There’s nothing better than witnessing fraternities come together to celebrate and support each other. This time’s Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2019 that is ongoing in the plush address of Mumbai’s St. Regis is not just a celebration of 20 years of the platform. Through an overarching theme of sustainability, everyone from designers to the Government and industry heavyweights are using this space to help replace sustainability’ from being a mere buzzword to becoming a way of living.
Through an off-site show at Famous Studios that boasted a star-studded front row and Bollywood-esque collection Maahrumysha, Manish Malhotra ushered in the festive segment of this five-day extravaganza. Actress Katrina Kaif sashayed down the runway in his creation.
A MELTING POT OF DESIGNS
The first day of the event kick-started with six Gen Next designers, who showcased their fresh sartorial offerings. Among them, we particularly liked Zilzom by Stanzin Palmo, a collection with an Oriental hint that was heavily inspired by the beauty of Ladakh. Half Full Curve outdid their previous designs by showcasing a fashionable size-inclusive line using surface textures and colour blocking. Designer Payal Singhal literally twinned with LFW as she celebrated 20 years in the industry. Her collection was defiant of her usual design aesthetics, I didn’t want Indianwear limited to an Indianwear wardrobe. Through 44 looks, and with new celebrity couple on the block Shibani Dandekar and Farhan Akhtar as showstoppers, Singhal embraced the free-spirited person’s bohemian vibe.
Later that evening, some new names such as Six5Six, Biskit and Gundi Studios tried emulating Parisian design label Vetements, but failed to impress through their streetwear range. The highlight of the evening though, was Amit Aggarwal’s final show. It was both innovative and avant-garde with pieces that imbibed his signature yet seemed fresh.
Fashion weeks across the globe have given prominence to sustainability. And with this year marking the 17th edition of Sustainable Fashion Day, LFW didn’t hold back either. One of our favourite design labels 11.11/eleven eleven joined hands with C&A Foundation to showcase a relaxed and ethical collection using Khadi cotton, organic cotton and chambray Khadi. Later, through a KVIC show, labels namely Anuj Bhutani, Three and Khanijo displayed their contemporary lines using Khadi. Khanijo’s philosophical and religious motifs on sleeves of garments added to the essence of the evening, showing us that fashion can be a barrier breaker in such a political climate.
Later that day, Aavaran’s regal collection used the traditional mud resist process of dabu on festive pieces in fabrics such as mashru silk and chanderi. While Ujjawal Dubey’s Antar-Agni highlighted a structured yet soft collection, Urvashi Kaur was inspired by Ethiopian artist Dawit Abebe through Masira.
The highlight of the evening was Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani launching Project SU.RE to lead the sustainable movement in India. Designers Abraham & Thakore showcased how multi-dimensional the modest kurta can be.
With day two toning it down with a minimalistic approach, yesterday’s highlight was on rich textures and intricate and ornamental detailing. Ritu Kumar added all the drama on the ramp through her punk-meets-feminine collection that was very unlike her. Jayanti Reddy and Ridhi Mehra’s designs used craft and textiles to makes both contemporary and traditional outfits. Designer Gaurang Shah used the rich weaves of Paithan to showcase a spectacle of royal weaves.
Some shows did disappoint, others were works of art and the rest featured both wearable and stunning designs, if not both. Apart from the shows, the stress on sustainability was a noteworthy addition to this event. We see this influencing the design community and young minds who are eyeing to be a part of fashion someday.