Where does the future of fashion lie? If the current look is anything to go by, we can stay assured that digital shows away from the crowds that usually surround fashion week are the order of the seasons ahead. The new Lakmé Fashion Week, a first in its kind in terms of being season-fluid, could be viewed from one's at-home desk. That aside, a focus on wedding and festive wear was clear to the eye; with the industry still emerging from the impact of COVID-19, it's only natural that there was almost a collective reliance on a set pattern to attract consumers and drive sales.
Here's taking a look at what the collections were about. Read on for an exhaustive report.
The ‘All About India’ showcase championed traditional textiles and crafts. An initiative undertaken by IMG Reliance to support craft clusters and the affiliated artisans most impacted by the pandemic in the long run, the first phase began with promoting various crafts with presentations by six leading designers— Rajesh Pratap Singh for Satya Paul, Payal Khandwala, Abraham & Thakore, Anavila and Suket Dhir and Urvashi Kaur. Amongst those showcasing the saree, Rajesh Pratap brought forward the classic black and white in his double ikat drapes for Satya Paul. His work was done in association with master craftsman Mr Govardhana who hails from Puttapaka in Telangana while for Payal Khandwala, it was vibrant hues championing Jamdani. Gaurang Shah delved further into his expertise of handwoven heritage sarees, his collection named after ‘Taramati’, the legendary courtesan from the time of Abdulla Qutub Shah, the 7th Sultan of Golconda. Raw Mango’s ‘Moomal’ drew in from Sanjay Garg’s memories of Rajasthan; motifs juxtaposed with vibrant colours were present, the peacock being one of the chief versions highlighted. From Banarasi brocades to wispy, pastel-hued jackets to layers, the collection is one that wedding-goers will be seeking for the months ahead.
New-age iterations weren’t lacking either—Riddhi Mehra experimented with gota patti, zari details and mirror work to give way to contemporary silhouettes whilst Anushree Reddy’s demi-couture ‘Nazira’ had an array of embroidered renditions, both collections aimed at festive and wedding shoppers. See the looks below.
If the sarees were aplenty, the lehengas, shararas and the rest of traditional attires couldn’t be far behind. From Manish Malhotra’s collaboration with the Mijwan Foundation that opened the Lakmé Fashion Week to Amit Aggarwal’s futuristic metallic takes in ‘First Light’ which took colour and design inspiration from the cosmos, there was a lot in store in the category.
The former’s inspiration came from Punjab, Awadh and Kutch, archival fabrics embellished and highlighted to give way to wedding guest-worthy outfits while the latter’s emphasised on leheriya patterns against chanderi and matka silk. Raw Mango’s collection also featured some A-line kurtas for those who would wish to keep it comfortable and striking in ceremonial wear. On the other hand, Disha Patil’s glamorous collection titled ‘The Labyrinth’ was aimed at the new age brides and had Diana Penty on the catwalk, dressed up to the nines in a lehenga for the non-conformists while the Sukriti & Akriti lineup, featuring a mix of neutral hues with exciting embroidery, was an ode to the intricate craft of Phulkari.
Modern drapes and structured ones weren’t lacking either. Titled 'Rouge', Jayanti Reddy’s collection dabbled in shades of red and with experiments in silhouettes, Rimzim Dadu brought her signature sculpted drapes to the runway as a Lakmé Absolute Grand Finale designer. “This festive collection takes inspiration from our sculpted metallics and signature co-ords. The focus is on flow and movement of textiles, and micro-units coming together to create larger surfaces, incorporating shades of yellow gold, antique gold, fresh silver, black and rich emerald green,” said the designer. Texture play and hand-embroidered details were on the forefront in Kunal Rawal’s menswear collection that forayed into “military colours for occasion wear” as per the designer’s statement. In a testimony to the blurred lines of menswear and womenswear collection now, Sonakshi Sinha stopped the show in an edgy, layered kurta dress and thigh-high boots.
Along the line of neutral colours was also Antar Agni, their collection ‘Slate’ highlighting pleats and layering. As Ujjwal Dubey, the designer behind the label elaborated, “Slate, is open to interpretation. The lockdown this year has given me a push. It demanded self-discovery and what I found was that I am made up of contradictions- pieces of my thinking that are fluid, working with the pieces more rigid. I am both stubborn and flexible and I found that those scales move in every new situation. This collection is a visual representation of that variance and our collective acceptance of it." Inspired by the 12 universal elements, Hemang Agrawal’s ‘Tattva’ amalgamated technological advancements of the Japanese fibre Bemberg™ Yarn with the beauty of textiles, the statement brocade from Banaras standing out. Handwoven brocades by the expert handloom weavers of Banaras were also at the forefront of Suket Dhir’s presentation, his festive attires fit for those who like to keep it unconventional in terms of their wardrobe.
Inspired by the women of the Banjara Tribe “who embody strength, skill, and tradition”, Lakmé Absolute Grand Finale designers Saaksha and Kinni’s vibrant collection had Mrunal Thakur as the showstopper. “We wanted to highlight their exquisite use of hand mirror embroidery – which we have interpreted into our prints and into our embroideries,” said the duo in an interaction with us. For the festivities, Anavila Misra’s comfortable silhouettes and signature linen at the ‘All About India’ showcase came with zari and khatwa work, with designer Urvashi Kaur relying on shibori tie-dye patterns to elevate her androgynous outfits. Comfort, mixed with prints, reigned supreme at Pankaj & Nidhi and elsewhere at Péro, Aneeth Arora’s ‘Locked in Love’ collection didn’t forgo her relaxed silhouettes, complete with laces, embroidery, sequins, classic patterns and more.
The Ajio Sneakershood showcase came with a see-now-buy-now feature, a format earlier tried by international designers and bringing coveted kicks centre stage. At Mishru and Jayanti Reddy, oversized earrings caught our eye, playful and traditional versions respectively making a statement. And lest one miss it, there is no doubt about the potli bag being the 'IT' festive ad wedding and festive bag for the season, as seen at Punit Balana, Sukriti & Aakriti & JADE by Monica and Karishma. Take a look at it all below.
And with that, we arrive at the end of what the digital showcases were all about.
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Featured Image: Lakmé Fashion Week