THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In many ways, the concept of innovation has been defined and redefined at Lakme’s Gen Next Runway. If it was androgyny last season, a new crop of designers are all set to put the focus back on indigenous crafts at the upcoming edition. Handpicked by a panel of the elite from the industry, which includes Manish Malhotra, the Gen Next segment at the Autumn/ Winter edition
of LFW will see ideas as diverse as zero-wastage production techniques to metal-based designs. Weeks away from their runway debut, we speak to the Gen Next designers about their aesthetics.
by Sumiran Kabir Chawla
For Sumiran, each material holds a story within itself. “When we directly drape a fabric on a real body, the drape starts telling its own story,” explains the 30-year-old, adding that Aanam’s wool intensive collection features a mix of draping and pattern making in order to ensure a zero-wastage policy.Titled Sonagachi AW17—inspired by the community living in Kolkata’s red light area—the Delhi-based couturier’s collection showcases suiting and blends from the Woolmark company’s Fall Winter collection. “We have worked with a community that works closely with the women from the red light area, helping them readjust with normal day jobs and get back to a better life. They also fight to stop trafficking,” shares Sumiran.
by Shenali Sema & Rinzin Lama
Sporting kimonos, wrap-around skirts and knotted pants, the collection by Delhi-based designers Shenali Sema and Rinzin Lama celebrates the Far East. Drawing inspiration from Japanese printmaking, the ensemble from the label Untitled Co. are driven by embroidery techniques, surface treatments and fabric manipulation. “Treadle embroidered single stitch technique, cut-work, heat-set micro-pleating and hand-embroidered knotting are recurrent through the entire line,” says the 32-year-old Shenali Sema. Prioritising comfort and wearability the designer duo will showcase washed grainy Indian georgette, 50’s cotton poplin, sandwashed crepe and cotton mesh in non-restrictive silhouettes.
by Akshat Bansal
Over the multiple editions of LFW, the one trend that seems to be making a comeback is of monochrome. “For Indian textiles, we source the fabric through weavers, and experiment with blends and looms to stay unique.
We do import fabrics such as Italian crepe, suiting and shirting fabrics from around the world, depending on the affordability of the outfit,” adds the 26-year-old, who has worked with designers including Tarun Tahiliani.
by Deepak Pathak
An amalgam of his memories and design aesthetic, Deepak Pathak’s collection is a nostalgic route to the designer’s past where meandering riverbanks translate into sinuous draped layers and silhouettes on his apparel.
“It is a reflection of my love for unconventional silhouettes and a darker palette, all while keeping the focus on the volume and texture of the apparel,” shares the 30-year-old. Inclined towards suiting fabrics, the Noida-based designer’s bias in favour of exceptionally heavy textile is evident in the choice of material that ranges from twill suiting, knitted nets, woollen blends and felt.
by Saaksha Parekh & Kinnari Kamat
Integrating metal into an attire has been one of the hottest trends. Favoured by stalwarts including Amit Aggarwal, metallic statements are now finding their way to AW17 via this Mumbai-based designer duo’s outfits.
“In our particular craft, we use metal sheets (badla) for the intricate thread work to create a juxtaposition of delicate cotton and chanderi silks, against edgy, dark embroidery with the sheets of metal thinly and finely cut interwoven into the thread work.”