The recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week brought to the fore a new spectacle in the fashion world. Rather than keeping it strictly commercial, a few designers defied conventions by presenting admirable avant-gardism in their shows.
Runways are usually flooded with tall and slim models clad in the best of couture with their high heels strutting in style. However, designer Wendell Rodricks broke the rationale and went for plus-size models showcasing an entire collection on the untapped fashion space. Varonica Campabell, India’s first transgender plus-size model, opened the show. TV actor Anjali Anand was among the models, who walked the runway for him. “I have always designed for voluptuous sizes. Since the inception of my career, felt that this is a growing market and this segment of the population needs to be addressed as they are sixty percent of the population. I love designing for real people. It is obvious that he Indian market is ready for this niche segment. Not only is this an enviable segment of the population for financial gains, it is also important that we fit an Indian context into this size issue,” says Rodricks.
On the last day, designer Narendra Kumar’s show featured models from all age groups. While a grey-haired man donned a mint green floral sherwani, a woman in her fifties walked wearing a tube velvet gown layered with an emerald green jacket. “The show was linked to a short movie. So we wanted to show real people look fashionable. The show revolves around a pre-wedding cocktail function and so we had the bride’s father, mother and sister. It also conveyed the message of LGBT community to the society as the bride was in an emotional turmoil and in love with a woman,” says Kumar, who will soon be releasing a web series on the subject.
Huemn by designers Pranav Misra and Shyma Shetty presented a collection that highlighted how fashion waste is adding to the bleak future of our planet. “We asked designers to send in their waste fabrics. Using them we designed 10 looks, which was quite a challenge,” explains Misra.
An installation by Huemn showed the future of fashion —how waste will be the biggest resource in the future. “In the middle of the room were dead bodies and around it were pieces that were developed through waste showing the solution. The point was to reutilise and convert waste into products,” adds Misra.
Many designers tend to ignore the cuts and silhouettes just to be a part of the bandwagon endeavouring to revive handlooms. As part of the Paramparik Karigar show, designers showcased eight creations using crafts like bagh, azrakh, bandhej and shibori. The footwear paired with the clothes was made by leftover fabrics.
While international runways have been paving the way for genderless fashion for quite some time now, the trend is fairly new on the runways in India. The Pot Plant label by designers Resham Karmchandani and Sanya Suri; Anaam by designers Sumiran Kabir Sharma, Divyam Mehta; and Antar-Agni pitched for gender-neutral clothing at the fashion week. “We have looked at the dressing styles of the monks [with] distinct layering [and] we have tried to do our own draped and constructed version making it relevant for today’s time,” says Mehta.