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April 12, 2024

5 Best Moments at Lakmé Fashion Week x FDCI

India’s largest and official fashion week returned to Mumbai for its latest edition at the Jio World Convention Center from 13th-17th March. Throughout the five-day celebration of fashion and art, the city witnessed a blend of innovation, and elegance. Showcasing an array of breathtaking collections, both established and emerging designers took centre stage, unveiling their latest unique creations. From marquee collaborations to captivating showcases, the event was a celebration of artistic expression. Here is a roundup of the Best Moments at Lakmé Fashion Week in partnership with FDCI.

Anushree Reddy’s Nizam Princess-inspired ‘Gulab-Bari’

 

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Drawing from the the resplendent fashion of Nizami royalty, ‘Gulab-Bari’ was romantic, graceful and incredibly delicate. Staying true to its inspiration, with pastel tones, floral embroidery, beadwork and silk net fabric, Reddy’s collection aptly emerged as an homage to the style of Nilüfer Hanımsultan, the princess of Nizam in the 1930s. Born in Istanbul, raised in Paris and living in Hyderabad, it is arguably Nilüfer who can be credited with bringing this intricate, pastel, European touch – as seen in ‘Gulab-Bari’ – into the fashion of the subcontinent that was primarily dominated by bold, earthy designs. As Nilüfer was known to confidently and effortlessly blend Eastern and Western styles, Reddy’s show too, though displaying Indian garments and techniques – such as zardozi and gotta patti, was accompanied by 1800’s classical music with the likes of Strauss II and Tchaikovsky. Watching the show was like witnessing a 19th century ball in action, something straight out of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ or the more recent, ‘Bridgerton’. Towards the end of the show, Malaika Arora floated across the ramp in a juniper coloured lehenga designed with self embroidery and embellished yellow, gold flowers. ‘Gulab-Bari’ showed florals for spring and it was, contrary to popular belief, groundbreaking! As it would be for any period-drama enthusiast, to say that this was my favourite collection of the week would be an understatement.

FDCI x Pearl Academy’s Caricatures for ‘First Cut’

 

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It was indeed the “first cut” for the fashion design students at Pearl Academy who took on the audacious task of showing a collection alongside the country’s finest designers. Still, their collection was a compelling one, that looked, as all art must be, fun to create. The series featured a number of whimsical, caricature-esque elements and seemed to nurture kind of dramatic flamboyance that could only have had origins in burlesque inspirations. A recurring motif of drooping eyes and lips fashioned with coloured beads on mesh fabric covered the models’ faces. The garments were structured to be oversized, upright and exhibitionistic with large, inventive sleeves, striking collars and deliciously experimental fabrics, stitching and detailing. One particularly distinct choice was a head piece constructed from Barbie doll legs. The students visualised these designs to explore the theme ‘AI is Contagious’ offering unanticipating audiences a visually arresting playfulness. Simultaneously, as a collection that was so well ideated by budding students no less, it has the potential to play a refreshing role for any established designer looking to be startled awake by young minds in their field. It was weird but only in the best way.

Urvashi Kaur’s celebrity muses for ‘Voices of Urvashi Kaur’

 

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For Urvashi Kaur, the ‘Voices of Urvashi Kaur’ showcase marked 15 years of her work in the fashion industry, appropriately commemorating her constant subversion of societal-constructs and unwavering commitment to inclusivity. The show’s idea was to centre a selection of muses; change-makers who have not only moulded the brand’s narrative but pushed social causes in their own fields. Clad in indo-western garments and styled according their own personal identity, each of these distinguished creative individuals symbolised the power of the collective and authentic expression. Among these muses were Rasika Duggal, Shweta Tripathi, Vibha Galhotra, and Faraz Ansari. Perhaps the most commandingly stunning of them all, was Ratna Pathak Shah in an indigo striped, pleated dress, hair as sleek, sharp and silver as the metallic rivière around her neck. At its essence, ‘Voices of Urvashi Kaur’ or ‘U’Core’ showed us clothes that last, both in its physical durability, and also in its spirit. As a showcase steeped in practices and principles like ethical production of fabrics, inclusive sizing and genderless, zero design silhouettes offering seamless styling versatility, its heart is wont to be timeless. Functional in design and rooted in simplicity, piecing fabrics together with minute jaali work and creating wearable art with stitch line details and hand block print, ‘U’Core’ ensures a future in which fashion becomes sustainable and liveable.

Janhvi Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur show stopping for Kalki

 

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Along a ramp adorned with enormous chandeliers, Janhvi Kapoor walked slow, sure and bold in Kalki’s showstopper garment, taking her time to smile at a cheering audience. In a collection of stark red and maroon bridal lehengas, it was evident why Janhvi Kapoor’s look was the chosen one. In a mermaid cut skirt and draped neck, she stood at the centre of the ramp and turned towards the entryway from backstage. Who was to walk in but Aditya Roy Kapur, dressed in what appeared to be a refreshing mix of a black sherwani and tuxedo. He joined Janhvi at the centre and they made their way to the front, a long, deep red train, trailing gracefully behind her. They stood confident and sparkling, her lehenga, his lapel, each of the paillettes reflecting in the spotlights above them. Arguably the most energising part of Day 5 at LFW this year, the two managed to bring a crowd, exhausted from a busy, jam packed week, into a spirited applause.

Sohaya Misra’s Tea Party for ‘Let’s Play’

 

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While Sohya Misra’s label ‘Chola’ has largely been informed by a monochromatic palette, this season saw the brand infusing its collection with lively hues such as matcha, mustard, red, blue, grey, and orange. This design choice was a suitable one, carried out to serve the show’s collaboration with ‘Tea Culture of the World’, a premium tea brand boasting a collection of 120 flavours from Japan, China, Vietnam, South Africa, and India. These colours formed the foundation of hand-woven printed fabrics creating a riotous set of patterns alongside ikat and meticulous detailing. Layering, a hallmark of the brand which has allowed buyers to explore endless possibilities of mix and match, found its rightful place in ‘Let’s Play’ as well. There was a whimsical light-heartedness to the show, where the model-face and catwalk was traded in for levity and comical gestures. Models like Konkona Sen Sharma and Neha Dhupia among others, would take a seat a table set up on the ramp and pretend sip from the cups, reminiscent of an almost ‘Alice in Wonderland’ style tea party. Hair and makeup too, followed suit within this theme. There was a certain kind of childishness that made the title of the collection all the more befitting, alluding to the pure and simple-minded “let’s play!” that one would exclaim to their friends before commencing an amusing little pretend-game.

Zara Flavia Dmello

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