Now you can wear patriotism on your sleeves, literally, by donning Indian fashion. A chunk of designers participating in the upcoming fashion week in the city seem to be inspired by traditional craftsmanship this time around. Designer Neeta Lulla, for instance, will be showing a line based on the Kalamkari art form. “It’s actually a form of Kalamkari called Sri Hastakala, which is married with velvet and French lace to create a contemporary look,” explains Neeta. Elaborating on the significance of the line, Neeta says it holds a special place in her heart, because it signifies contemporarising age old techniques and yet retaining the vintage appeal, “Just the way India continues to retain its values and tradition while rapidly progressing ahead.” Designer Archana Kocchar whose line is inspired by the urban yogini, says, “I’ve played with constricted mobility in a neutral palette and saturated saffron.” She has attempted to fuse an Indian concept in a modern avatar for the ramp.
Some of the other designers who have delved into various Indian art forms for inspiration this season are Shashank Raj and Prajwal Badwe (fusing the elegance of Indian royalty and flamboyance of Elizabethan era), JJ Valaya (exploring the jacket, bandhgalas and flowy farshiyas), Payal Singhal (fusing the ancient world of Indian costume and the futuristic world of stage fashion), Juilee Bendkhale (cultural blend as her line juxtaposes the ethnicity of Ikat silks from Andhra Pradesh and Kasuti work from Karnataka with modern day origami-inspired textiles. Khadi muslins and silks from Maheshwar also feature in her line), Pallavi Goenka (emphasis is on surface texturing and various heritage textiles), Paromita Banerjee (Khadi, Taant from Bengal, Tussar, Matka and silks feature in her collection) and Parvesh and Jai (Zardosi). The most important thing while presenting your line at the Lakme Fashion Week, say the designers, is to customise it to suit your audience’s taste. Footwear designer Rohan Arora says the trick lies in fusing the benefits of modern style with a design which makes you go back to your roots. “This time, my footwear line is based on the Nakashi work,” he said. Designer Vaishali Shadangule, whose line for this season is based on the ‘dance of dualities’, says that her aim was to find “an aesthetic form of the multiplicities of life, external and internal, social and personal.” She struck this balance by juxtaposing Chanderi and Paithani weaves. So, whoever thought traditional craftsmanship had no place on the runway can now stand corrected.