THE good run for Indian handloom and textile continues at Amazon India Fashion Week (AIFW) Spring-Summer 2017 and day two proved this point well. Not only are an increasing number of designers working with natural fabrics such as khadi, linen and silk, they have infused fluidity, dynamism and upped the glamour quotient substantially. In times where “Make in India” is being canvassed, it’s this “Made in India” story that makes a stronger statement and a stylish one at that. Here are the shows that impressed us on the second day:
Khadi Version 2.0
Abraham & Thakore
The stereotype of khadi as being basic and boring got a befitting reply by Abraham & Thakore at their show on Thursday evening. While this isn’t the first time that the design label has worked with the textile, David Abraham and Rakesh Thakore presented a brand new perspective — one dipped in glamour, gold and black.
Working with the fabric and its irregular texture, they laminated black khadi in metallic gold (colour) and played with the Devnagiri script, using the latter as a print. The result — a stunning collection of saris, skirts, kurtas, dresses and jackets teamed with jogger pants, salwar pants and wool shawls. Metallica was the mantra but not in a blingy way. There were dull, beaten shades of coffee, copper and bronze. The cutwork saris and gold and ivory wool shawls gave khadi its new luxe look.
Not a long time ago, wearing a sari for young Indian women in most parts of India, meant reserving it for an occasion and then once worn, talk endlessly about how tedious the process was. It’s here that designer Anavila Misra’s light-as-air saris for summer make a good point. Being synonymous with linen saris, the designer took forward her signature textile in its most natural form. The linen in the collection titled “When we look back tomorrow”, further highlighted the designer’s dexterity with technique. The linen in some saris was almost diaphanous. Another commendable aspect was the fluidity. The models almost seemed to float in the saris, paired with short shirt blouses. We loved the classic hues of cream, beige and grey and how the petticoats came with pockets that were easily accessible.
It is well-known that Gaurav Jai Gupta isn’t just a designer, but a textile specialist as well. For Spring-Summer 2017, his label Akaaro presented “Pingala”, a collection of saris and separates for men and women. The collection saw the designer work with handwoven fabrics and fine blends of silk, cotton, linen, zari and stainless steel as well as monofilament silks and metallic yarns. The long shiny organza shirts, skirts and saris in green, brown and yellow were the designer’s take on modern festive dressing. We loved this contemporary interpretation of zari that is usually associated with Indian outfits only.
Rajesh Pratap Singh
Who would’ve thought that black and white can be colourful. In the hands of Rajesh Pratap Singh, the monochrome moodboard went viral. Using his signature handwoven wool ikat blends and multi-layered textiles, Pratap presented a stunning line-up of jackets, lounge pants and blazers boasting of stripes, polka dots, checks and plaids — sometimes all in one ensemble. It was a well put together graphic vocabulary. The asymmetrical lengths of the jackets and the pairing of short kurtas with relaxed fit pants and woolly socks with boots spelt cool comfort.
When designer Payal Pratap tells you in the post-show press conference that “this is what I feel from the heart and do best”, you get her. Her interest in surface texturing and embroideries, reflected well in her collection titled “Twist in my sobriety”. She explored patchwork and crotchet patterns and made the best of linen, cotton, cotton-silk Chanderis, linen blends and khadi. The stitched sari was the highlight in the collection and her quintessential gentle styling using peplums, gathered sleeves and easy drapes made this a winning collection for next summer.