India has a rich heritage of textile and handlooms that are woven with a kind of finesse that is unparalleled. The vibrant colours, rich textures and unique motifs of Indian textiles have found patrons in every age who promote them and chose them over mass-produced garments. However, with the advent of cheaper machine made clothes, Indian handlooms are becoming scarce by the day. The need of the hour is to encourage craftsmen involved in handlooms and also to promote their weaves. This is exactly what the Textile Ministry did on day two of the Lakme Fashion Week in 2014. The day was observed as the Indian Handlooms and Textiles Day in a bid to celebrate the beauty of Indian textiles and to showcase Indian designer wear in the weaves of Indian craftsmen.
The day was earmarked to showcase elegant and sophisticated clothing crafted out of handlooms like khadi, tassar and silk that was artfully adorned with techniques like tie and dye and gold embroidery. What’s most interesting was that the traditional weaves were used to create modern Indian designer wear like jackets, cigarette pants, jumpsuits and A-line skirts. The collections presented a pretty surprise at the Lakme Fashion Week as some long-forgotten techniques surfaced and some familiar weaves were given an interesting twist by the designers that left the onlookers spellbound.
The day began with Anavila Mishra’s collection titled Mohenjo Daro with rustic cottons and delicate silks. She brought about a unique twist to her saree collection by pairing them with shirts and kurtis to give them a neo-modern appeal. Lavish use of ajrakh prints, block prints and ikat work further enhanced the Indian appeal of the collection. The show at the Lakme Fashion Week went on to prove that Indian designer wear crafted with hand woven Indian textiles has an unmatched quality, with each piece being unique and full of character. We loved the golden saree worn by Konkona Sen Sharma paired with a rust shirt blouse. The drape of the saree gave it a contemporary twist that clearly made it a favourite with the crowd.
Sanjay Garg, the designer of the label Raw Mango celebrated the beauty of Indian textiles with Indian designer wear crafted from chanderi and Banarasi silks adorned with brocade elements. Gota work and brocade designs dominated the rich and vibrant outfits that were showcased as a part of the textile day at the Lakme Fashion Week. Outfits in bright yellow, navy blue, parrot green and rani pink speckled with gold thread work and Indian motifs were a treat to watch on the runway.
Another designer who stood out with his designs on the Textiles Day was Soumitra Mondal of the label ‘Marg’. While the silhouettes were modern, the fabrics like cotton, jamdani, silks and khadi lent a rustic appeal to them. He kept the colour palette subdued with the use of whites, peaches and pastels.
The Indian designer wear crafted by him was integral to the Textiles Day since they epitomised an out and out celebration of Indian crafts and embellishments. Long tunics, anarkalis, jackets and tops paired with trousers, sheer sarees and lehengas paired with kurtas were a prominent feature of his Indian designer wear collection.
The Textiles Day at the Lakme Fashion Week gave a major boost to reviving long forgotten Indian crafts and textiles. It has now become a permanent fixture at the Lakme Fashion Week and is bound to generate immense interest and encourage more and more designers to support Indian textiles.
Images: Lakme Fashion Week website