This year’s Lakmé Fashion Week stood out for its physical shows, after two years of being held in a physical + digital format. For the first time, the show took place in New Delhi from March 23-27. Fashion week saw legendary designers such as JJ Valaya and Manish Malhotra, both of whom have been in the industry for around 30 years, launch their fun and contemporary bridge-to-luxury lines. Young celebrity showstoppers like Shanaya Kapoor, Ananya Panday, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Mrunal Thakur dazzled on the runway. Scroll to see more highlights from popular names in the Indian fashion industry.
Aisha Rao’s “Divergence” collection at the FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week featured 60’s inspired shift dresses with appliqués hand crafted from surplus fabrics. Craft elements like pitta, Aari work, zardozi, macramé and dori work were incorporated. The designer chose luxurious tissue, organza, lush raw silk as well as lightweight georgette as the base fabrics for the collection. Strappy slinky gowns, shararas with flared tunics, flouncy skirts and tunics with bell-bottomed pants and lehengas sans dupatta made their way down the ramp.
Falguni Shane Peacock
Ananya Panday closed the show for designer duo Falguni and Shane Peacock. Her finale look was a pink printed mini with a long train sweeping down the runway. The collection was filled with long trains, high slits, feather details and loads of sequins. Couture ranged from bomber jackets to mini-dresses, each infused with the brand’s signature opulence.
FDCI Khadi Presentation
The glory of the quintessentially Indian fabric, khadi was brought to the forefront on Day 2, aka Sustainable Fashion Day. The showcase featured khadi garments by leading Indian designers and the first ever khadi presentation in the country by an international designer. French designer Mossi Traoré brought on stage white, fuchsia, saffron and purple ensembles cut in asymmetric shirts and skirts, plunging neckline jackets, wrap pants, kaftans, batwing and baggy blouses. Homegrown designers such as Abhishek Gupta Benares, Anavila, Anju Modi, Charu Parashar and Rina Dhaka also presented.
Abhishek Gupta’s men’s and women’s line used fabric manipulation as a focal point, in pastels with delicate embroidery as well as all-black looks sprinkled with shimmer. Anavila used fabrics woven by the weavers of the Burdwan region in West Bengal, then incorporated jamdani motifs on the naturally dyed material.
Anju Modi’s designs were inspired by Sattva, one of the three gunas in the Hindu and Samkhya philosophy, with a haldi, chandan and kesri (yellow and white) colour palette.
Charu Parashar used haldi and green to create ensembles for “The Khadi Bride” with scalloped kurtas, cholis with pleated lungi, kurtas with wide pants, a sari with a long coat for the bride and sherwani for the groom.
Rina Dhaka went gypsy bohemian with fluid and floral drapes in the form of flared kurtas with cuffed pants, corset cholis with maxi skirts and palazzos with long over shirt.
JJ Valaya’s show at FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week marked the introduction of his bridge-to-luxury line ‘JJV’. It was the last show on Day 1 of fashion week, in which Valaya celebrated his 30th year in the industry with an eco-conscious collection made from TENCEL™ LUXE filament yarn, a material derived from renewable wood sources in a closed loop Lyocell process. The JJV line is inspired by the spirit of travel and focuses on the unique life and travels of Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala, the land from which Valaya hails. The debut collection “Rumeli – the Summer Story” closed with actor Mrunal Thakur who strutted down the runway as showstopper.
FCDI x LFW saw the launch of yet another bridge-to-luxury line, this one by couturier Manish Malhotra, titled Diffuse. For the new generation, the collection saw celebrities Siddhant Chaturvedi and Shanaya Kapoor walk the ramp as showstoppers. Fun silhouettes, shades ranging from blacks, reds, pinks, blues, greys and textures formed this quirky collection that was embellished with Malhotra’s signature elements like metallic sequins, tassels, beads, feathers, and Swarovski crystals. Consciously priced to cater to youngsters, it featured bomber jackets, embossed ensembles, breezy kaftans, balloon pants with vests, bedazzled long fringe tops, blazer dresses, baggy oversized garments, feather rimmed sarees, tube tops with gararas, and the brand’s signature sequins saree which has been refined for Diffuse.
Punit Balana’s collection “Lakshmi” was inspired by the culture and art of Rajasthan. Kalamkari and ajrakh crafts were used on chanderi fabrics, and lotus, bird, garden and Mughal motifs were part of the collection. Metallic embroidery adorned blouses, including corsets, and string cholis. Boleros were paired with palazzos, slinky dresses, sarongs, saris, metallic bralettes with printed shararas and stylish peplum jackets made it perfect for the modern girl, represented by showstopper Janhvi Kapoor.
