From names that have ruled the ramp for decades to newbies trying to make an impression, the upcoming edition of Lakme Fashion Week (Winter-Festive 2015) will showcase the talent of 87 designers from across the country.
In a season soaked in style — Couture Week has just concluded, Bridal Fashion Week begins this week and the spotlight will be turned on Lakme Fashion Week from August 26 — each pageant has its own USP, besides the common agenda of rolling out trends for the coming months.
What sets LFW apart is the sheer number of designers in its five-day schedule. This year too, there are over three dozen new labels waiting to be unveiled at the Emerging and Jabong Stage categories and seven notice-worthy names being ramp-readied by fashion consultant Sabina Chopra for the GenNext segment. All this, besides an impressive list of ramp regulars that include Manish Malhotra, Namrata Joshipura, Ritu Kumar, Tarun Tahiliani, Narendra Kumar Ahmed, Neeta Lulla and Monisha Jaisingh. Despite the rush to meet deadlines, some designers took a break to discuss their collections.
Inspired by 1980s
The opening act will be presented by fashion’s maximalist Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla. “Actually, this line is a departure. It’s young, fun and minimalist, and we have called it ‘Jawani Janeman’. The colour stories progress from white and off-white to beige and grey. Hints of gold and colour give the creations an Eighties disco feel. Zardosi, resham embroidery and sequins are used in a subtle way. But we have moved away from layers and classic drapes for this line that’s more Western,” says Khosla.
This is the design duo’s first show at LFW in its 28-year-long career. “We’ve consciously kept away from pageants. But recently, we discovered that it’s important to display our creations at national platforms because the minute we complete a line, it’s copied!”
Beauty of Banaras
Ritu Kumar, who is doing a special show as part of the “Reinventing Banaras” campaign on Indian Textile and Handloom Day on August 27 at LFW, says her aim is to integrate the fabulous tradition of gold and silver weaving in Banaras into mainstream fashion. “The weaves of Banaras is one of the oldest surviving textile forms in the world. To me, it’s a fine expression of the mastercraftsman’s skill. My line is an ode to the refined aesthetics of the weavers.”
For designers Nachiket Barve and Masaba Gupta, “LFW is like home.” Launched under the GenNext categories many seasons ago, the two have today evolved into designers with distinct sensibilities. While Gupta is famous for her quirk quotient, Barve is known for his lush motifs drawn from Nature.
“It’s a homecoming of sorts for me,” says Barve. After the LFW launch, I’ve been to a number of style capitals in the world. It feels good to return to the ramp in Mumbai. I have moved away from the pared-down purity of my lines to create a dressed-up collection that’s more Gothic noir in look and feel. There are oversized floral and bird motifs and intense surface detailing.
Gupta too says her collection is full of surprises. “It does have my signature quirkiness, but it’s more structured, textured and more grown-up. I keep coming back to LFW, so I have to show something absolutely refreshing.”
Warp and weft
Anita Dongre, a regular at national shows, is conscious this time around, of working with weaves. “I want the younger generation to understand that weaves are cool. So I’ve conceived about a dozen mini collections showcasing different weaving traditions of the country. I will curate them and present about six capsule collections at LFW. From jackets and dresses to saris and ensembles, this showcase will focus on the skills of small weaving communities scattered in different parts of India. I’ve worked with several NGOs too for this line.”