A trimmed down batch of three ‘Gen Next’ designers, instead of a regular list of six, will kick off the Lakme Fashion Week 2020 first season fluid edition with an inaugural show on Wednesday. In a new fashion world order in which the fashion week itself has become completely digital, this is good news, as some traditions are still being kept.
The Gen Next platform is a coveted spot, as that’s where we first saw the ilk of now-established designers like Rahul Mishra, Masaba Gupta, Aneeth Arora and the younger lot of Ragini Ahuja and Stanzin Palmo. This edition’s batch of Gen Next on their design philosophies and what makes them tick.
Bhumika and Minakshi Ahluwalia, Mishe
The label Mishe was founded by Bhumika Ahluwalia with her 52-year-old mother Minakshi Ahluwalia. The Mumbai duo has created a signature collection titled ‘Shuwa’, for their showcase atLFW. “Shuwa is the word for sign language in Japanese.
We have created silhouettes that are inspired by sign language. You will see a lot of unique silhouettes in beige, yellow, shades of pink, blue and purple,” shares Bhumika, 27. The collection features many stand-alone offerings such as dresses, with cutwork detailing that’s used for embellishments.
A graduate from Central Saint Martins, London and Parsons College of Design, Bhumika started by designing and creating clothes for her dolls. “I loved fashion while growing up. I used to design clothes for my dolls and research online about fashion designers,” adds Bhumika, who credits designers Karl Lagerfeld and Marc Jacobs as her earliest fashion influences.
Anmol Sharma, Dhatu Design Studio
The lone man in the mix, Anmol Sharma offers “the entire lifecycle of a product, starting from the fabric development stage to the end of use, designing, producing, consuming and living better,” in his collection that will be showcased at the Gen Next show atLFW. Born and brought up Kanpur, Sharma, 34, decided to pursue fashion design at National Institute of Fashion Design, Delhi.
He says that in school arts and team sports were the only two things he was good at. “It gives me immense pleasure to be able to explore thoughts and create value out of them. The subject incorporates a way of life. Fashion is an expression, it is about choice, information, cultural diversity and identity,” shares Sharma when asked about his fashion sensibilities.
The debut collection he has designed comprises wearable evening wear, light occasionwear to streetwear looks. “We have usedAhimsasilk sourced from an artisan cluster at Bhagalpur in collaboration with a textile designer. The other is natural Indigo dyed handloom denim, developed by an artisan cluster in Pondicherry. We have used hemp as well,” says Sharma, who adds that all these fabrics make for great raw material to fashion out menswear.
Arushi Kilawat, The Loom Art
Jaipur-based designer Arushi Kilawat has turned to the present world that we are living in for her maiden collection. Titled ‘Between the Lines’, the collection uses Arashi Shibori as a technique, which involves wrapping the fabric around a pole at a diagonal angle. “We are trying to find a balance between the uncertain, yet we live in a patterned lifestyle.
I am working with the intricate technique of Arashi Shibori for this collection and have used fabrics like Chanderi and Matka silk that have a longer shelf life. We got our material woven in Varanasi and in Murshidabad,” says the 25-year-old. The collection features a lot of comfort fit silhouettes in terms of boxy jackets, double-layer dresses and oversized shirts.
Kilawat had grown up watching her grandmother stitch her own clothes. “I used to watch my grandmother embroider sheets and table runners. I was always fascinated by that. For me, the idea of sustainable fashion comes from a feeling wherein a piece of clothing lives a journey and can be transferred from one generation to another. Like my grandmother’s old silk sari, which was passed on to my mother and then given to me,” adds Kilawat, who studied fashion styling at the Nottingham Trent University, UK.
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