FROM a virtual reality show to experiential spaces and current affairs-inspired collections, Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) attempts to draw fashion out of the traditional main show rea for its Winter Festive 2016 edition (August 24-28). Here are some presentations and initiatives that promise to put the fresh back in fashion week.
Manish Malhotra’s shows are generally about high-voltage glamour, Bollywood showstoppers and an envy-inducing front row. This season, Malhotra plans to give everyone a front row seat to his Winter/Festive presentation via a virtual reality show, presented in association with Etihad Airways. Cameras will be poised to capture a 360 degree view of the proceedings on the ramp, backstage and the post-show party, which will then be stitched together in the format of a virtual reality show. This can be viewed later on headsets, made available at Etihad lounges and Malhotra’s stores, which will give the wearer the experience of actually being at the show and reliving the experience first-hand. The airlines had earlier tied up with Oscar de la Renta earlier this year for a similar show. This, however, is a first for an Indian designer.
Over the past few seasons, LFW has been encouraging designers to showcase their work through experiential installations (Eina Ahluwalia), sensory walk-throughs (Arjun Saluja) and exhibit-like displays (Wendell Rodricks). This season too, the Stage One initiative will see veteran designer Rodricks’ label present ‘Trapezoid’ helmed by his protégé Schulen Fernandes. Anavila Misra’s unique presentation “The Sari in Us” will be in installation format, acquainting us with saris worn for different occasions. Also defying ramp restrictions will be Rimzim Dadu, whose presentation will be in a maze-like format and designer duo Lovebirds, who will stage a walk-through with viewers wearing head-phones listening to curated music by BLOT!.
With the good folks at LFW launching an outreach programme with designers and models from the Northeast, the Seven Sisters will fortuitously see a fair bit of representation on the ramp. After their “Please Touch the Handloom Experience” hosted by ARTISANS’ gallery in Mumbai earlier this week, where the tussar, eri and muga silks of Assam and nettle from the Northeast were on display, the Sustainable Fashion and Indian Textiles Day initiative will showcase the #MadeInAssam show, in collaboration with Northeast Fashion & Design Council. Showcasing their creations will be designer Pranami Kalita of Pariah, National Award-winning weaver Anuradha Pegu of Naturally Anuradha and NGO Aagor by Ants Crafts, which works towards empowering tribal women weavers.
Cause and Effect
Suhani Pittie is quite the vocal current affairs commentator on social media, so it comes as no surprise that the Hyderabad-based jewellery designer is presenting “Nowhere People” at LFW, a “personal and researched reflection on the humanitarian crisis caused by the displacement of people around the world,” as stated in her collection note. In solidarity with refugees from around the world, Pittie draws upon emotions such as pain and disillusion that stem from abandonment. With Instagram teasers to her campaign asking haunting questions such as “what if you only had five minutes to flee your home?” and “what if their story was my story”, the sentiments here probably run deeper than just an ostensible fashion presentation.
Nothing makes us happier than seeing talented designers stage a comeback to the Mumbai ramp after a brief hiatus. Bangalore-based Jason Cheriyan and Anshu Arora will present their collection “Planet Love”, upcycling textiles such as Phulia khadi, Chanderi and Malkha. Delhi designer Ashish N. Soni will showcase “Volomatic”. Think voluminous silhouettes, monochromatic colours, graphic prints and androgynous vibes. Welcome back, we say.