The Digital First Season Fluid edition of Lakmé Fashion Week 2020 had a unique collaboration between six respected designer labels to promote the various crafts of India. A craft-based initiative by IMG Reliance where the designer labels, Abraham & Thakore, Rajesh Pratap Singh for Satya Paul, Urvashi Kaur, Payal Khandwala, Anavila and Suket Dhir showcased collections that highlighted crafts like ikat, block prints, Jamdaani, brocade, Khatwa and Shibori techniques.
The second phase of this initiative by IMG Reliance will bring the six designers and more, for a 5-6 months project that will be a collaboration between designers and clusters. Six offbeat locations within St.Regis were chosen to bring out the best of the collections.
David Abraham and Rakesh Thakore for their label Abraham & Thakore gave emphasis to a capsule collection of block printed garments at Lakmé Fashion Week 2020 Digital First Season Fluid Edition. The geometrics of dots in varying sizes in combination with fine lines brought forth a unique hand block print story that created a stylish impact.
On a restricting color card of just sand and gold, the designing duo showcased separates that offered not only elegance but also a possibility of mix and match options.
The expert technique of hand block printing was evident in the gorgeous gold studded pinstriped sari worn with a sophisticated Victorian-style, long-sleeved, ruffled, neckline blouse. The flirty Kedia jacket highlighted with gold dots was interestingly teamed over a simple tunic and trouser combo with a graduating gold dots design.
Adding some feminine flounce to the look, there was the ruffled maxi skirt that looked great with a cut-away shoulder blouse. For more practical semi-formal options, the wide-legged pants with giant gold dots were worn with a cross over tie-up blouse with ruffled sleeves and deep décolletage.
The creative merging of modern silhouettes with Indian traditional textile hand block printing techniques raised the sartorial bar of the Abraham & Thakore collection, which had a marked festive flavor. The designer duo has been working with artisan Arun Parihar from Farrukabad, UP for years now and this consistency of work has enabled him to open his own unit in Noida where he employs more artisans.
The Beauty Of Double Ikat
The beauty of ikat is coveted by fashion followers in India as well as around the world and Rajesh Pratap Singh showcased his version of double ikat for Satya Paul Studio in stark black and white with a sprinkling of hot colors at Lakmé Fashion Week 2020 Digital First Season Fluid Edition.
History states that the double ikat weave, which is 13 centuries old, was even used as currency on the famous Silk Route.
Rajesh worked his creative magic and brought the Mirroring Pallav saris, which was a totally arresting approach in striking monochrome and quite innovative when it came to ikat sari designs. The blurred geometry of the patterns was visualized on simple cotton saris with the ikat accentuating the pallav, while the black borders completed the look for the white saris.
Adding some more drama, there was the linear ikat for a black and white color-blocked sari that was one of the eye-catchers. A burst of multicolored geometric squares was the focal point of another white sari with a rich red ikat border.
Rajesh Pratap Singh moved away from the conventional patterns of ikat and gave the traditional a very futuristic touch with the pristine creativity that was visually stunning.
It was a festive rainbow of colors in textiles that Anavila Mishra unveiled at Lakmé Fashion Week 2020 Digital First Season Fluid Edition with her ‘Anavila’ label.
Festivities were celebrated from the Anavila Studios with the “Dhanak” collection this season, which means rainbow in Sanskrit. The definition of the word, which was a “mystical pathway between sunshine and rain that is the harbinger of giggly laughs” proved to be the perfect inspiration for Anavila’s line that projected visuals of strength and light.
Working with her signature linen that was woven with fine zari and khatwa work, the collection was a joyous offering of festive apparel.
Anavila’s color choice was also very energetic to match the happy mood of the garments and saris. The jewel tones of rich garnet, serene citrine, impressive jade, attractive amethyst, royal emerald, terrific topaz, intriguing sapphire, and beautiful rose quartz were the precious hues that will bring cheer into the lives of the festive wear dresser.
Keeping her silhouettes easy and comfortable, Anavila’s citrine kaftan with a smattering of floral embroidery on the shoulders and batwing sleeves had a layered silhouette and was an ideal comfort wear essential.
The stunning red sari draped to perfection will be on the list of ‘must-have’ for the festival pujas and had a dazzling border edging it, but the embroidered choli added a fun element to the traditional sari.
The turquoise blue sari was another stunner with a garland of flowers along the border and worn with a Zigzag motif design, empire line blouse, which was an ideal traditional choice with the drape.
For relaxed festivities, Anavila’s fiery red, long-sleeved, baggy blouse with a hint of embellishments on the hemline was teamed with wide-legged pants that proved to be a stylish combo.
When it comes to colors, textiles, and craft the “Dhanak” collection by Anavila Mishra for her label ‘Anavila’ will be one of the coveted choices for the festive season.
Anavila has worked with 12 artisan families directly, spread across 5 villages near Dumka – namely Jiyajor, Mohanbuna, Gabharna, Kakania & Lakda.
