And for a change, rain didn’t play spoilsport, the traffic was bearable and the weather held up as the winter/festive 2019 edition of the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) charged ahead full steam on its first day at Mumbai’s St Regis. It saw some old names and new, but all driven by innovation and reinvention. The highlights:
Charge of the Light Brigade
This year, there were six contenders that stemmed out of the Gen Next Programme, which was mentored by Sabina Chopra. One of the strongest batches that have emerged from the Gen Next programme — last year apparently they were struggling to find even five — they invoked the weaves of Assam, the artwork of Henri Matisse and the structure of a banana leaf on the ramp. Manjushree Saikia used Assam’s tea-dyed Eri and Muga mulberry silk for her label ‘Ura Maku’ to fashion out three-piece suits, blazers and belted trench coats. Gaurav Singh presented the ‘Kadali Patram’ collection —inspired by the vein-like structure of a banana leaf— for his label Anatomy. The outfits in shades of ink blue, beige and grey were highly structured and geometric. The other included Sahib Bhatia, Ankita Srivastava, Akanksha Aggarwal and Stanzing Palmo.
20 and Counting
To commemorate her two decades in the Indian fashion industry, Payal Singhal chose to be inspired by the roving spirits of bohemians and gypsies. Singhal presented #PS20, a show that also showcased her first-ever menswear collection.
Bold colours and prints dominated the free-flowing collection that featured dresses, separates, cord sets, concept saris for the women, and kurtas and pants for the men. Cutwork jaalis, leather embroidery, frayed tassels, appliqué and patchwork were used to create 3D textures. The newest Bollywood couple Farhan Akhtar and Shibani Dandekar were the showstoppers for Mumbai-based Singhal. “Since I celebrate 20 years of my brand, I decided to forgo all the formulas and take risks,” shared Singhal.
Keeping it Real
Rare Avis in French means a rare bird, and the clothes created by Sonal Verma under this label are just that — rare. Verma took inspiration from the 17th century French artist Jacques Linard’s work, who was famous for painting still-life. The collection called ‘A Still Life’ had trench coats with leather tassels, dresses, long blazers, vests, cropped pants and tunics. The collection was heavy on colours such as tan, black and dark brown, and used fringes and tassels to add flair and drama to the clothes in addition to sown-on extra-large pockets. One saw bold checks, sequinned prints and textured fabrics in the collection that was edgy and high on the utility quotient. It is a must-have for the coming winter season.
Fit and Flare
Amit Aggarwal’s trademark is extreme structure and sharp silhouettes fashioned out of industrial material. But in the latest collection, ‘Flux’, we saw fluidity, flowing drapes and pleats juxtaposed with body con suits and dresses. There were wraps, exaggerated sleeves, and billowing skirts made from polymer. Cricketer Hardik Pandya and Bollywood actor Lisa Haydon were the showstoppers for Delhi-based Aggarwal.
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