Published: 12th June 2018
When life gives you buttons use Anuj Sharma's Button Masala technique to make clothes
The Button Masala technique pioneered by designer Anuj Sharma allows you to make comfortable and stylish garments
Who doesn't like easy-breezy clothes? Come rain or shine, for us commoners, it's more about comfort than following trends. But what if you can have both fashion and comfort in the same garment? And what if you can actually make them with just buttons and rubber bands? This is exactly what designer Anuj Sharma's workshop, Button Masala, held at Jubilee Hills on June 9 taught a batch of 20 plus students.
Sharma has pursued a master's degree in high-performance sportswear design from University of Derby, UK
After taking his Button Masala technique all over the world including Europe, Sharma brought the DIY technique, which just requires garments, buttons and rubber bands, to the of Nizams. Skirts, tops, ponchos, shoes — there’s a lot one can do with this technique. It uses a simple grid system and a whole bunch of buttons. Depending on how the garment is buttoned, there could be multiple ways to wear it, creating new designs. Sharma then discovered that instead of using buttonholes, he could use rubber bands to hold the fabric. He's now hoping to use the technique in other fields like furniture, interiors and more.
The concept of Button Masala is growing and several people around the world are trying to adopt it
Anuj Sharma, designer
The Button Masala workshop was organised by Sonal Singh and Madhulika Jhawar, who reached out to Sharma on Instagram and invited him to conduct this workshop. Looking at the workshop as one of her experimental ventures towards sustainable fashion, Jhawar, who is currently freelancing as a consultant and merchandiser says, "The carbon footprint of the fashion industry is quite high and these techniques help in balancing it out.”
When we spoke to Sharma he was in Holland, conducting another Button Masala workshop. "I usually start by explaining the philosophy behind the design and take about 15 minutes to teach people how to use the technique," explains the Jodhpuri designer. For this particular workshop, Sharma had asked participants to source local fabric like telia rumal (a method of oil treatment of yarn which started in Pochampally, Telangana), so that there is a local connection to the workshop. And it is this simplicity of the garment that is hard to achieve as people are more inclined towards making complex garments, feels the alumnus of National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
On Levis India's 145th birthday last month, Sharma collaborated with them to transform one of their trucker jackets into a fancy one by using the Button Masala technique
The workshops are gaining popularity around the world as ‘multi-usage’ and ‘slow fashion’ (buying handmade and ethically conscious garments) become this year's buzzwords. But Sharma still feels that "though there is a lot more interest, it seems like it is superficial; people don't really mean it." But he assures us that while people don't come because they are interested in fashion, “they come to get interested for sure."
For more on this method, check out facebook.com/buttonmasala