Lakme Fashion Week: Prints Were Everywhere for Summer 2014

Let the record state: we are completely addicted to prints. From Indian miniatures, to childhood board games, there were a wide array of fabulous collections at Lakme Fashion Week that caught our eye.

Story by Rumnique Nannar

Prints can often become passé and stale if they don’t transcend their initial shock appeal. Here are the few that did just that, and made us swoon!

 

Ludo and Ladders by Digvijay Singh

This collection had a nostalgic reference to classic board games like Ludo and Snakes & Ladders, which made for subtle and gorgeous prints. The chiffon and silk flowing gowns had an underlayer with the printed motifs of boards and ladders, which was a fine way to keep the prints from overpowering the structure of the piece. The pops of colour from the prints were beautifully contrasted with the muted blue kurtas and beige cholis.

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I wanted all of the saris, which had the board game-prints front and centre. Singh chose to drape the saris in a more scarf-like fashion, with a belt cinched at the waist, drawing attention to the jersey top. The prints did not overwhelm the outfit and showcased a wonderful range of crinkle silk dresses that would work for anyone who doesn’t want to wear loud prints. A definite fave!

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Quirk-e-Sultanat by Quirk Box

Jayesh Sachdev and Rixi Bhatia made it onto our top fashion show list last year for creating a wacky line that blew us away with its sheer attitude and sense of humour. Therefore, expectations were high for them to deliver with their Summer collection, and once again I came away impressed. Quirk Box’s collection displayed a new direction for their aesthetic by using more colour-blocking to offset the wild prints.

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The prints were inspired by Mughal imagery, which was another detail that won me over. While the collection was not as outrageous as before, it displayed a further refinement of their craft with summer pieces. A standout was the purple maxi with their characteristic turquoise printed combination. Their saris were exquisite as well, featuring a sweetheart collar with mosaic and miniature prints that meshed together perfectly.

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Indian Miniature Paintings by Aarti Vijay Gupta

Gupta is one of the designers to watch for print-focused designs. Last year for the Winter/Festive season she created a musical line, and this year, Gupta turned her attentions to Mughal miniatures, which could’ve easily have been too tacky or OTT, but this collection was a dream. Utilizing structured silhouettes with Habuti silk made this easily one of the more aesthetically interesting lines of the season.

A gorgeous dress by Aarti Vijay Gupta

There were peekaboo dresses that used netting to give the outfit that sexy twist to accentuate the erotic painting on the front of the dress. The saris were gorgeously tailored, especially with the complementary long-sleeved blouses.

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With most print-focused collections, careful curation is key to choosing a print or inspiration that will both look stylish and not overwhelm the final piece. Gupta did a sterling job of curating Mughal miniatures upon which to build her pieces, which used gorgeous painter hues of blues, forrest greens, and beige. Definitely for a gal who wants to wear a bit of art history on her shoulder!

 

The Secret Garden by Ken Ferns

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This was another stellar summer collection that used day-glo neon colours, including my staple favourites, deep turquoise and purple.  As with other designers, Ferns looked to Europe for inspiration with his Portuguese inspired collection that used ceramic tile motifs and prints. Ferns crafted gorgeous skirts with heavy borders paired with crop-tops, and included a midi-skirt that revealed shorts underneath, which was a fabulous beach look.

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The showstopper was Big Boss tv show winner Gauhar Khan, who stepped out in a china-blue bustier and pencil-skirt combo that ended the show with a bang. I loved how accessible this collection was, since it showcased wearable and perfect summer staples that culled Ferns’ wide influences together.

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Prints are a tricky art to master in a fashion culture already saturated with them, but these designers crafted original and funky collections with prints that manage to stick out from the crowd. These were just some of our favourite collections of the Summer/Resort season at Lakme Fashion Week, we hope that this might just get you to pull out that crazy dress from the back of the cupboard and rock it Lakme style.