The last few days were highly-watched among purveyors of style, designers, brand representatives and industry stakeholders, with the much-awaited Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) in partnership with FDCI opening to a packed audience, then leading to a complete creative immersion of all things fashion. Held at Pragati Maidan, Delhi, it brought on couture, style, new runway trends and more. The biggest names were present from Bibhu Mohapatra and Tarun Tahiliani to Ashish S. Soni, Gauri & Nainika and Amit Aggarwal, and so was emerging talent. Here’s a round-up of the memorable moments.
HOW THE AESTHETICS PLAYED OUT
Well-known names blaze the ramp
The show kicked off with a fitting start, Samant Chauhan inaugurated the Atelier on Day 1, showcasing his presentation, Ice Watch. The designer’s exquisite collection was breathtaking not only for its ethereal allure, but also a poignant message on the vulnerability of glaciers. It beautifully brought the pristine beauty and fragility of ice, a theme that Chauhan finds deeply-embedded in his soul.
On the same day, bringing his two decades of fashion expertise to the show was Varun Bahl. The veteran designer’s Festive Edit Collection presented by R|Elan™ was an ode to nature’s beauty. He wowed the crowd with exquisite three-dimensional embroideries, opulent materials from the R|Elan range of versatile fabrics his masterful craftsmanship, as the ‘Inner Bloom-Festive Edit’ collection celebrated the much-loved symbol of flowers.
An equally-enamouring show on the first day belonged to Tarun Tahiliani, who unveiled a collection that celebrates self-expression
in association with well-known kitchen and bath brand, Kohler. We saw the The Luxe Pret 2023 Collection, meticulously crafted in an array of art styles including Art Deco, Byzantine, a Cocktail Sequin Embroidered Collection, Print Paisley, Kaleen, a celebration of traditional carpet designs, the Gara Collection, which paid tribute to the art of Gara embroidery and Art Deco, with bold , abstract motifs that reflected dynamic flair.
Payal Pratap’s fashionable tribute to the Rann of Kutch
On the second day, Payal Pratap showcased her collection – The Soft Parade, that paid rich tribute to the Great Rann of Kutch. It was a whirl of beautiful colour, traditional embroidery and embellishments in kedia jackets and lungi pants, asymmetrical skirts, floral crop tops and more as the lighting in the show moved from day to night effectively adding panache to each design.
Shivan & Narresh x Birkenstock
Birkenstock made a statement with its presentation ‘Grounded in Nature’ with ace designers Shivan & Narresh. The ambiance was an artistic representation of a Finnish Sauna, capturing the essence of serenity and natural beauty, in the autumn hues from Birkenstock’s Fall/ Winter 2023 colorways. It saw an all-new Corduroy collection debuting on the runway.
The iconic Arizona, Madrid & Gizeh silhouettes made an appearance in High-Shine, boasting metallic finishes and glossy textures that catch the light with every step. The Papillio collection that is loved for offering the support, comfort, and quality of a classic Birkenstock sandal, but with a lift, also left a mark on the runway in new seasonal colourways. The latest styles were beautifully paired with Shivan & Narresh’s ready-to-wear collection titled Suomi Series that finds its roots in the designers’ recent sojourn to Finland. During their travels, the duo did an immersive dive into Suomi culture, which sparked the genesis of three iconic prints: Saun, Leviland and Aurorays. Each of these prints encapsulate the very soul of Finland, drawing from its natural beauty and surroundings including the unique topography of the land, the mesmerizing northern lights, and the cultural significance of the Finnish sauna tradition.
Refined adaptable silhouettes for the everyday
It was a treat to see celebrated designer Amit Aggarwal unveil ‘Core’ at the Lakme Fashion Week. Transcending traditional gender boundaries and the rules of ready to wear, the luxury adaptable silhouettes, collection, was a redefinition of conventional fashion norms, while also celebrating the designer’s unique aesthetic. He introduced a combination of classic wardrobe essentials that are meticulously constructed with a keen eye for detail. At the heart of Core lies the concept of the ‘quotidian wardrobe'” which is about reimagining everyday clothing in fresh and innovative ways. The line saw celebrity showstopper and Bollywood actress Janhvi Kapoor turn heads on the ramp in the collection.
