By Qasim A. Moini
Treading a fine line between catering to their own artistic urges and meeting the demands of the market, 19 students of a local textile design institute displayed their thesis projects at a degree show held here at the instituteâ€™s Port Qasim Authority campus.
Walking through the halls displaying the projects — the work of the Textile Institute of Pakistanâ€™s Textile Design Technology graduating class of 2007 â€“ one felt as if one was walking through an art gallery and department store rolled into one. And maybe that was the intended effect, for perhaps the institution wants to inculcate a balance between creativity and the more commercial aspects of textile design in its protÃ©gÃ©s.
The students were given a year to complete their projects, from genesis to revelation, which included conception, visualisation, marketing aspects and coming up with the actual finished products.
They were asked to choose a topic which would serve as a theme for the project, and carry the project forward keeping this theme central. According to an instructor, the only restriction placed on the students was to not spend too much money on their projects. Otherwise, they were given complete creative freedom.
The themes ranged from the poetry of Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib to the ribald glamour of casinos and the nightlife that they attract, and everything in between. The end products were a combination of the outrageously arty and the tastefully sober, some dripping with loud colours, others carrying a distinct air of sobriety and tradition about them.
From bed-sheets inspired by childrenâ€™s board games to neckties based on the personality of pop star Ali Azmat, all the students sought to employ the use of textiles in a way that combined novelty and practicality.
When asked whether the products on display would find a market and end up on store shelves, a student replied in the positive, saying that people were interested in products â€œwith a difference.â€
And different they were.