Khadi, organic, ethical and contemporary were the buzzwords that reigned supreme on the Sustainable Day of Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) winter/festive 2019 edition. Keeping in with the theme, one spotted attendees in saris, kurtas and cotton dupattas, which is quite a departure for the otherwise dress-obsessed Mumbai. A standout feature of LFW for the past 16 years, like always, Sustainable Day emphasised on a firm commitment from the industry to move towards fashion that contributes to a clean environment but with no compromise on the aesthetics. One saw interesting silhouettes, techniques and numerous designs that catered to
Too Cool for School
This was a revelation for those who thought that the humble kurta is on its way out. Designer-duo Abraham and Thakore presented “Kurta 2.0”, where they subverted the staple Indian attire in innovative ways. The collection used their signature black and white colours with sporadic bursts of olive green and mud brown. It featured kurta-tops paired with shorts, kurta-dresses and ankle-length kurtas for women. The men wore long jackets, cropped pants and Nehru jackets. Overall, very youthful, highly wearable and extremely no-fuss, no-muss. The designers who have always championed the cause of Indian handloom and ethical practices used EcoVero, a viscose fabric created using sustainable practices. Though “Kurta 2.0” had everything on point, we aren’t sure if having Athiya Shetty as the showstopper worked equally well — she skipped the kurta for a sari.
Yin to the Yang
One of the few Indian pret labels that has a dedicated line of menswear, over time Ujjwal Dubey’s Antar Agni has built quite a fan-following. It’s little wonder that we saw Ritesh Deshmukh, Genelia D’Souza, Sumeet Vyas and Kubbra Sait seated in the front row for Dubey’s show. Though, predictably, dominated by menswear, the collection did feature several interesting unisex ensembles as well. The draped kurtas, fitted jackets juxtaposed with a wrap thrown around the shoulder and shirts with flowy panels, all seemed to enhance the image of the modern man, who is comfortable in the new world order where gender is fluid.
Did you say khadi dungarees? Chambray jumpsuits? Bandhani joggers? A hoodie? The pret collection by the label 11.11 (Eleven Eleven), formed by designers Shani Himanshu and Mia Morikawa, had all these and more. The duo worked with sustainable kala cotton sourced from Gujarat and created silhouettes that were easy on the eyes and also on the body, firmly subscribing to the theme that sustainability is not boring. The menswear needs a special mention, as we saw bandhani shirts paired with dhoti pants, joggers, kurta, shorts, hoodies and denim pants. Bandhani, shibori and kalamkari were used quite liberally to embellish the clothes. The clothes won’t look out of place at a music festival or a book reading or just a casual day out — and you would not be harming the environment either.
The expectations were high from Label Ritu Kumar — as the eponymous textile revivalist has changed how we perceive handloom — but sadly, the show “Structured Pastoral” didn’t live up to her name. An equestrian theme, if done well, could be a trendsetter, with its knee-high britches, riding hats and jackets. But here the riding tunics, skirts and dresses looked like cheap knock offs, even though they used signature Ritu Kumar prints. Having actor Tara Sutaria as the showstopper didn’t help either.
A regular at the LFW for the past few seasons, designer Nachiket Barve, meanwhile, presented “Passport Princesses” that had models walking with suitcases and carry-ons on the ramp. That apart, there was nothing from him that we haven’t seen before.
Chennai-based Gaurang Shah did manage to impress with his collection “Peshwai” that invoked traditional Maharashtrian silhouettes, complete with over-sized nose jewellery and jasmine gajras. While the women wore sarees and lehengas, the men turned up in kurtas, dhotis and bundies. In shades of mustard, orange, red and yellow, the outfits seemed perfect for a Diwali party.