It is not in everyone’s destiny to become a runway designer; some are made for costumes, styling, manufacturing and some are made for teaching. Yes, every student comes out of college with a goal in mind and every student knows what his or her strong points are. In India’s evolving fashion industry, we wanted to know whether Director R.C. Dalal from JD Institute would like to trade his day job for a chance at fame and fortune in the fashion world.
Having graduated in Fashion Design in 1988 from Australia, Dalal has taught for the last 20years. He remarked that the fashion industry evolved in 1994 when Sushmita Sen was crowned Miss Universe and further development was seen in 2000 when FDCI started India Fashion Week. Having seen the change in the Indian Fashion world, R C Dalal has given insight and thought provoking answers.
Would you trade your day job in for a chance at fame?
I love my job, and I would not trade it for anything. We are all trained to create; here we create designers that create their collections. Designing was the option before teaching, but my father was very clear; you should not be a designer who designs in the same market as students. I would never want to make the students feel I am in the same league and it is wonderful to see new designers on the ramp. This year I already have three designers and next season there might be four.
What do you think it takes to be a runway designer?
You either follow the rules or be the most rebellious designer, there is no midpoint – you cannot do work you want everyone to like; you have to be an extremist.
So do you feel that designers who are not extremist become teachers?
Everyone has their own reasons and views. We have team members who have done retail, exports and then come back to teaching after eight years of industry work. The reasons can be plenty, there is no ‘either runway or become a teacher.’
What do you think it takes to be a teacher?
For a teacher? There are no more ‘teachers', we are all professional people who channelize the student’s minds. Professionals who show willingness to see students grow, allow students to be free, not put in view points and a have a broad perspective. Professionals who can see the future and know what the child can excel should teach.