Lakme Fashion Week’s Winter/Festive collections were a brilliant but often patchy showcase by Indian fashion designers, but three emerging trends did catch our eye: the focus on regional styles, metallics and inventive prints.
Story by Rumnique Nannar
With shows often overrun with celebrities, a welcome respite was found in new designers who brought edgy and innovative reinventions of traditional staple saris, while veterans like Vikram Phadnis and Manish Malhotra tried out new if slightly middling looks at Lakme Fashion Week.
Herewith, we dissect three key trends from Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2013 to inspire your wardrobe:
Regional is Everywhere: Some of the most elegant work came from designers returning to woven arts and heirloom traditions. Krishna Mehta brought Manipur textiles to the runway and we loved the monochromatic colours and crisp silk pallus tied around the models’ necks. Rahul Mishra also took a cue from regional crafts and handloom artistry, and left behind his western and desi fusion for more traditional looks from Central India for his Sunehri line.
However, the most inspired collection had to be by Gaurang Shah, the masterful Indian designer and textile expert who turned to the Gujarat style to create a vibrant and smashing collection. He utilized traditional Gujarati patola prints on swishing anarkalis and beautiful draped chunnis. These designers won the critics and bloggers over alike with their use of meticulously crafted textiles – and we think they were in good form for reviving the handloom and handwoven industries.
Moody Metallics: We will quit raving about Nikhil Thampi’s metallic creations for one second, to point out the abundance of gold, coppers and silvers on the runway. Amit Agarwal brought some moody and futuristic style to his reinvented saris, which recalled a very Blade Runner-esque look with silvery pieces that created a sculpted silhouette – the metallic striped skirts and dresses wouldn’t seem too unusual in a Star Trek film. Vikram Phadnis’ collection “Wear Nothing But Gold” featured a staggering amount of metallic done right, with each piece, from tailored cropped tops, flowing and structured skirts, offering a fresh take on metallic styling.
Unapologetically in Love with Prints: My eye has been trained to go for the most vibrant prints (my nutty wardrobe is testament to this), and print is an integral part of Lakme Fashion Week (and Indian fashion), so don’t expect it do disappear anytime soon. I was immediately taken with Shantanu Goenka’s “Kruhun” collection in which cheetah print dissolves into black embroidery and brocaded cholis, ghagras, and saris. Much of the collection involved heavy embroidery and brocade on the jackets and chogas on the men – who looked quite delectable in their outfits.
Aarti Vijay Gupta executed prints with aplomb in her new line that featured cellos, pianos and assorted musical instruments on dresses, jackets, saris, and dhotis. This collection was funky and a nice complement to her previous stamp-inspired c0llection. Lastly, leave it to veteran designer Ritu Kumar to show the young guns how vintage prints are done. This collection featured 70s style capes with Pucci-inspired prints, to elegant chiffon and silk anarkalis, to saris that wouldn’t be out of place on yesteryear actresses Sadhana or Saira Banu back in the day.
See key trends from the Winter Festive season of Lakme Fashion Week below:
Story By: Rumnique Nannar | Photography: Lakme Fashion Week