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Celebrating Indian textiles at the Lakme Fashion Week

Indian sounds filled the hall and models were seen strutting down the ramp in ethnic-infused creations on The Indian Textile Day at LFW, which is dedicated to the celebration of Indian textiles and crafts.


Juhi rocks it: Juhi Chawla walks the ramp for designer Shruti Sancheti. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar

Flying the Maharashtrian flag
In a partnership with Maharashtra State Handlooms Association, designer Shruti Sancheti, who has worked very closely with the weavers in rural Maharashtra, presented a collection that offered distinguished hand-woven textiles and costumes, which is a byproduct of the traditional and cultural ethos of weavers in the state. The collection called Saaj brought with it the primary usage of lesser-known but intricate and impeccable weaves, including Shahpuri, Rasta, Narli, Ruiphool, Karvatkati, Jyot and others.


Slipper alert! As a model leaves a shoe behind on the runway, an alert onlooker quickly picks it up, before it causes any fashion faux pas

To impart a pan-Maratha flavour to the collection, apart from a lavani dance to kickstart the show, inspiration was drawn from the glorious Paithani weave for embroidery rather than the conventional weave along with utilisation of Aari embroidery and Resham as means of surface ornamentation. The base fabric was an amalgamation of spun silk, woven silk with cotton blend and Nagpuri checks. The colour palette was warm and festive with the presence of gold, crimson, fuchsia, emerald green, indigo blue and purple.

We particularly liked the use of patterns derived from motifs like the peacock and Maharashtrian nose rings added a traditional touch. Unconventional silhouettes like the Ghagra Anarkalis (Anarkalis from front and Ghagra from back), Pallazo Ghagra Choli, Lugda Pants, Jamas, Achkans, and jewellery necklines lent creativity to the line. To give the whole collection a Maharashtrian look, each outfit was styled with old Peshwai jewelry.

Black Magic Women from Orissa
Soumitra Mondal who has created collections working with weavers in Orissa displayed his creations in the show as well, which was all about weaving and craft and combined the traditional Jamdani weaving textiles with hand embroidery techniques. The show threw open a variety of designs predominantly in black with a dash of colours like blue, yellow and maroon. We were bowled over by the sheer kurtas in grey and the beautiful saris that the collection showcased.

Turn for men from Gujarat
Designer Gaurang Shah, who unveiled Stridhan, his collection inspired by the finest weave of Indian Textile art Patan Patola at LFW, started the show with a bang by performing garba on the ramp with a performer. Apart from anarkalis, lehengas and ghararas with 10-12 meters of flair; sarees draped to the rural aura and khadi dupattas, the show also presented a glimpse of the designer’s mens’ wear designs. Gaurang created four looks for this season, which were true to traditional roots and patolu essence offering dhotis, kurtas and achkans.

Manipuri musings
After receiving rave reviews for her designs and weaves from Kutch, Gujarat (at the previous season of LFW), this time around, Krishna Mehta focussed her talents on North East India, a talented yet oft-ignored region, which is rich in its heritage of weaves and textiles. Mehta brought to life the craft forms and textile traditions of Manipur with an amalgamation of Krishna’s designs and silhouettes with Manipuri craft forms. The designer has been visiting the Imphal Valley regularly over the past six months to work with the weavers and design a line that beautifully portrays their traditional textile forms, within her signature style and trends. Krishna is one of the few designers to work with Manipuri Handlooms in a contemporary presentation.

The show that brought forward an eclectic mix of silhouettes, colours and styles, saw the models walking the ramp in saris, kurtas, divider skirts and even kali dresses, all created out of the handlooms from Manipur. The enthralling flute in the beginning and the live music at the backdrop all through the show, added an edge to the presentation.  

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