DEBUT ROLE

GenNext designers debuting at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2014 discuss their collections, inspirations and craft

Updated: March 10, 2014 12:03 am

By Kimi Dangor
From handspun textiles to painstaking embroidery and fresh summery hues — the six chosen GenNext talents will showcase these and much more on the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Summer/Resort 2014 ramp. The fresh-on-board designers give us a sneak peek into their much-awaited debut collections.

UJJAWAL DUBEY
The 26-year-old National Institute of Fashion Technology graduate, based in Noida, believes in a minimalism that transcends trend cycles. “I like to keep the look natural and raw. For me, the gather, fall and drape of the fabric creates the real drama,” says Dubey.

Collection note: His label may be called Antar-Agni, but Dubey’s approach to spring-summer is far from fiery. Inspired by the indigenous looks of the Middle and Far East, he brings hints of the cold desert into his subdued colour palette. Navy blues, charcoals and greys meet light blue and beige in this draped menswear collection. Natural fabrics like linen, chambrays and cottons keep the look organic.

Inspiration: Dubey loves to focus on technical details and is hugely inspired by architecture and natural landscapes  — “be it Kabul, Istanbul or the Himalayas”.

CHANDNI MOHAN
Her label Selvage may be a year old, but the New Delhi-based alumnus of the Nottingham Trent University, UK, has worked with Satya Paul, Gaurav Gupta and Shantanu & Nikhil. Mohan’s (25) forte lies in contemporary westernwear employing clean, structured and modern silhouettes.
Collection note: Inspired by Preston Scott Cohen’s architectural works, Mohan tries to strike a balance between structured shapes and floaty drapes, linear lines and fluidity. “The clothes look very simple, yet the construction is complicated. It is an extremely feminine collection,” says Mohan. Chiffons, tencel, hammered satin and satin crepe in solid colours like black, white, burnt orange and flesh pink, maintain harmony between strength and simplicity.

Inspiration: While art and architecture provide constant creative fodder, Mohan also finds inspiration in the everyday. “I like to minutely observe ordinary things around me and gather as much knowledge as possible,” she says.

VILVIN SABU
A London College of Fashion graduate, Sabu (27) returned to her hometown Pune after spending six years in the British capital. Her label Vilvin specializes in western wear with an emphasis on easy-to-wear, relatable fashion that strikes a balance between simplicity and
decoration.

Collection note: Her vibrant spring-summer line Tropical Chic is a graphic take on botanicals, inspired by the Amazonian rainforest. Sabu uses hand-dyeing techniques and intricate embroidery to bring flowers, plants and birds alive on the canvas of her clothes. The silhouettes are crisp and clean given the complexity of the embroidery on silk dupion and satin silk.

Creative calling: Even though fashion remains her first love, Sabu is open to exploring other design-related endeavours. She’d like to explore opportunities like space, product design and collaborations with artists in future.

SREEJITH JEEVAN
This Kochi-based designer brings a sense of the personal in his designs. Jeevan (27), a textile graduate from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and the Ecole Nationale Superieure Des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, gives handloom fabrics a quirky take through his
label Rouka.

Collection note: The line, Weather Forecast, is inspired by the beauty of the rains. Employing hand-woven cottons, cotton silks and pure silks, Jeevan creates
embroidered motifs.

Inspiration: The team behind Rouka  took inspiration from what the rains signify for various people. “Some said they like to take train journeys, while others thought it signified romance,” he says. The result was motifs such as trains, bicycles, hearts, cars, paper boats and playing cards embroidered “like an illustration or sketch” on the garments.

PARUL BHARGAVA
A textile design graduate from the University of Arts, London, Bhargava (32) honed her designing skills by working with Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla and Sophia Malig (London). She later trained in hand embroidery at the Ecole Lesage, Paris. Now based in Paris, her label Mirage’s brand philosophy is best explained by the line: “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication”.

Collection note: Inspired by Cinque-Terre, a cluster of five villages in Italy, Bhargava captures the region’s idyllic beauty in her line. Pastel shades in basic silhouettes are highlighted by hand embroidery and specially developed prints. Printed textured sequins and Miyuki beads add a hint of glamour.

Travel bug: While she loves to travel, Bhargava admits that living in Paris constantly inspires her creativity. While she’s currently concentrating on the Indian market, she hopes to make inroads in the British and European market soon.

DIVYA SHETH
Sheth, 32, from Kolkata, found her calling in fashion design after dabbling in make-up and visual merchandising and training in photography from the National Institute of Fashion Technology and fashion styling from Central Saint Martins, London. She launched her eponymous label Divya Sheth two years ago, specialising in hand-woven, and naturally-dyed ensembles.

Collection note: Inspired by Mary Cassatt’s painting Lady at The Tea Table, Sheth has delved into the details of the blue pottery featured in the artwork. Employing khadi jamdani from Phulia, clamp dyeing with ajrakh from Bhuj and ikat from Kochampalli, she has drawn inspiration from Moroccan, Japanese and Chinese blue pottery.

Inspiration: Sheth derives inspiration from art and nature and takes a keen interest in studying paintings, sculptures, flora and fauna.

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