Celebration of revival and innovation:
Textile Day, Lakme Fashion Week, Summer/ Resort’16
The crowning jewel of Lakme Fashion Week, which commenced in Mumbai tonight, has to be the Textile Day. In an otherwise homogeneous fashion weeks that have sprouted all over the country, textile day remains LFW’s crowning success with the team refining its voice with every passing season and thereby strengthening the presentations.
This Summer/ Resort 2016 week is all set to showcase amazing talents that encapsulate the new voice of young India in the ancient language of handloom textiles. The Textile day kick starts with three designers’ couture quality work. The work of the designers is seeped in the highest luxury that only hand-woven and handmade can deliver.
Swati and Sunanina
are presenting an ethereal work that has revived weaving techniques that were deemed extinct. They have also successfully broken the perception of hand-woven being heavy and cumbersome to wear as they have worked hard to offer saris that are ultra glamorous and luxurious while offering comfortable wearability. They throw light on real Zari, a technique that is shrouded in ambiguity. Their collection is inspired by our soul – Radha, the purest and the lightest part of a being, where each and every sari reminds us of the eternal beauty of luxurious, serene and dignified simplicity
Priyanka of P.E.L.L.A
is a young designer with huge gumption. She interprets hand-woven textiles to forward the deep ethos that such garments afford. Mastery over scissors ensures that the cuts and styling of her garments are simple yet avant-garde. Highly evolved in the ethical and environment friendly part of fashion, her collection always stuns and elevates.Sujani
an erstwhile ubiquitous embroidery technique that was used by most homemakers of U.P. and Bihar to up cycle worn out clothes, is the chosen stitch of artist+designer Swati Kalsi. This talent powerhouse has elevated the common craft to stunning pieces of couture garments where her vision is empowered by the hands of Bihar women who add their own unique take to the stitch. I have never seen such a phenomena where an artist’s intervention on commonplace local craft has turned it into a formidable form of art.
The label of thoroughly astounding designer duo – Amity and Richard – has been on my admired list for the longest time. Working with beautiful hand-woven yardage, Amrich: has been an elucidator of plethora of handloom into effortless frocks and fuss free dresses. Their impeccable eye for details and cleanest work makes each and every garment a delight to wear. Their present collection – Criss Cross – explores the myriad ways of sporting cherished age-old weaves in our ever-hectic quotidian life.
The fist time I happily chanced upon petite, adorable looking Debashri Samanta, I could have never guessed that I was in the presence of a creative spark. Every season, she charms me with her fun take on her hand woven dresses. If some times, her weavers are cajoled into weaving a metro skyline then the other time they weave hapless fish and hooks that add fun flash to her textile based designs. This season spring is in the air and Debashri’s collection titled – Love thy Nature that compels the wearer to love herself on the inside and her universe on the outside with these flirty and sustainable dresses.
New in my world is Indigene, a label run by Ruchi and Jaya that make garments that age well with the times, offering classic, non-conformist silhouettes that are gentle enough to offer an easy sanctuary to the wearer as a happy reminder of a humble artisan who made it and earth friendly ways of its journey. The aging garment becomes more luxurious as it “reveals itself in ingenious ways – like timeless pieces of poetry that begs to be read and re-read to find new meaning each time.” Their collection titled – Transience – offers unpretentious silhouettes with gorgeous embroidered detailing. I am simply looking forward to this label going places.
Mrinalini‘s evolved, unvarnished design hides in its fold a deep understanding of her craft that cuts off the frills to reveal the core, that main element which celebrates a pure design function and commands engagement. When I read that her collection is called – Banaras, I was surprised; having fallen in the trap of clichéd visuals and the over used imagery associated with the heritage city. To say that I blown away by this maverick’s interpretation is an understatement.
“Beyond the weaves, to the oldest streets of the world, where God’s walked with man”, the collection is devoid of embellishment, stripped of the luxury of color and explores the murk that mingles with the mystic.
