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This Fashion Art Installation Project ‘The Almirah’ Captures The Emotions Of Women During The Lockdown Period. It’s Equal Parts Beautiful And Chilling

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During this lockdown, everyone’s mental health was in shambles but the excruciatingly long period was particularly hard on women. While we all felt trapped, women found it even harder to cope with being in the confined spaces as they spent their days working twice, juggling between work from home and work at home which had us struggling with our mental health. Fashion Artist Sharmila Nair started a fashion art installation project titled ‘The Almirah’ to shed the light on status of women’s mind during the restrictions-led lockdown.

In every Indian household, there is an old rusty cupboard of your mom’s or grandma’s in which they keep all their belongings neatly stacked. It has been there for years and probably was gifted to them from their parent’s home on their wedding. That cupboard or the almirah, as they call it, has a very special connection to its owner, partly because it is a keepsake for them that reminds them of their home and partly because it’s their own personal space where they keep their trousseau and memories close to them.

Nair wanted to marry the concept of femininity and closeness that an almirah holds to a woman and the confined spaces they felt trapped in during the lockdown through an emotion-evoking film. It shows an open, archaic-looking wooden almirah and a woman standing inside one compartment and her feminine possessions in the other. Her emotions and expressions range from happiness to agony and frustration as the film progresses. This cinematic capture of the varied emotions and feelings women have gone through during lockdown speaks a thousand words.

 

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RedLotus is extremely delighted to launch the trailer of our new fashion art installation project named ‘The Almirah’ conceived and executed in this COVID time. The Almirah is a fashion art installation project depicting the several mental states of a woman during the COVID times. The Almirah represents the mind and its intangible feelings and expressions. For some women, this COVID lockdown meant happiness as they could spend more time with their families. Some women felt trapped and experienced frustration, sadness, emptiness, longing, etc. There is an almirah in everyone’s life, not merely possessing your wardrobe, but also your secrets, your desires, your hopes, and other intangible emotions. Watch our page as the photos will be launched soon. Conceived & Executed by @sharmila006 Sharmila Nair Photography: @ratheeshravindran Ratheesh Ravindran Talent: @remmy_suvi Ramya Suvi Stylist: @_its_me_caroline Caroline Joseph Project Assistant: @sakhaavu Satheesh Mohan Art Director: @imnahfelix Imnah Felix Make-up: @ansariizmake013 Ansari Izmake Edit: @anzarmohmed Anzar Mohammed Sound: @krishnanunny_kj Krishnanunny KJ Hair: @shireen.yasir Shireen Yasir Special Thanks: @deepak.johny Deepak Johny, @zarmuse Ziad Abdul Rahman, Khadija, @suviartizan Suvi Vijay, Bodhi, Sourav, Muralidharan Nair, Renuka Nair, Suraj Sunil, Rohan Menon, KP Sunil, Hemalatha Sunil, @anumolofficial Anumol, Paul, Sharath, Sundareshan, Sahajan, Red Studios Cochin RedLotus 2020 #fashionartist #fashionwithacause #thealmirah #thealmirahstories #experimentalart #experimentalfashionartist

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When the nationwide lockdown was announced, most of us were ecstatic to finally spend the time with our family, catch up on the Netflix watch list and try out forgotten recipes. Although it started on a happier note, it turned out to be the worst nightmare for most women over months to come. We have fallen victim to domestic violence, mental harassment behind the four walls of their homes, many of us with no medium to seek help from our friends and family due to the restriction to travel.

The Almirah series begins with the feeling of happiness we all felt in the initial phase and then goes on to depicting sensuousness as a sense of separation from a close one, thoughtfulness as the fear and worry settled in, trapped as the feeling of loneliness caught up, anger that stems out of being helpless, frustrated for the seemingly unending trauma, sadness as we eventually realise there’s no hope and lastly, powerful as we emerge more sensible, prepared and hopeful about the pandemic.

Also Read: NCW To Launch 24×7 Helpline For Women Facing Mental Abuse In Lockdown. Women’s Safety Needs To Be A Priority

 

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The Almirah is a fashion art installation project depicting the several mental states of a woman during the COVID times. We are presenting the sixth state of mind ‘Frustrated’. We can’t remain in a lockdown situation. Life has to move on. We count our days of not being productive, and negativity starts breeding in your words and action. Frustration starts building up and you feel the imminent need to break loose. Launching the sixth photo and video of ‘The Almirah’ series. Conceived & Executed by Sharmila Nair @sharmila006 Camera: Ratheesh Ravindran @docart_productions Talent: Ramya Suvi @remmy_suvi Stylist: Caroline Joseph @_its_me_caroline Project Assistant: Satheesh Mohan @sakhaavu Art Director: Imnah Felix @imnahfelix Make-up: Ansari Izmake @ansariizmake013 Edit: Anzar Mohammed @anzarmohmed Sound: Krishnanunny KJ @krishnanunny_kj Hair: Shireen Yasir @shireen.yasir Special Thanks: Deepak Johny @deepak.johny Ziad Abdul Rahman, Khadija, @suviartizan Suvi Vijay, Bodhi, Sourav, Muralidharan Nair, Renuka Nair, Suraj Sunil, Rohan Menon, KP Sunil, Hemalatha Sunil, @anumolofficial Anumol, Paul, Sharath, Sundareshan, Sahajan, Red Studios Cochin This video is not for commercial purposes RedLotus 2020 #thealmirahproject #project #sareeproject #campaign #covid_19shoot #photography #photography #frustrated #frustration #stateofmind

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The brainchild of Nair, ‘The Almirah’ is also lined with emotive poetry that hits the right chords of your heart. The woman in the series is wearing sarees from her brand Red Lotus in fitting colours to symbolise her different states of mind, for example she wears the bright sunny yellow for her happiness phase, red for sensuousness and black and white check print saree for trapped and green for powerful.

Nair is a fashion artist, saree designer and entrepreneur from Kerala who has come up with powerful feminist campaigns before this that were equally stirring and an eye opener. Last year, she launched ‘18 Shades Of Black’, a range of black sarees as a protest against the Sabrimala Temple that restricted women dressed in black from praying. The campaign also featured 18 women wearing sarees and talking about discrimination they face in their life on daily basis. The collection having 18 sarees was a subtle take on the 18 steps of the temple.

Nair wants to turn the fashion project into a campaign that helps the needy and underprivileged. She told in an interview, “Through Open the Almirah we aim to inspire corporates to take this up as a CSR project where they can put across the idea of donating one valuable thing inside the almirah, for those in need. The valuables may be anything, ranging from clothing to basic essentials.” This is actually a great concept.

Also Read: Studies Show That Women Are More Vulnerable To Mental Health Issues And Are More Depressed During This Lockdown Than Men

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