Beauty Of Traditional Drape
Payal Khandwala’s expertise in creating the most sumptuous textiles every season is renowned. Her limited edition of just ten saris, handwoven in silk Jamdaani was a vision of beauty at Lakmé Fashion Week 2020 Digital First Season Fluid Edition.
Payal undertook an exploration of a craft that was typical in fine muslin on handlooms. But this time, she rethought the context into a new avenue but stayed true to her color-blocked silks, traditional motifs in floral or geometric shapes, and added an exaggerated and modern version of the wildflower print story.
Payal showcased in each sari a meticulous format, when two-inch strips of designs are placed under the loom with myriad dots in watercolor added to the woven wrap, to recreate the pattern on the yarn. The weaving done by wooden shuttles according to guidelines had a silver metallic yarn with the assistance of a separate metallic needle.
Payal’s color choice was rich with jewel tones favored for the 6-yard wonder. The gorgeous mix of ruby red with dark ink gave the dual-toned sari a luxurious appeal, while the splash of the floral print on the edge of the pallav was a significant attention grabber.
A bright shade of parrot green or electric blue was the radiant backdrop for the white bouquet of flowers once again scattered on the pallavs for the regal two saris.
Bringing the double tone story again to the forefront, Payal merged fiery red with stunning fuchsia but ensured that the floral print on the pallav was always an eye-catcher.
The splendid handwoven Jamdaani saris in brilliant hues by Payal Khandwala were a worthy offering that displayed the beauty of India’s textile heritage.
Payal is working with the artisans of Phulia region in West Bengal for these sarees.
Showcasing the beauty of Shibori tie-dye patterns Urvashi Kaur’s “Tahul” Collection at Lakmé Fashion Week 2020 Digital First Season Fluid Edition was a fascinating display of craft, textiles, construction, and detailing.
The range was a mix smorgasbord of relaxed androgynous apparel. Tiered and shirt dresses vied for attention with the oversized silhouettes that offered trans-seasonal relaxed dressing options. The multi-layers had numerous mix and match choices for both sexes in a sheer and opaque format for a stylish appeal.
Urvashi’s signature Shibori tie-dye patterns came alive on the deep sombre color card of grey with indigo and then gradually traversed to winter sage as well as oak which were merged with ochre green and charcoal. There was a marked linear pattern where fractality was inspired by nature.
Detailing created a strong accent in the form of micro pleating and hand blocks while the fabric base was as diverse. Urvashi selected handwoven organic cotton, sheer Kota silk, Jamdaani, and then brought in sheer noils that had inserts of intricate stitch line texturing.
Men’s wear featured a concealed placket, boxy jacket with Shibori insets on sleeves, and body-worn on a matching shirt while the linear striped pants displayed bold insets and patch pocket with the craft.
The androgynous quintet of garments comprised indigo baggy wide lapelled coat over basic shirt teamed with a Shibori patterned, layered, pleated skirt and trousers.
For comfortable women’s wear, Urvashi gave importance to an indigo shirt worn with a micro pleated Shibori pattern, swirling blouse, and skirt over slim pants.
The drop waist pleated grey Shibori dress looked great with a dark grey button-less jacket ideal for those nippy autumn evenings.
Urvashi, a master at fabric manipulation like tying, folding, and pleating with her minimalistic aesthetics; offered great sartorial elegance with her “Tahul” collection that brought the Shibori craft to center stage.
She has been working with artisans in Faridabad & Jaipur, from villages like Lakkarpur & Ramganj respectively for a decade.
Homage To The Glorious Brocades
Bringing the grandeur of handwoven silk brocades to the forefront, Suket Dhir worked with the gorgeous weaves in jewel tones of vermillion, aqua, grey, or fuchsia as the base for the practical, easy, line of separates at Lakmé Fashion Week 2020 Digital First Season Fluid Edition.
Celebrating the ‘Nature Within’ concept, Suket introduced a mélange of varied animal prints that lit up the landscape on the handwoven silk brocades, which were created instead of the conventional motifs of Maharanis, Maharajas, and Sakhis.
Showcasing a mix and match line of rich textiles for the relaxed line of garments, Suket ensured that they could be either dressed up or down very easily, depending on the mood of the buyer.
Sharply cut trousers and jacket shimmered in shades of turmeric in a glorious weave but was worn with a solid colored simple turmeric kurta. Another eye-catcher was the dazzling fuchsia brocade with floral weaves that was dreamt up into a notched lapel, 2-button jacket worn with a knee-length, flared, gathered skirt.
For more elegant style directions, the construction was boxy, for the grey brocade 2-button jacket that would be ideal wear for the party circuit with a pair of matching shorts.
Suket Dhir gave a creative fashion dimension to festive wear but kept the rich fabric brocade base very contemporary in vibrant hues and motifs. Needless to say, Suket’s exquisite brocades some from the skills handloom weavers of Banaras.