Abarna Kugathasan serves up a nostalgia-filled treat with her lingerie-inspired kitsch couture
What do you see as the role of young people in systemic change in terms of representation in the creative industries?
It is really important to be aware of the responsibilities we have and the influence of our decisions. Diversity is key, especially as we work in an industry that continually tells stories. In order to reflect the diversity of our culture, we need multi-faceted stories. Cherishing tradition and courageously embracing culture in ourselves and in the art we create can have a huge impact.
What has been your most rewarding work experience as a South Asian?
Owning my cultural identity and incorporating it into my work by telling an intimate story about my childhood and family history has allowed me to find my own approach as a Tamil designer. Watching people connect with that same story, being amazed by a foreign culture they’ve never experienced this way before, or completely immersing themselves in my nostalgic fairy tale, has always filled me with gratitude and joy.
What is the best professional advice you have received that has made you recalibrate your perspective on your work?
During my career as a fashion student, I had the chance to be supported by different mentors throughout my journey. They taught me various lessons but the one that has stuck with me to this day is to never be afraid to dream as big as possible. When everyone around you thinks you’ve gone crazy, you’re doing it right.
Another South Asian artist whose work you admire?
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