"I am making a beautiful dress," he told a woman, even as he expertly stitched tiny hand-cut pieces of fabric together to form 3D textures.

Mr Siddiqui came to Delhi from the eastern state of Bihar in 2006. He didn't have a college degree, but he did have fine embroidery skills.

A decade later, he was on the runway at India's premier fashion week.

"I come from a small town and never knew that people appreciated my profession. I still can't believe what has happened, I saw models walking wearing the clothes I had made," he told the BBC.

Mr Siddiqui works with Delhi-based designer and textiles artist Rimzim Dadu, whose idea it was to showcase not just clothes, but the people who created them.

She told the BBC that she thought of her show as an "anti-thesis" of fashion.

"I wanted people to interact with the artisans who make our clothes. I wanted to take the focus away from just the final product and put the spotlight on the process," she said.



October 22, 2020 — Shruti Nair