“Homeless jackets, tea stained shirts, coffee soaked shirts casually layered with belts and shrugs” create a much-anticipated collection.
Though not advanced in age but Paromita Banerjee’s continuous work with weaves of Bengal have created a strong body of work in the language of sustainable fashion that totally belies this beautiful woman’s gentle presence. In every collection she re invents the silhouettes to ensure easy-breezy wearability. This collection is another feather in her cap that unfolds amidst contradictions, called – The Salt of Life. “Walking in the park on pebbled pathway tottering in heels and realizing that you are all about comfort and not style…Sipping chai sitting with locals in old-world neighborhood, where the houses have not yet been shaped into boxy-apartments and the chai-waala knows your name and calls you didi…”. Paromita will push her boundaries. Again. I know.
Deepa & Jay Lakhani’s handmade line of unique and distinctive accessories under eponymous label – Deepa Gurnani – showcases the craftsmanship of hand-embroidery passed down through generations. Each piece is hand stitched, weaving the vibrant and exotic colors and beading of India. Their inspiration is based on the present time where humanity appears to operate at dissonant extremes. The world is in conflict yet many cast a blind eye. Millions of people live in abject poverty yet people still enjoy a life of lavish luxury. The earth is being depleted of her resources, yet we continue to consume. The designers explore these incongruous themes in their capsule collection, seeking beauty in our contrary world -The story of Oblivion.
100% PURE LOVE is a collection built on the spirit of how the Nor Black Nor White duo is feeling these days about their creations. They continue to deeply commit to their favorite textile regions and the communities within it. What is charming about NBNW is that they focus on one technique per collection and this around they bring together clamp dyed silks from Kutch, cotton checks from Kerala and bold ikats from Andhra Pradesh.
NBNW is showing a line that is body friendly with fluid silhouettes. Celebrating their love for 90’s styling, the creations made of Kerala checks, Kerala gold and handloom check weaves layer together stylishly to invoke rich experience.
AISH is showcasing “The Expedition” – black&white collection using craft techniques as varied as Jamdani from Bengal, Pashmina from Kashmir and Khamir Cotton from Gujarat. “We are not making craft contemporary – it has always been modern – we are just rediscovering it.”Born and raised in India, Nupur Goenka’s early years were spent in community style living in a large Indian family. This encouraged inclusive play, being creative with fewer resources and a quiet sense of content, independent of individual identity. Nupur has carried these intuitive lessons all through her life and business. “At AISH we work with the textile craft communities of where entire families work on the same meters of fabric, where no single person is struggling to take credit for the work, where the craft is bigger than the craftsman, and the end product is venerated as a piece of art, not just as a piece of cloth.” We all await our jaws getting dropped, AISH.
There are days when I am starved for beauty and that are when I head to this label for all around joy. Maku will debut its first ever fashion show at Lakme Fashion week 2016 titled BOBA, with a muted visual protest against the world of fast changing fashion. Through various montages of fabrics, Maku will exhibit a display of hand-woven developments in natural indigo. Indigo, unlike synthetic dyes, cannot be tamed to perform. Thus, with this narrow spectrum of products, Maku preaches universal tolerance towards infinite choices offered by industrialization. Maku hopes that by changing ‘our’ perception towards materials, we can probably save our planet.
There is a reason why I’m ending this piece with Chinar Farooqui’s label Injiri. I have followed her honest journey with weaves for the longest time and have always been amazed at the unflinching and sustained eye for detail and quality of workmanship.”Being a student oftextiles I love thehand-loom.Itismore about celebrating the entire process ofhand-weaving andthe clothes are actually little stories about the textiles they are made of. The “design” that one finds inmyclothes are mainly the textile designs that are incorporated while weaving a piece offabric onthe loom like selvedge, borders, cross borders and weaving patterns. I use the hand-woven fabric for clothes insuch a way that the textile design becomes apparent and italso becomes the most important design feature of that garment.”
Please catch the stunning and paradigm altering work of these geniuses all through the day today. Updates will be available on the various social media accounts of Lakme Fashion Week.