Ever year, the fashion industry waits with bated breath for India’s biggest fashion extravaganza - the Lakme Fashion Week.
The Summer-Resort installment of the bi-annual event was no different this year and we saw a brilliant spectacle of colour, design and opulence unfold in Mumbai over six days. Ninety designers showcased their collections in what turned out to be a treat for the Indian fashion lovers across the country.
In case you missed it. here is a roundup of the best of Indian fashion at the Lakme Fashion Week 2016.
The Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort opened with a big bang with Manish Malhotra’s collection titled ‘Elements’. Inspired by the elements of the nature - air, water, fire and wind, the collection featured breezy and flowy garments whose silhouettes were accentuated by ruffles and tulle. He also incorporated the earth element with the use of earthy tones in his fabrics and brought the collection alive with floral motifs and his signature glamorous touch. The evening saw models sashay down the ramp in long skirts, harem pants, sherwanis, off shoulder tops and gowns. Arjun Kapoor walked the ramp in a dark blue sherwani that was topped with a metallic jacket and a dupatta. Jacqueline Fernandes looked ethereal as the showstopper in a peach embellished gown with a tulle cape.
Day 1 of the Lakme Fashion Week showed us what the summer/resort trends of the year were going to be like - layers that are breezy and relaxed silhouettes that are all about comfort over fit. In terms of designs, the day saw a lot of activity from up and coming designers. Ilk showcased comfortable cropped shirts and draped dresses with checks that seemed to embody practicality and style. Huemn’s dresses with animal prints, leather detailing and quirky motifs had an edgy appeal that was arresting. Quirkbox lived up to its name and delivered colourful separates in quirky geometric prints that seemed to be made to liven up a dull day.
Designer Anand Kabra chose to show his bridal collection at the unfinished parking lot of the venue St. Regis Hotel. The showcase of embellished lehengas, shimmering anarkalis and exquisite sarees against the industrial metal backdrop proved to be a masterstroke. The unconventional setting did not just make it surreal but also enhanced the beauty of the outfits.
The day ended with a collaborative show titled ‘Hand in Hand’ that brought focus on the craftsmen who painstakingly make the outfits that we admire at fashion weeks. Aneeth Arora showcased outfits made of chikankari, Anupama Bose picked leheriya, Rajesh Pratap Singh chose brocade, Ashish Shaikh’s clothes were made of Ajrakh while Hemang Agarwal brought to the fore Benarasi weaves. The designers took a bow with the craftsmen at the end of the show which received a thunderous response.
Day 2 of the Lakme Fashion Week was an ode to sustainable fabrics and Indian textiles. Pella started the show with asymmetric free-flowing dresses and separates in earthy tones of brown and beige. Though we love a pop of colour here and there, there was something medieval and rustic about this collection that struck the chord with us. Swati Kalsi showcased contemporary wear that had kurtis paired with cropped pants in crinkled fabric in bold hues.
We could not stop gushing over Debashri Samanta’s collection that brought together florals in Indigo and striking neons to create a fun and practical line fit for summer. Swati Vijaivargie showed us that khadi and chanderis can be stylish with dresses that were adorned with aari and applique embroidery.
The Meraki Project threw a surprise with casual wear crafted from sustainable fabrics with Ikat prints. The presence of Ikat is reason enough to buy them but one look at the bright line and you’ll agree with us that it is a must-have in the summer wardrobe.
Gaurang Shah’s show was the highlight of the day for he brought to us interestingly draped bright and colourful sarees with a Spanish twist. He paired the sarees with blouses that sported puffled sleeves and ruffle details. A heavily pregnant Carol Gracias was the showstopper of the show, dressed in a green and pink saree with a ruffled blouse.
Following the show, Gaurang ended up being the talk of the town for making clothes for ‘real women’. Day 2 wrapped up with Wendell Rodrick’s show that showcased models in interesting outfits like the ‘dhoti-saree-jumpsuit’ and shirtdresses paired with farshi pyjamas. The eclectic designs and the vibrant hues took fusion Indian fashion to a whole new level.
