The showstoppers!

The showstoppers!

Lakme Fashion Week SummerResort 2019 commenced with editors, stylists, buyers, merchandisers, and other top industry insiders all coming under one...

Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2019 commenced with editors, stylists, buyers, merchandisers, and other top industry insiders all coming under one roof. An exciting lineup of shows, designers, creative presentations and ideas keeps up with the excitement of the newest trends. Gaurav Gupta kick-started the show with his collection ‘The (Un)folding’ on the evening of January 29 at Mumbai’s iconic Royal Opera House while Shantanu & Nikhil whose collection will revolve around the beauty theme, ‘Matte Reinvent’ will be unveiled for the finale.

This season at Lakme Fashion Week, sustainability and sustainable fashion have come to the forefront and is leading the pack to a better future and has a lot to offer from a new set of GenNext designers and labels promoting sustainable fashion. The industry is finally thinking beyond the aesthetic appeal of the garments and is actually considering the process of garment production holistically.

For many seasons, day two of Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) was dedicated to and focused on the intricacies of Indian textiles. It now encompasses a wider subject of sustainability and is known as the Sustainable Fashion Day. With an entire day dedicated to the cause, LFW is making its stand clear on the suitability dialogue.

The sustainable fashion day of this seasons Lakme Fashion Week witnessed a collaborative effort of Reliance Industries Ltd’s R | Elan ‘Fashion for Earth’ initiative, Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) and the United Nations (UN) in India, the Circular Design Challenge – India's largest sustainable design award announced its first winner ‘I was a Sari’ by Poornima Pandey and Stefano Funari.

Their collection is made with upcycled pre-loved sarees by a community of underprivileged women in Mumbai and received Rs 20 lakh to create their own fashion label and got an opportunity to showcase it at the LFW Winter/Festive 2019.

‘Action Plan On NorthEast India Project’ by the UN in India and IMG Reliance launched a show revolving around Eri and Muga textiles hand-woven by artisans with an aim to strengthen the livelihoods of artisans by providing them with development support and market linkages. Anita Dongre’s Grassroot Initiative collaborates with weavers from the NorthEast under the aegis of ‘Weaving Partnerships for Change’ by the UN in India and IMG Reliance.

Antar-Agni by Ujjawal Dubey has associated with Raymond for his summer/resort 2019 show ‘Balance’, to create a capsule collection that promotes sustainable development from northeast India. Each garment has been created by artisans from marginalised handloom clusters in Barkhetri (Nalbari) and Rampur (Kamrup) in Assam, who have used weaving techniques to work with fibres like cotton, eri, tussar and muga silk in neutral colours of ivory and grey with accents of green and citrine.

#FashUp is a special initiative by Lakme Fashion Week and Fashion Revolution, supported by TENCEL India for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. As part of the initiative, three young labels Doodlage, Door of Maai and Rossbelle, who are dedicated to upcycling and sustainability, showcased their sustainable collections, created from leftover Tencel Micromodal fabric. The idea is to advocate the virtues of recycling or upcycling of waste as a vital step towards a more sustainable future.

Anita Dongre created magic again in collaboration with Tencel India, for yet another collection titled ‘A Summer Reverie’. A line of thin light, airy silhouettes in soft pastels and playful summer prints. The collection employs Tencel fibres used with silk to produce fine summer blends sustainably. “All of us can define our journey by the purchasing and investment decisions we make, by the charities or goals we support, and by the actions we take. Each decision has the power to change someone’s world,” said the designer.

Couturier Rohit Bal collaborated with seamstresses from Usha Silai Schools in Kashmir clusters, to present an extension of his previous collection Guldastah, a tribute to the indigenous flowers of the Valley. Guldastah is created with fabrics like cotton silk blends, silk organza, silks, and velvets to give shape to Bal’s collection. “If by doing something like this, we can actually talk of integration and inclusion and be able to let these women earn a living, it’ll be a great step forward,” said Bal.

Designer Narendra Kumar’s collaborative collection with performance wear brand Alcis Sports aims to be sporty, chic and sustainable.

The Alcis X Nari “My Earth My Style” line has been created almost entirely with recycled polyester sourced from plastic PET bottles. R-PET (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate) is, reportedly, a recyclable material used for bottles and jars, making it a more environment-friendly and safe product than 100 per cent virgin polyester.

#FashionForLivelihoods featured collections by three labels who have strengthened livelihoods of artisans in their respective regions. Ereena International by Jyoti Reddy showcased garments made with organic Eri silk and cotton, Dr Usha Devi Balakrishnan’s ANKA Fabric presented Balarampuram sarees and #GenNext alumni label Anaam, in collaboration with RangSutra Crafts showcased a collection made with handloom cotton and tie-dye/ Bandhej.

Sustainable Fashion Day ended the with The Woolmark Company X Pero and Bhuttico co-operative weaver’s society for the collection #FarmToFashion. This collection is handwoven and handmade luxury fashion made exclusively with Merino wool, perfect for hot and humid weather with some occasional breeze. This collection draws inspiration from the traditional textiles of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh and revives geometric patterns of the local “pattu” in monochrome colours with tone-on-tone textures in shades of off-white, khaki and blue.

“The Woolmark Company approached us for this collaboration,” says designer for Pero Aneeth Arora. “We worked closely with Bhuttico—one of the oldest cooperative weaving society in Kullu—to revive traditional geometric patterns of pattu (shawls draped by women) in monochrome colours with tone-on-tone textures in blue, khaki and off-white,” adds Arora, who incorporates dresses as well as jackets with pattus in this collection.

- Deepika Sarode

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