21 Future Power Houses –Emerging Designers at LFW

By Meher Castelino

The race to keep churning out new design ideas, season after season, can take its toll on originality and creativity, with even some of the old established ‘masters’ showing feet of clay, along with same-ole- jaded-stuff on the ramp.

At the recent Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2015, the hope for Indian fashion was kept alive by the 21 young talented lot who showed at the Jabong stage shows. They made an impact with their very innovative collections, fabrics and styles. I have divided their collections into four exciting categories to suit every fashionable requirement.

CASUAL CHIC

Called “Urban Islands” Anjali Patel Mehta’s ‘Verandah’ label had fun and flirty silhouettes with a touch of the 70’s The silhouettes switched from a casual array of geometric-floral printed shorts, teamed with a full length denim jacket with metallic quilt detailing; playful jumpsuit, powder blue printed dress, a sheer kaftan thrown over a mint bikini and a bodycon dress with a side printed panel.

Sahil Aneja’s men’s collection aptly titled ‘Wanderlust’ Inspired by the colourful and bold art district in Miami had fun, versatile pieces such as shorts, shirts, T-shirts, suits, jackets, shirts and coats. Eye-catching tones of blue, orange, white, grey and black were a representation of the turning of the season.

Anuj Bhutani’s label “Reboot” showed traditional Indian textiles in shades of red, black, blue, nude, peach and olive green for men and women, which consisted of skirts, dresses, jumpsuits, rompers, tops, shorts, coats, jackets and shirts.

‘Secrets of the Sea’ a unique and almost surreal collection by designerArunima Majhi was functional in form and yet fashionable. The range was inspired by the sea and its beautiful creatures with an added edge of mermaid-like fantasy. Palazzo pants, structured tops, dresses, culottes, sporty jackets, jogger pants and skirts were in elegant shades of coral, lilac, mint green, golden sand nude, blush and sea foam blue.

Sailex displayed his sensual and straight, but stylish collection Inspired by his trademark design and vibe of his previous collections; the silhouettes consisted of flirty skirts, stylish dresses, gowns, shorts, jumpsuits, maxis, jackets and tops. Versatile fabrics like cotton, linen, organza, chiffon and satin were carefully cut and balanced out with elegant embellishments like fish hook detailing, prints and subtle texturing.

ETHNIC ETHOS

Ridhi Mehra’s ‘A Mirror Affaire’ was inspired by the interior decoration of the Sheesh Mahal – the palace of unbelievable beauty. Based on oriental charms juxtaposed with the subtleness of the romantic West; a fusion was artistically created to merge the romantic era and the craftsmanship of the Mughals.

Shilpa Reddy showcased an ethereal collection titled ‘Moon Lit Sand’ inspired by the moon. Staying true to the essence of the range, the colour palette comprised gold, silver, white, sand, royal blue, copper, grey and nudes for a timeless edge. The Indo-western range showcased easy-to-wear, timeless silhouettes like skirts, jackets, tops, blouses, capes, pants and lehenga cholis in luxurious fabrics like malka and khadi silk.

Neha Agarwal unveiled her blended collection of Indo-Soviet summer outfits titled “From Russia, with Love”. Her collection derived its inspiration from Russian apparel fused with techniques of Indian origin. Neha sent a powerful message of global integration through her collection of 100 per cent cotton denims.

Shovit Dasgupta, Durba Nag and Sharan Kaur, stayed true to their roots while showcasing their collection for their label ‘NotLikeYou’. Unusual but unique, the cuts were fun and new like the revival of a 25-year-old sari turned into a cropped top and dirndl skirt set. Each fabric used was painstakingly handmade down to the last inch like the pure Khadi fabrics of Bengal. Jamdani weaves, hand painted and wood block prints were some of the eye-catching elements.

EXPERIMENTAL EVOLUTIONS

Shubhika Davda revealed a quirky yet classy collection titled ‘Twitterpated’ under her label ‘Papa Don’t Preach’. Much like its inspiration the range comprised feminine, flirty, silhouettes like dresses, playsuits, rompers, skirts, shorts, waist coats and bodysuits in rich fabrics like pure crépe, organza, silk tissue, chiffon, mesh and satin.