In Amit Aggarwal’s own words: “I believe fashion should not only envelop the body but also nurture the soul. Core is an invitation to rediscover the beauty in simplicity. It’s a reminder that the most profound aspects of our lives often reside at our core.”
Bridal splendour by Anju Modi
If you’ve been wondering what your look should be like for the festive and wedding season, take a cue from this. Lakmé Salon launched the visually-stunning hair and make-up collection – The Glitterati Collection – in collaboration with ace designer Anju Modi’s ‘The Rhythmic Symphony’. Models showcased bridal creations in beautiful hues by the designer.
Kiara Advani rocks it for TRESemmé and Falguni Shane Peacock
Falguni Shane Peacock and TRESemmé hosted an evening of all things fashion and hair, that redefined beauty and celebrated self-expression. The show was a stunning showcase of the latest trends in haircare and hairstyling and brought together a star-studded lineup gracing the runway.
It saw leading Bollywood Actress Kiara Advani sashay down the ramp, looking every bit glamourous in a stunning sheer, strapless, corseted gown in midnight black and golden hues, adorned with crystals, sequins and beads. Both TRESemmé and Falguni Shane Peacock are known for pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation in their respective industries, and this collaboration was no exception.
Tara Sutaria was showstopper for Mahima Mahajan
Well-known couturier Mahima Mahajan launched her FIDA Collection at Lakme Fashion Week. It saw a gorgeous pattern-clash of floral prints, showcasing a thrilling play on extravagant volumes and silhouettes. There was a delicate balance between feminine fluidity and structured silhouettes, with a with a stunning array of colours, especially an affinity for pastels. Tara Sutaria made a fitting showstopper here in a beautiful white organza printed lehenga that looked absolutely dreamy. The audience saw a number of top Influencers and Bollywood names from Anshula Kapoor to Samiksha Pednekar and Ankita Rai.
Sonam and Paras Modi’s harmonious fusion of contemporary and timeless designs
The highly-anticipated Safar collection by Sonam and Paras Modi at SVA unveiled at centre stage at the prestigious Lakmé Fashion Week in partnership with the Fashion Design Council of India. It masterfully weaved together motifs and textures, breathing new life into the familiar and elevating the boho spirit to new heights. It was an ethereal dance of stripes, seamlessly intertwining with layers upon layers of artful drapery, patchwork wonders, and structured cape jackets that exude elegance and grace along with drape skirts gracefully cascading with each step and meticulously tailored pant suits.
Grand finale designer Bibhu Mohapatra’s curation celebrated the strength of Indian women
Globally-acclaimed, New York-based couturier Bibhu Mohapatra’s show was, of course, highly anticipated and it did not disappoint, He was the Lakmē Grand Finale Designer. The collection made for a reflective tribute, honoring the legendary muses who have graced Lakmé over the years and commemorating the iconic milestones achieved by both brands. Bibhu presented distinctive pieces – thoughtfully curated blend of timeless classics and contemporary designs, with an aim to acknowledge and spotlight the remarkable accomplishments of Indian women across various domains, celebrating their strength and resilience within the modern Indian landscape.
Commenting on the show, the renowned designer said,“India holds a very special place in my heart, and I am delighted to return to my homeland and bring to the Lakmē Fashion Week x FDCI runway a collection that champions the prowess of the modern Indian woman. I look forward to presenting my ‘Come Home’ collection drawing inspiration from the House of Lakmē and its effortless amalgamation of Beauty x Fashion. It is an honour to be the House of Lakmē Grand Finale designer this season. I believe that Lakmē and I, both share a common goal of championing women and celebrating their elegance, strength and confidence and empowering them to express their unique identities and talents.”
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