Featured Student : Ankita Chugh

How old are you?
I’m 27.

Can you tell us about your background?
I did my undergraduate and postgraduate in History at the University of Delhi in India. After completing my MA I worked for a designer who did a lot of freelance projects, which was a great learning experience for me. I was also doing a lot of freelance work, like editing and transcribing.

What drew you to fashion?
I have always been interested in fashion and I wanted to pursue an education in it after finishing school. However, at that time the only way a person could study fashion was either as a designer or from a business perspective. I couldn’t draw and numbers always confused me so I put fashion out of my mind and decided to study History instead. In college I became more interested in fashion because I was out of my boring, beige school uniform. I was in this new environment where I started experimenting with different styles of clothing, and I couldn’t stick to anything in particular because I was fascinated by anything new. I became more interested in the way things were made. Regional fashion and jewelry was something I developed a great appreciation for. In fact, one of the first things that I do when I visit a new place, whether in India or abroad, is buy the local jewelry. Some people buy magnets, I buy jewelry.

Why did you join this MA?
This MA is the only course that offered what I wanted to learn about fashion; its history and its relevance in contemporary culture. What really drew me towards this course was that it allowed me to study fashion but at the same time I could apply the knowledge and the skills that I had acquired as a scholar in previous courses. I’m very happy with the decision I made because I have learnt so much inside the classroom and outside of it.

Where do you hope to be in two years from now?
I love textiles, fabrics and hand-embroidered work. I hope that I’m able to find work with people and/or organisations that are working towards preserving traditional techniques that are slowly disappearing. This course has really made me appreciate dress history. Also, I have a lot of appreciation for the kind of work archives do in preserving fashion, and I hope that’s something I can explore as well.

Check out Ankita’s dissertation proposal, “Adoption of Indian Dress by Male British Officials in the late Eighteenth Century”, here.

Header : Suffren meeting with Haider – Ali J B Morret (1789)

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