Highlights From Day 1 At Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2018
Lakmé Fashion Week’s Winter/Festive 2018 edition kicked off on an experimental note as the designers took on the runway to explore a melange of fresh ideas. Here are the shows that stood out:
INIFD’S Gen Next Collections
INIFD’s Gen Next programme has been introducing the brightest and most innovative designers to Indian fashion for 13 years now. It’s 26thbatch comprised yet another eclectic quintet of designers who brought their fresh aesthetics to the runway. Inspired by famous Dutch graphic artist, Escher’s Day and Night, Anurag Gupta’s line was delicately scattered with embroideries of graphic motifs and forms reminiscent of the birds and Belgium’s landscape in the woodcut work. The indigo and white separates were cleverly constructed in crisp silhouettes, lending it a touch of modernity. Kanika Sachdev’s Jajaabor took us on an insightful journey in her ‘The Artful Lodger’, which was inspired by homestay stories from around the world. The khadi, cotton, Chanderi silk and silk organza ensembles’ striking features were how whimsically the silhouettes of architectural skylines were printed and embroidered in blue, red or pink over white. Yavi, by Yadvi Agarwal, was where impressionistic art met fashion, as each of the collection’s separates were uniquely hand-painted and textured. Ajay Kumar Singh’s AUR explored the power of imagination by turning the art of specially-abled children into delightful digitally printed motifs on dyed khadi and kantha accents. SWGT by Shweta Gupta turned to the Himalayan terrains and nomadism for inspiration. Her line of dresses — crafted from handloom Chanderi in yarn dyed cotton silk and of course Merino Wool — revealed a light variety of textures using smocking and fabric hand manipulation.
Chola by Sohaya Mishra
The designer brought the concept of androgyny and non-binary style to the forefront in her collection named ‘Bye Felicia’ — which is slang for dismissing the irrelevant — at a time when much of the queer community is campaigning to strike down the IPC’s section 377. The colour palette circled around the designer’s favourites; black, white and grey. Linens, recycled and organic cotton were fashioned into edgy pieces, which impressed with their asymmetric silhouettes, adventurous constructions and multi layers; elements such as ruffles and bows were incorporated into both, men and womenswear. While ideas of self-expression and comfort were key, Mishra had fun on the runway, bringing in Mumbai’s drag culture into the fray as well.
Amit Vijaya and Richard Pandav of Amrich found inspiration in their ‘understanding and experiences of traditions and cultures’. Handmade textiles of khadi, wool, silks and silk cotton blends were crafted into separates, stylishly layered in monochrome. Simple yet beautiful patterns resulting from resist dye techniques and embroidery adorned the clothes.
Inspired by the life of neo-hippie wanderer Julia Chaplin, Ankur and Priyanka Modi of AM:PM showcased their ‘Gypset’ collection under the light of a thousand bulbs, in honour of the free-spirited modern nomad in search of new adventures. Reminiscent of the glamorous eras of fashion icons like Veruschka, Brigitte Bardot and Talitha Getty, the line-up reinterpreted classic Indian wear as boho-chic; Tunics became shirt-dresses, salwars, flared pants and classic long coats, lapels. Lightweight fabrics of silks, wools and organza were whimsically embroidered and embellished with rustic yet artisanal motifs, such as those of horses, making a strong connection between folklore and urban legends. The colour palette that ranged from forest green and sand to wine and chili red encapsulated the scene of a desert, in tandem with the central theme.
Abraham & Thakore
In their 25-year journey as designers, Abraham and Thakore presented their new seasonal collection in Mumbai for the first time. Their sophisticated eveningwear collection, ‘Cocktails and Samosas’ was inspired by an Eastern aesthetic of wrapping and tying bakus, kimonos and sarongs – with Indian staples such as salwars and churidars. Of course, the textiles are what took centre stage with subtly geometric Banarasi weaves, hand-embroidered tussars, hand-cut silks and sequins. Metallic shades of gold dominated the collection with sharply tailored separates, conjoining the ideas of modernity and traditional.
Marrying the ideas of performance art and fashion, Antar-Agni’s Ujjawal Dubey presented ‘Begin’. Performers dressed and painted in black portrayed the subconscious mind as they followed models on the runway erratically to bring to mind the free spirit that is chained at the back of our minds, wanting to run wild and crazy. As for the collection, it was inspired by the Afghan mens’ garments; masculine, deconstructed silhouettes with asymmetrical closures, drapes, layers and accents. Kurtas in sombre shades such as black, navy and military green with a tinge of mustard and metallic embroidery as well as some in prints of camo, appeared paired with sneakers, boots and folded trousers, thus, showing off his unconventional edge.
Marking its debut, Good Earth presented its couture collection, ‘The Miniaturist’. The line-up designed by Namrata Rathi paid homage to the traditional Rajasthani metal craft of Gota. What was enchanting was how the 23 ensembles were presented in a museum-style exhibit, as models enacted scenes from India’s cultural past from almost a century ago, accompanied by live music, songs from Bollywood’s golden era and a presentation tracing how Gota is crafted. Rajasthani staples such as the Jama, the Ghagra-Choli, and even the glamorous polo saris in textiles of Silk Kota, Gajji Silk and Mashru were given a modern spin. The revival of the Patka (sash) and Patua (tassels), hand-cut motifs of Chaand, Anaar and Baadal in 3-D textures, delicate artistry of floral thread work, geometric Jaal patterns, aari & danka work, confluenced to complement and accentuate the splendour of this royal tapestry.