Pankaj & Nidhi
The designer duo’s collection “Marbella” was inspired by the picturesque town of the same name on the Southern coastline of Spain. The colourful hues of the Mediterranean like coral, bougainvillea pink, lemon yellow, leafy green, neutral clay and beige tones made an appearance on the runway. The layered cutwork embroidery, hand cut, edged silk organza petals and leaves covered bomber jackets, coord sets, feminine dresses, sheer fluid blouses, strapless minis, tiered flared dresses, shorts, double-breasted jacket, one-shoulder kaftan, culottes, and jumpsuits.
Acclaimed Indian design Rahul Mishra opened the FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week with his “The Enchanted Garden” collection at the Italian Embassy, New Delhi. The show incorporated iconic Italian brands as accessories to Mishra’s couture, including Zegna, Canali, Georgio Armani, Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo and Bottega Veneta. The collection was classic Rahul Mishra, and the clothes were sprinkled with flora and fauna, created in such a way that they brought Indian craftsmanship to the fore. Himalayan poppies, fox gloves, calla lilies, bellflowers, hollyhocks, iris, Aztec hibiscus, Queen Crape Myrtle and even anemones rose from the magical garden of Mishra’s mind.
The expert of sculpted silhouettes and cord work, Rimzim Dadu, showcased “A Sea of Million Stories,” a collection that highlighted elements of nature like waves in the sea, textured riverbeds and changing skies. Metallics dominated the runway in shades of blue similar to a summer sky, deep green, silver and pure white also led the collection. The designs were adorned with glimmering natural diamond jewellery from renowned jewellers like Amrapali Jewels, Goenka India, AKM Mehrasons Jewellers, DiaColor, Jaipur Gems and Bholasons Jewellery.
Shivan & Narresh
Miss Universe 2021, Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu, walked the ramp for designer duo Shivan & Narresh dressed in an auburn velvet halter gown accentuated with statement crystal accents. The collection “Fresconian Series” was inspired by a visit to the Shekhavati region in November 2021 whose murals and frescos turned into the theme for the show. Five hand-painted prints adorned their creations in five fashion categories: safari, ski, cruise, swim and resort.
The Surocco (safari) line featured an abstract interpretation of the cacti motif over white. The Ledger Mash (skiwear) had the brand’s archival print Leger Leisure deconstructed into the 90’s collage artwork. For the Zoolostamp (cruise) design it was a mélange of animal, Bandhani and multiple textures, and for the Solscape (swim) and Maru (resort) the inspirations were the rose-tinted skies and kaleidoscopic landscapes of Rajasthan. Crafts like hand knitting, crochet, hand machine embroidery and shuttle needle lace were practised on base fabrics including crystal mesh, chain mail fabric, pure cotton, silk, linen, silk jersey and delicate knits.
Shantanu & Nikhil
In a collaboration with Realme, Shantanu & Nikhil showcased a collection that balanced eclectic avant-garde sensibilities with the curiosity that comes with being a “Nomad,” the title of the edit. Influenced by the real world, the duo created oversized sweatshirts in rough knits that were decorated with mythological creatures from South Indian culture. Voluminous jackets dotted with large leopard spots, leather fringe details on skirts, chiffon ensembles all made it to the runway as well.
Day 4 of Fashion Week came to a close with a showcase of Tarun Tahiliani’s new luxury prét line, GLOBAL INDIAN. Modern cuts play with unusual textures and textiles woven with zari and resham, creating metallic-textured sheen fabrics. Tones of blacks, golds, greys, and pinks, colour lehengas, conceptual sarees, trendy corsets, kaftans, jumpsuits, gowns, co-ords, dhoti pants. Menswear saw a collection of kurtas, bandhgala sherwanis, bundi jackets, dhoti pants, pyjamas, and churidars. the show took place at on the grounds outside Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, with actress Kriti Sanon as showstopper.
Ripped denims flirted with flowing capes that were embellished using sequins, feathers, ruffles, and lace panels at Varun Bahl’s FDCI x LFW presentation. Named Quintessential, the collection took Bahl’s trademark romantic embroidery and paired it with patchwork details, hand-sewn mirrors, in garments that have soft silhouettes and multiple layers. The show also marked the debut of Masoom Minawala, a content creator and fashion icon, on the Indian runway as the showstopper.
Vaishali S known for her structured silhouettes and intricate cord work delivered yet another stellar collection at FDCI x LFW. Named “Fil Rouge,” in this collection, Vaishali S has worked with the fabric as is, allowing the true qualities of the textiles to shine. The colours chosen started subtle with black, but quickly moved to more festive tones of deep purple, reds, rust, white and gold.