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March 14, 2019

Innovative Textile Techniques Uplift Design Sensibilities On Day 1 Of India Fashion Week

Text by Akanksha Pandey and Ojas Kolvankar. With inputs from Rushmika Banerjee

The fashion week kick-started with a lineup of promising young designers and veterans who focused on sustainability and social development through mindful design interventions

As an industry, we are moving towards a sustainable design future that promises ethical trade practices, upliftment of marginalized weaver communities and resurrection of native textiles for a global audience. These values were strongly reflected as notable designers came together with Nobel Peace Laureate 2014 Kailash Satyarthi to pledge against the use of child labour on the opening day of Lotus Makeup India fashion week. The collections that followed were an interesting blend of upcoming talent and established designers collectively showcasing the strength of heritage weaves modernised for the new-age audience.

Leading the conversation was designer Vaishali Shadangule who rediscovered the traditional Khun weave through a contemporary interpretation of this rich handwoven textile. The collection titled Bisra looked at the centuries-old weave, which belongs to the village of Guledgudda in Karnataka and is on the verge of extinction. The depleting number of looms, weaver migration, and unemployment were some of the issues that the designer addressed through this line.  Shadangule’s expertise in adding the cool factor to indigenous weaves was evident in her approach. The highlight of the show was bone-structured capes and blouses and sheer-silk fabrics, which were used in versatile ways to make dresses, skirts and saris on a bright palette of pink, orange, green and red and the label’s signature muted shades.

The next designer who laid a strong emphasis on textiles was Suket Dhir who made his debut at India Fashion Week with his womenswear line. The collection ‘He for She’ was a take on menswear silhouettes designed for women. The designer reimagined modern silhouettes through the lens of myriad fabrics. The result – loungewear in satin, silk and velvet, signature bombers, jumpsuits and suits in washed brocades, long jackets in khadi and smart every day separates in mul and jamdani. The designer stayed true the brand’s philosophy of ‘Less is more’ with effortless styling. The lineup also carried a hint of whimsy with its placement of playful prints. What we loved about the line was how the designer subtly wove stories from his childhood into the jamdani motif such as clouds, umbrellas, mango and mango trees.

A day of modern design language came to an awe-inspiring conclusion with designer Rahul Mishra who celebrated 10 years in fashion on the runway. Mishra was one of the first designers who had focused on crafts-based lineage to empower the local artisan through his avant-garde designs. These iconic pieces showcased at Paris Fashion Week through the years were the building blocks of the showcase. The show spotlighted his signatures such as optical prints, architectural silhouettes, sheer panels, hand-embroidered organza petals appliquéd on lightweight fabrics, Van Gogh-inspired sunflowers and life-like renditions of blue hydrangeas. A special mention to designer Amita Gupta who refashioned fabrics like zari, silk and denim on contemporary silhouettes with pleated details and bold stripes. Designer Pallavi Singh reflected on ocean waste using fish motif fabric appliqué on a pastel colour palette. Diksha Khanna’s experimentation with denim and crochet also grabbed our attention.

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