A post-graduate from the National Institute of Design, Anuj Sharma completed his master’s in sportswear design from the University of Derby, UK. He perceives Button Masala not just as a label but a concept of using things smartly within one’s own limit. During his professional studies Sharma as he quotes ”I try to do things the simple way, if I can tape or staple it, I’d try that. I don’t like to trouble others or be troubled so I figure things out on my own”.
Having done the Lakme Fashion week six times, he then decided to follow the road not taken, he explored drapes to bring in a new wave of style or fashion different from the conventional ones. “I would never draw or paint, I just take the fabric and put it on the body to see how it falls or what can be made of it”.
When asked about the specialty of the garments created by the technique ‘Button Masala‘ the designer said ”it is probably the most sustainable technique in the world. Earlier the concept was about buttons and buttonholes but it evolved on its own. Every garment can be converted into many garments, you can open the garment, wear it differently, add the buttons .”
Having started Button Masala 9 years ago, introducing it in his 6th show of Lakme Fashion week, the aim has always been to create pieces with ease and simplicity. His first collection as he recalls started from Rs. 700/- where he draped shirts differently around the body without cutting them. He also mentioned his collection ‘(K)not for you’ which was created by tying knots.
Apart from creating products; shoes, cushion covers, garments, etc of this technique, he also imparts the skills of using it, to others through workshops all across the globe, enabling around 35,000 people till now. He says “I teach people how to use things effectively rather than producing more”.
His vision for the label Button Masala is far-sighted and environment-friendly “It’s simple, it can change the way we are, the same dress can be worn differently. In another 30 years, this will reduce the throwing in the world, and also later, variations of Button Masala may be introduced that I can’t imagine right now.”
“Looks don’t need to be designed into the garments instead what matters is what the garment does for you once you put it on.” Sharma feels that the fashion industry is still aesthetically bent, the drapes and construction is not well understood by the consumers. There is a need to educate them about the other elements too.
He also extends a message to the upcoming designers and fashionistas ”It is important to learn about clothes, understand what they are not just how to make them. Have the desire to do it, don’t go on aimlessly, understand clothing and how it changes lives.”