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A Fresh Take

Lakme Fashion Week’s highly anticipated GenNext show presented five disparate yet decidedly strong collections

Written by Kimi Dangor | Published: August 26, 2013 5:59:29 am

If you thought fashion’s quirky print fixation is a thing of the past,we have news for you. If Lakme Fashion Week’s (LFW) newest crop of designers is to be believed,kitschy prints and motifs are nowhere close to extinction. At the LFW Winter/Festive 2013 GenNext showcase in Mumbai,cars,dogs and comic-book prints featured prominently alongside a profusion of neon,a tangle of tassels and some monochromatic magic. Here’s what the debutantes brought to the ramp:

Graphic Design

They describe their creations as “part-art,part-fashion”. And for their LFW debut,Mumbai-based designer duo Rixi Bhatia and Jayesh Sachdev of Quirk Box capitalised on this “functional art” philosophy with a graphic collection replete with signature pop prints of vintage cars and others such as Toy Factory,Stuck With Stupid and Dream Factory. No-holds-barred neons were teamed with kitschy prints galore,sometimes three different prints battling for space on the same ensemble. What could otherwise have been dismissed as just another “quirky print” collection was uplifted by well-tailored separates in cotton,poplin,georgettes and silk crepes,dually offering structure and fluidity. While the designer duo’s print clash skills were commendable,in places,the addition of accessories looked entirely unnecessary.

Male Order

A consummate winterwear line,Nitin Chawla’s men were dressed like modern-day Samurai warriors. “Armoured” jackets and overcoats,studded bombers,trousers with military tabs,overlaid pullovers and quilted shackets (a shirt and jacket hybrid) were the choice for Chawla’s “Tokyo Warrior”. The Delhi designer employed wool,knits,leather and brushed cotton in hues ranging from black and charcoal to grey and earthy tones. Attention to detail was visible in leather tabs,belted cuffs,cord detailing and strategic pleats on the outer garments. He contrasted the severity of garments by layering them over car and dog print shirts,offering a graphic reprieve.

String Along

A collection that celebrated “imperfection as the ideal state of being”,“Wabi-Sabi” by Aditi Hoolani of Shoulder Lab,Kolkata,embraced all foibles with a free-flowing,multi-textured and asymmetrical line of garments. Cloth strings played a starring role,used as tassel-like adornments in some places and given a free run in others. String adorned jackets met layered draped dresses,displaced sleeves and cutwork maxis,with the silhouette indistinguishable in parts,yet defined elsewhere. Much like the shapes,the colours were also an organic blend of brown,neo orange,skin,grey and off-white.

Black Out

When his pre-show release said that Jaipur-based designer Pronoy Kapoor’s GenNext collection was inspired by The Great Gatsby,we expected some ’20s fashion flair. But as the creations walked out to a rendition of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black,with models wearing stark yet sharply tailored separates,one knew the accent was entirely on textiles and power dressing. Structured silhouettes met hand-treated wool and tweed fabrics in sombre hues. What we found baffling were the exaggerated veils in net/organza,perhaps attempting to offer a contrast to the clean-cut clothes.

Hoot Property

Delhi duo Aiman Agha and Armaan Randhawa debuted their label Armaan Aiman with a monochromatic collection,exploring the dichotomy of black-and-white. “Owl in the City” had at its core the leitmotif of the owl with an interesting play of panelling,stripes,dots and appliqué embroidery. Minimal silhouettes played canvas to the duo’s parliament of owls,appliquéd with twill strips or intricately embroidered on cotton satin,duchess satin and cotton twill. What caught our eye was the tailoring finesse,the exaggerated winged shoulders on maxis,and the owls in flight on a constructed shirt collar jacket.

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