It’s that time of the year when fashion takes centrestage as the curtains are raised for the 13th edition of the Mumbai Fashion Week. The event that will bring to the spotlight collections under the Winter/Festive themes, will throw open its doors for fashion aficionados, today, with 86 designers, including bright sparks Kallol Datta and Pankaj & Nidhi vieing for accolades as designers for the Grand Finale on August 7.
The five-day event will display a mix of collections including both Indian and western wear along with several panel discussions on various topics relevant to the fashion industry. Indian weaves and crafts will get special attention for an entire day (August 5).
“Indian weaves is a fading art. It is important for the fashion community to support its revival and help it gain a global appeal, especially the traditional handlooms. Such initiatives are motivating for not just the designers but also for weavers as they can collaborate to blend the old with new,” maintains young designer Gaurang, who will showcase his collection of 23 outfits of Kanjeevarams instilled with classic Kalamkaris on the day.
Explaining a bit about his collection, Gaurang explains, “It has been inspired by Panchatantra that includes stories that revolve around animals. The kanjeevarams have animals like peacock, tiger and elephant, woven either in the body or border. Also, the border designs are very old, traditional designs with some sarees that have a border size as broad as 18 inches. The colour palette includes red, pink, orange and yellow.”
Gen Next magic
With the Gen Next section entering its seventh year, this year’s show will include Aniket Satam, Asa Kazingmei, Astha Sethi and Sidharth Arora, Kavita Sharma, Mehak Pruthi, Kanika Seth, Ankit Sharma, Richa Aggarwal and Sneha Arora. 25-year-old Mumbai boy Aniket Satam who will showcase a line called Arambh says, “People say that the world will end in 2012 but it’s also the beginning of a new era. I have included ghungroos and bells in my outfits.” He has also used India-inspired silhouettes and techniques like dip dying, gold foiling and abstract stone embroidery. Fellow Mumbaiite Richa Aggarwal’s collection is inspired by Indian streets and its character; “My outfits have loads of layers and is a mix of textures and colours. I have used plastic and mosquito nets,” says Aggarwal. One of the youngest designers at LFW are 22-year-olds Mehak Pruthi, Kanika Seth and Ankit Sharma from Delhi. “We graduated six weeks back and were excited when we learnt that we were selected for LFW,” says Seth. Their collection is inspired by the movie, Avatar and their connect with human avatars. The trio have used different materials such as Eva (a rubber material) and a mix of Benarasi silk and nylon.
Along with the Indian designers at the fashion week, French fashion designer Ninon Palisse will also showcase a collection along with her partner Shradha Murarka under the label Vizyon on Day One. “It’s always a fulfilling experience to create collections for Vizyon. The garments designed are definitely western but of course I have to design them keeping in mind the Indian woman, her curves and her style. This season the collection includes Indian handmade embroideries and leaves uncovered the belly and waistline areas,” believes Ninon. Shradha reveals that the collection, called Enlightened Shadows, has been “inspired by the geometry of modern abstract paintings, insect references and avant-garde architecture,” he says.