Day 3 was a spectacle of colours and textures that began with a show featuring fashion designers Aiman, Ajay Kumar and SVA. Jayanti Reddy followed this up with her collection of royal outfits with vegetable dyes in contemporary designs. Actor Aditi Rao Hydari was the showstopper and looked ravishing in an off white lehenga with golden embroidery and fishscale design all over.
Fashion designer Karishma Shahani continued her love affair with eclectic silhouettes and tie and dye. Although her collection did see a fresh new twist with the introduction of ombre highlights to her bohemian outfits.
Nishka Lulla’s summer collection saw geeky bespectacled models in contemporary separates with subtle prints. White, blue and peach dominated the ramp with interesting layers while the tops sported shoulder holes.
More treats were in store for Indian fashion lovers on Day 3 as Payal Singhal showed us how to do Indian fusion in style. She showcased lehengas, skirts with churidars, rompers with jackets, draped sarees and anarkalis in bright floral fabrics which looked just perfect to beat the heat.
Her show was followed by the 'Lakme Salon Illuminate Show' by Nikhil Thampi which celebrated the beauty of form fitted clothes with metallic detailing. Models walked in suits, paneled skirts and chic dresses in glossy fabrics with metallic detailing. Boardroom fashion never looked better!
Wrapping up Day 3 on a high note was Anita Dongre’s show that was a visual treat. Sonakshi Sinha was the showstopper of the night and walked to foot tapping beats that brought the show to life. Dongre showcased her new ‘Love Notes’ collection during the show. Comprising of understated and elegant lehengas, kurtas, jackets and cholis the collection has already become popular with brides and bridesmaids alike.
Day 4 of the Lakme Fashion Week 2016 was for girls who love to experiment with bold new silhouettes and prefer a ‘wearable’ style. The day also saw some heavy duty Bollywood presence on the ramp, with almost every show having a Bollywood showstopper.
Fashion designer Saroj Jalan showcased opulent and extravagant lehengas in reds, greens and mustards with embellishment that just took our breath away! Her line was perfect for the Indian bride who wants to wear newer silhouettes and yet retain a traditional touch in her outfits.
A stark contrast to the glamour and glitter of Saroj Jalan’s line was Payal Khandwala’s casual and chic collection that she showcased by the poolside. Jumpsuits, kaftans and dresses with a relaxed silhouette dominated the ramp. Her models paired the outfits with geometric jewellery and looked every bit ready to set some new street style trends.
Luxury swimwear designers Shivan and Naresh made us do a double take as they paired their signature prints on neoprene with brocade and silk and gave a whole new definition to destination wedding fashion. We were impresed by the bodysuits, bikini sarees, skirts paired with braclets and sexy dresses that would make you want you to have a beach wedding right away!
The day came to an end with Masaba Gupta’s collection - a riot of colours and prints. The queen of prints this time chose to feature red chillies, sliced garlic and Chaap Tilak - essentially Indian motifs on contemporary outfits. Blazers, baggy pants, frilled sarees and harem pants ruled the ramp at her show for which actor Shraddha Kapoor turned showstopper.
As usual, the best was saved till last and the finale of the Lakme Fashion Week 2016 was nothing short of a visual extravaganza.
Neeta Lulla’s offering for the brides was inspired by cherry blossoms, albeit with a touch of masculinity in the lines. To soften the edginess, she added some pleats and lace and the result was a beautiful collection of skirts, draped pants, cropped tops, jackets and anarkalis in bright metallic hues.
Actor Illeana D’Cruz turned showstopper for fashion designer Rahul Mishra’s ‘Knots of Love’ show that featured handmade skirts, dresses, pants, sarees and jackets. Bandhini fabrics ruled the line while neoprene and quilted detailing and asymmetrical silhouettes added some much needed variety to it.
The Lakme Fashion Week 2016 ended with a big bang with Rohit Bal’s spectacular show that was every bit as glamourous as expected.
Voluminous skirts with heavy embroidery, fine linen and silks with understated designs and opulent outfits in shades of ivory and gold were the hightlights of the show. Kareena Kapoor who was the showstopper was clad in a deep maroon lehenga with accents of gold, paired with a blue and maroon embellished choli - a look so mesmerising that we could not have asked for a better end to the show.
Image credit: Lakme Fashion Week Instagram