OVER 26 seasons and 235 designer debuts later, Lakme Fashion Week’s GenNext show still remains one of the industry’s most coveted talent incubation programmes. The show that has served as a launchpad for designers such as Rahul Mishra, Naciket Barve, Kallol Datta, Aneeth Arora and Ujjawal Dubey, introduced us to five new rising stars on Day One of the Winter/Festive 2018 edition yet again. Drawing inspiration from things as varied as art, travel and geography, the young designers showcased collections that were creative and commercially astute. Here’s a quick look at their collections:
Ajay Kumar Singh’s label Aur was born from a visit to an NGO for mentally challenged children. In their sketches and scribbles, Singh saw glimpses of their unexplored imaginations and sought to combine them with his label’s creative aesthetic. The 33-year-old from Delhi translated their artworks into graphics, digital prints, patchwork and kantha embroidery on khadi and handloom fabrics. Crafted into crushed and almost-translucent separates, with chemise-like petticoats peeping through, we loved the childlike whimsy of the collection.
Noida-based Anurag Gupta (28) presented a monochromatic line inspired by Maurits Cornelis Escher’s Day and Night metamorphosis artwork. Structured silhouettes went through a gentle metamorphosis change through altering shapes, geometric form, motifs, fabrics and hues. Escher’s motifs were embroidered onto denim biker jackets, trenches and tunics with added details on cuffs, waistbands and lapels. The colour palette went from indigo to grey and back but the layered and belted shapes kept the eye engaged.
Kanika Sachdev’s love for travel lead to the inception of her label Jajaabor with the idea of creating clothes suitable for globe-trotting. The 32-year-old’s collection ‘The Artful Lodger’ drew inspiration from homestay stories from around the world, which would explain the all too obvious row of house prints. But her juxtaposition of chevron stripes and florals on saris, leisure suits, palazzos and embroidered jackets gave the collection a feminine and varied vibe.
Structure met suppleness in Sweta Gupta’s (32) line for her label Studio SWGT, where traditional weaves mimicked textures inspired from age-old rocks and terrains of the Himalayas. Handwoven Chanderi cotton, silk and merino wool yarns were painstakingly pintucked, pleated, hand-smocked, tied, ruched and shredded into submission, to imitate rock formations in this line of easy separates.
Yadvi Agarwal of Yavi used the rich silks and velvets of her garments as a canvas on which she presented painterly prints and her trademark one-thread impressionist embroidery to create artworks reminiscent of a Van Gogh or Renoir painting. Flyway silken layered separates, as fluid as the watercolours she is inspired by, gave the 28-year-old designer’s collection a dream-like quality.