There is always hope

There is always hope

Of course, almost all fashion brands take pleasure in the design process as a creative mix of instinct, necessity, marketing and sales. A practice that visualizes clothing through the lens of a collection, context and technique, now seems to be crafted specifically for maximum impact on social media and little else.

Show is the moment when clothes connect with people. But when clothing lacks perspective, how can they connect with the wearer? We absorbed those broad sensibilities after carefully considering the “fashion” presented at the recently concluded FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week.

The clothes may have been well made (some designers simply ticked the aspiration box), but it’s not often that we turn to commerce, technical genius, critical design thinking, or identity politics to keep an eye on Appreciate a collection for presenting material. , Very few designers cut notes from a brand’s legacy or push the boundaries as shapeshifters, or even bothered to give us clothes that express an emotion or narrative.

But like life, everything does not end at Fashion Week. When everything is available 24/7, and we’re full of information in every style, shape, and form, we’re calling time on window displays of overcrowding and “looks” that continue to inspire (in good ways). From) .

Rajesh Pratap Singh

So many moods, so many avatars… Rajesh Pratap Singh’s off-screen show for Lakme Fashion Week, organized in partnership with FDCI, emphasized the eternal charm of the classic “Pratap white shirt” in every avatar; Dinner and tuxedo, peplum and pleats.

His interpretation of clothing styles from the 1950s felt self-consciously retrospective (without the burden of direct references); Reminiscent of the time when India was young and determined as a newly independent nation. The Flower Duet, the first act of Leo Delibes’ Lakme (a French rendition of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth), performed by singers from the Neemrana Music Foundation, offers an emotional purification.

Meanwhile, in an awe-inspiring return to courtly elegance, the erstwhile salon styles of the ’50s—cinched waists and balloon hemlines, cocoon and opera coat styles in dropped shoulder seams, statement sleeves and sharp tailoring, and finally the cult of sarees—continued. Doing. Virtuoso performance in stage. This chapter in history also speaks emphatically about Simone Tata, the leading lady of the domestic beauty brand, Lakme, who in the 1950s was the defining symbol of modern elegance and the signature pearl necklace.

RPS is a mindful and controlled clothing maker with an unusual gift for simplifying the premises while stating the obvious, but oh so cleverly. Because what’s more obvious than a black and white pairing, which she presented in the modern dance of the long dress hybrid (a mix of a wide-topped lapel, double-breasted sleeveless blouse, and a draped skirt), short dresses, short jackets with immaculate Styling detail of the cuffs and ghungroo-stacked boots.

Gaurav Gupta

Rachel Bairos in Gaurav Gupta’s outfit

Despite the theme and set design that screamed “Instagram me”, Gaurav Gupta’s clothing ideas were well thought out. He knows how to bring Indian costume traditions to life by playing with materials and techniques and giving them the voice they are today. The designer revisited the lehenga-choli pair and presented what her brand is now synonymous with: a one-piece gown consisting of a tulle bodice and a georgette skirt attached to a dupatta. “The idea is to celebrate the gothic, futuristic elements in modern Indian wear, which is essentially saris and lehenga-cholis,” explains Gupta.
We suspect that Gupta crossed a hundred shades of gray before getting her “Galactic Lava Grey” for the gown, while her knowledge of fabric manipulation and dressmaking allowed her to incorporate a hard-to-copy sculptural quality into her clothing. permitted to. Her use of 3-D glass trumpet beads and sequin embroidery seemed to mimic meteor showers on the wearer of her ensemble, with a hint of Art Nouveau-inspired gilded threadwork on the blouse. The mask, as a styling detail, not only projected galaxies imagined but also made a best case for a gender-blurred future.

