HYDERABAD: The Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) is underway in full swing in Mumbai and all eyes are on the ramp as the country’s top designers belt out the best of their designs. This year — the theme of the FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week is sustainable fashion — saw some designers from Hyderabad showcasing their works which made heads turn and jaws drop.
Aisha Rao’s collection, Paper Dolls, aimed at creating cycled luxury. “While we were working on our designs, we realised that there was nothing in the luxury market that attempted to be sustainable. So, I thought how can I bring a diffraction in the wedding industry by doing something that is taking the sustainability route. Usually, so much of the fabric we use just goes to waste. We used the leftover pieces from the lining and other material for mofits,” she said.
Sometimes, she and her team would end up with 13-15 colours of waste material, which they used on a lehenga and even made a whole new outfit from. “This is how we started making lehengas. With minimal embellishments, we are trying to make wedding outfits attractive. We never kept harping on it too much so that people don’t give it too much thought. We wanted to be known for our designs and are trying to do design outfits which do not leave behind a heavy carbon footprint,” she said.
A second-timer on the LFW ramp, Aisha chose actor Diana Penty as her showstopper. “We choose her because in 2019 she wore our lehenga to the Bachchan party. It was such a rage that we sold over 100 lehengas that year. Everything came together — the colour combination, the fact that it’s well-priced and light to wear. This was our way of thanking her and giving her the true honour of being a showstopper for us,” the designer says.
Paper Dolls primarily used tissue fabric, something that the previous generation wore a lot. “Our mothers and grandmothers used to use this fabric a lot. Over time, we moved to raw silk and tissue, which is delicate and transparent, took a back seat. We make an entire line with tissue lehengas, sherwanis and men’s jackets. The idea was to go down memory lane,” Aisha said.
A bigwig in the fashion industry, Gaurang Shah flaunted his Chaand collection, for which he chose actor Taapsee Pannu as the showstopper. “It was a collection of works by Jamdani weavers, an art that is considered most complex in the country. The line displayed the creations from Dhaka, Benaras, Kota, Srikakulam, Uppada, Venkatagiri, Kashmir and Paithan. About 40 sarees were presented, along with a few handloom fashion lines for men which were essentially kurti,” he said.
This year, LFW is being held in a ‘phygital’ format (partly digital and physical). Speaking about how it was different for him, Gaurang said: “The setting at the new venue provided ample space of creativity and grandeur. So, what I did was instead of having a ramp, I had my Chaand models walk gracefully in chandeliers. This was combined with some beautiful ghazals by Anup Jalota. The tone was set by his Chaand Angadayian Le Rahi Hai Chaandini Muskurane Lagi Hai.... The finale, with Taapsee, was even more mesmerising as Anup Jalota sang Chaudhavin Ka Chaand Ho, while she gracefully walked the ramp.”
The Chaand collection of 40 sarees took shape after three years of hard work at Gaurang’s Jamdani weaving clusters. He and his team had to overcome several challenges through this pandemic and lockdown, but for them, the show had to go on.
Another designer, who showcased an exciting collection, was Swapna Anumolu, the founder of Mishru label. Titled An Eternal Summer, it was a fashionable repertoire of delicate, detailing and glamour. The collection was a creative and sensorial extension of the label’s last offering, ‘The Lost Summer’, which the designer showcased at the Digital First Season Fluid Edition of Lakme Fashion Week 2020.
This season, Swapna focused her creativity and dreamt up natural harmonious surfaces for the gorgeous ensembles. The collection’s multi-floral surfaces were dependent on the many prismatic colour stories. The swirling lehengas with intricately crafted cholis were teamed with diaphanous dupattas that would be ideal formal festive wear. Off-shouldered blouses, scalloped necklines for cholis and scooped, deep backs of cholis created an innovative impact. “This edit is all about delicate, detailed workmanship. We treasure colour, and have worked closely with our artisans to conceptualise new colour gradients that have been rendered in silk thread,” said Swapna.
Gaurang Shah, Aisha Rao and Swapna Anumolu showcased their collections in Mumbai.