Urvashi Joneja captured the concept of aging gracefully with her clothing line ‘Retold’. Artistically manipulated fabrics added to the portrayal of the duality of the aging process. Techniques like printing and laser cut gave the collection a perfect finish.

Karishma Jamwal presented an alluring line called “Between the Black and White” for her label ‘Lotus Sutr. Each piece was enriched with vintage watches and handcrafted, carved metallic nuggets that brought conformity to the textured fabrics and flowing, embroidered goodness.

Dhruv Kapoor’s wild and wonderful collection titled ‘Mix Media’ like its name, the range was an array of outfits accentuated by mixed mediums for an almost otherworldly appeal. Aimed at both men and women it comprised skirts, shorts, dresses, jackets, hoodies, pants, coats, tops and sporty silhouettes, where the highlights were in bold and edgy tones of mustard yellow, cool denim, midnight blue and brilliant white.

Surbhi Shekhar’s fabulous floral inspired collection titled ‘Diphylleia Story’ was bohemian in essence, where fabrics like air silk, silk, chiffon, plastic, satin, habutai and leather were designed into skirts, dresses, tops, pants and shirts in flowing unstructured forms for a regal yet relaxed feel. Shades of blue such as powder blue, navy and sea spray added to the versatile colour palette and balanced other shades of white, nude tones as well as pastel hues of pink and purple.

‘Yagyaseni: The Warrior from Within’ by Vasundhara Mantri had jute as a main component for her designs. Vasundhara judiciously incorporated it along with sheer fabrics to create a stunning fusion between the two. Colours of jute like beige and mud brown were used with translucent blacks, pearl whites and dull greys.

EVENING ELEGANCE

Veda Raheja brought an architectural eye to her collection with inspiration from her trip to Venice Biennale last year; Veda found herself falling in love with the cracks, stains, stone walls and eroding marble floors of the ancient Venetian structures. Versatile fabrics ranged from silk georgettes to cotton silk in a monochrome colour palette, which was highlighted by white, lilac, lemon yellow, powder blue and wine.

Parul Bhargava presented “Midnight in Paris” for her label ‘Mirage’, a line Inspired by “water lilies”, which was a jewel from the prolific impressionist Claude Monet’s artistic treasury. The colour palette stayed authentic to the theme, ranging from coal-black to powder blue, nude and chalky white. The hues held the legacy of the paintings’ vintage demeanour, while the fabrics varied from crépe to stretch cotton and jacquard that played a pivotal role to complete the collection.

Sonu Dharnidharka showcased an enigmatic and enchanting collection titled ‘Eos’ for the RRISO label Inspired by Greco-Romani fashion, the silhouettes had an array of asymmetrical halter gowns, dresses, tops and skirts, which were carefully constructed to balance both flow and structure with ease and elegance.

Farah Sanjana’s demure but daring collection called ‘The Military Diva’ was a print story in the ideal camouflage version teamed with metallic hardware. Majestic skirts with strong cuts were teamed with jackets; body hugging skirts spoke of the feminism; while trousers redefined the Spanish silhouettes.

Karan Berry and Leon Vaz for their label Karleo displayed a celestial collection that revolved around ‘Astrology that included asymmetrical skirts, dresses, shift dresses, flowing gowns, classic saris, swirling gathered skirts, sweatshirts, flowing kaftans in georgettes, tulles and crêpes. The colours were in dusky shades of greys, muted mauve, amber, classic charcoal, mint and lush green embellished with abstract sequins.

Madhuritu Dutta, Saumya Sharma, Tina Bhardwaj, Stanzin Dazes under their label ‘Madsam Tinzin’ inspired by “Aangan” had an alluring and ethereal collection. Dramatically romantic yet functional, the Indo-western range comprised easy-to-wear silhouettes, for tunics, dresses, jackets, tops, lehengas and skirts. Fabrics like organza, tulle, silk; crépe and chiffon were used to accentuate flowing forms in pleasant shades of blush, blue, sand, peach, white, tan and nude.

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