Abraham and Thakur

Gaia Kaur in an Abraham & Thakore outfit; (Right) Carol Gracias wears a double ikat sari with a black and white houndstooth pattern by Abraham and Thakor

If you accept that fashion reflects the times – and this author does – then you have to admit that Abraham and Thakor’s show that celebrated three decades of the brand was impressive, even Retrospective too. The collection captured the mood, thoughts and values ​​of the present. Logo rebranding triumphs. The need to send simple messages on social media: “… you’re not getting married all day”. The return of the black and white houndstooth pattern on the hand woven double ikat silk saree, first created by Carol Gracias at her debut show at the 2010 Delhi Fashion Week. (The sari with a matching shirt ensemble is part of the permanent archives at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.)

However, it wasn’t a trip down memory lane, but a fresh look at the brand’s past hits, rekindling the interpersonal relationship they continue to enjoy. With high oxford shoes, the sari was once again draped by Gracias but this time with a high-neck sleeveless blouse. In what can only be interpreted as the tip of the hat for the original design idea by this author, the show redefines Gaia Kaur’s outfit without the houndstooth pattern, with a palette of chartreuse (yellow), black and white it was done. The Victorian puff-sleeved blouse replaced the formal shirt with the basic shirt; Sari jumped up and smiled in pearl sequins. It was as clear and engaging as any message about A&T knowing how women want to be seen.

Anand Kabrai

Reha Sukheja in Anand Kabra’s outfit

Anand Kabra’s refusal to scramble to gain “status” in the industry he once enjoyed is refreshing. In seven days, five men worked on a slip dress embroidered with metallic thread and pearls. Kabra first drew the pattern, which was transferred to the blueprint, traced, and handed over for embroidery. Kabra says of the process, “We had only one person appointed to burn holes with incense sticks (incense sticks) and get rid of negative places.”

The work recalls the lattice wall and minarets on the façades of Hyderabad’s Toli Masjid (1671 AD) in cutwork and delicacy. “It’s craft, it’s handmade, it’s the ultimate wear. You can layer this piece over a kurta, shirt or dress, and if you dare, wear it sheer with a lehenga. Separates are where I go Indian.” I see the future of fashion. Let’s celebrate individuality.”

Nachiket Barve

Daman Brar dressed as Nachiket Barve

The outright representation, Nachiket Barve argues, is a bit simplistic. “An abstract version of a flower or maybe an anemone, or even a stylized constellation is exciting to me,” says Barve of what has become the brand’s signature motif. Once regarded as a feminine cliché, Barve’s interpretation calls to mind the baroque round mandala pattern (a circular figure representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism).

Made from 21 meters of hand-woven silk organza, the cutwork, applique, beading and thread embroidery in this long dress took 1,284 hours of intricate, eye-popping hand-work. And yet, it only weighs 280 grams. “This piece encapsulates the effortless minimalist luxury that I have always tried to convey. I’ve learned over the years to get out of my head and look carefully at the women I dress and consider what they want. In a way that feels authentic and uncompromising to me. ,

Bloney by Akshat Bansali

Vanshika Saxena in Bloni outfit

The more crazy the world becomes, the more the idea of ​​Akshat Bansal’s clothes matters. Unlike the usual lineup of look-at-me-baby (insert jazz hands here), the harness, skin, and dystopia-core finery at the Bloony show didn’t exactly scream “wear me.” Their clothing takes a holistic view of dealing with the body, its pleasures and strength. And the way it can be pagan, co-opted and curated suggests that this young designer understands the direction in which things are headed.

He calls the show “the first innate frontier of experiencing reconstructed emotions revealed through futuristic stories and truths”. His appropriation of emotion as a single-minded gender agnostic comes undone with a game of proportion in the form of a cropped jacket with exaggerated shoulders, cropped jumpsuits, and a row of low-waisted, with its zips and fastenings. are transferred to the side panels. , Goodbye saggy crotch.

The future is important for Bansal. Medieval-style pewter gown crafted from recycled stainless steel metal waste, which has been converted into soft metallic thread; When viewed and touched, it looks and feels no different from any luxury clothing. Bansal teamed the ensemble with a sculpted boxy jacket with jagged power shoulders made entirely out of rubber.



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