LFW: Ritu Kumar's Varanasi weaves wins hearts

LFW: Ritu Kumar

Padma Shri winner and wellknown textile revivalist Ritu Kumar took Indias rich textiles and handlooms a notch higher when she showcased her Varanasi Weaves collection at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week WinterFestive 2015

Padma Shri winner and well-known textile revivalist Ritu Kumar took India's rich textiles and handlooms a notch higher when she showcased her 'Varanasi Weaves’ collection at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week Winter-Festive 2015.

Bringing back the beauty of motifs like Badami, Kyari, Shikargah and floral butis, the designer showcased glittering gold and silver royal textiles to a cheering audience, that included some of India's top fashion designers like Rohit Bal and Wendell Rodricks along with Bollywood veteran Shabana Azmi.

Kumar's initiative to honour weavers from Banaras is supported by the ministry of textiles to revive the handloom weaving in the city. With 50 master craftsmen, the designer presented a collection of timeless designs that ranged from yarns in silk and metallic to reviving traditional design motifs.

The luxurious lehengas, layered garments and the exquisite saris, displayed the magnificence of Banaras weaves in peacock hues, red, pink, saffron as well as pretty pastels. The ethereal white-on-white hand cut work Jamdani of Banaras, left the women in the audience asking for more.

The show was divided into four parts and also the background track kept the mood of old world charm high with songs like "Saiyaan dil mein aana re", "Sham dhale khidaki tale, tum seeti bajana chhod do" and "Chaap tilak". The show opened with the white-on-white line with gold highlights in transparent or opaque weaves. One could see layered asymmetric tunics, loose pants, corsets and tiered gowns in a wide assortment of fabrics.

The belted quilted kurta-jacket and gold white checked saris teamed with corsets and leggings were stunners. The sari section was rich and lush in colour and form. The rich silks from Banaras in gold and moga thread, seemed fit for younger buyers. Worn with avant garde halters, leggings, corset blouses, long sleeve velvet cholis; the saris bore the stamp of a veteran like Kumar. The third part of her show was the Varanasi weaves. The fabrics were transformed into loose kurtas with wide palazzos; tunics in different colours paired with crinkled skirts, multi-weave A-line kurtas and many more.

The designer closed the show with the final line of weaves, which were a part of the corporate social responsibility program of the Ritu Kumar team. It included a grand bridal collection of ornate lehengas, blouses, corset kurtas, Raja coats and panelled skirts. Seen as the showstopper was Bollywood actress Aditi Rao Hyadri, who looked lovely in a gulabi pink brocade sari, choli and gold churidar. But the best was kept for the last when politician-designer Shaina NC brought the master weavers of Banaras to take a bow on the ramp along with Ritu Kumar.

The thunderous applause was proof of the impact the fabulous show had on the audience. Aditi told IANS that she is huge fan of Indian outfits and always prefers to wear Indian design on international red carpet. "I only wear Indian designers. I feel that we have so much talent here, but we always look out for inspiration outside the country. When the west starts looking here, then we start looking here," Aditi said.

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