a red carpet look using black and white accents of red.”
He further added “For the task I took inspiration from Moulin rouge and translated into an evening gown that had layering and an off-centric colour blocking. I became part of the top three and the platform gave me opportunity to showcase my work.”

“The second task was about creating Avant-garde from material provided to us in a gunny bag, so I chose to work on the idea of zero wastage and talking about sustainability which has to become the future of fashion. I made a jacket from jute which was lined with bubble wrap, it was two rectangular pieces. The trouser for the outfit was also made out of a square. I won this task and was given a crest for it.

The third task was a pretty interesting one, as we had to take inspiration from Nikhil Thampi’s collection and use the same material to create something unique. I created a sultry 90’s Bollywood blouse and a jumpsuit saree.
Our fourth task was to make an evening wear for the Bollywood diva, Soha Ali Khan. A lot depends on this task as everybody wants to give their best shot in it. So after understanding her style and body shape, I concluded to work on slender V-neck gown. It had an asymmetrical molten gold style line which was achieved thorough distressed foil printing.

The finale task was the toughest and the most challenging one in the show. For this task, my job is to get inspired from the colour red and develop a capsule collection to be showcased on the runway.

i dont know rgb (1)

My take on the colour Red perfectly defined with this concept note:
The Tilak, the Roli, in her Sindoor , & in the colors of Holi, in the bindi & thechilli, and in the spirit of you and me, in passion & in power, resides the electricity that runs through my veins, the color that ignites my soul, the color that binds I to the we, the society and me. It is MY red, it is The red that belongs to us and to me. Decades of chronicles and hierarchy have given me identity; have given my RED a story, a story I am ready to narrate, narrate to those who desire knowledge of the magic of passion, and an essence of the lived past, a mass of ideas that have prevailed through the years into our existence, our present. A unification of these is an eye into the multiplicities of my culture. The today, that is personified by the spontaneous and the free spirited, those that roam (saadhus) with or without purpose, only identified with their potential, a strength that can never be capped. The organicity of the forms crafted by dripping ink, knows no boundaries hence, delivering the required tinge of an unshackled being. The collection imbibes contemporary pattern making and cutting techniques piled with the draping styles of dhotis and sarees . It’s my color… your color.. it’s our color…

“The colour that defines so much in our rich culture and tradition …”


Talking about his whole journey Mr. Dhaka said “The finale show earned me lot of contacts from some known people in the industry and I was also appreciated for my work. I have got offers to showcase my collection at Lakme fashion week and sell my clothing line on Pernia’s Pop up store.

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