While the rest of the world is getting ready for fashion month, with fashion weeks scheduled across New York, London, Paris and Milan in September, for those of us in India, things are already kicking off. Lakmé Fashion Week winter/festive 2019 begins tomorrow, August 21, and like every year, this season also sees some of the most prominent Indian designers, such as Abraham & Thakore, Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna and Ritu Kumar, on the schedule. There are also some exciting collaborations to look out for this time around, including Amit Aggarwal’s association with Reliance Industries Limited’s textile arm, R-Elan. And topping it all off is Gauri & Nainika’s return to Lakmé Fashion Week—the label is coming back with a grand presentation for the finale, with Kareena Kapoor Khan playing show stopper. Scroll ahead for everything you need to keep an eye out for at Lakmé Fashion Week winter/festive 2019.
What to expect from Day 1 at Lakmé Fashion Week
Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna
Titled ‘Interstellar’, Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna’s winter/festive 2019 showcase sees a futuristic yet retro collection illustrating the opulence of the ’80s, combined with cosmic celestial elements. “Interstellar is a representation of today’s woman, who is ingenious of the times ahead, but is also seeking inspiration from the past decades. It brings out the perfect representation of modernity and luxury, with a glimpse of the 1980s in retrospect,” says Khanna. The new collection will house fabrics like plush satins, frosted silks and fine tulles, decorated with sequins, fringes, crystals and more.
Sonal Verma’s ‘The still life’ explores timeless silhouettes in the neutral shades like tan, midnight black, charcoal and ocean blue, elevated by shades of pinks. Leather details are incorporated as collars and oversized pockets in this collection to lend some structure to the printed garments. “This collection resonates with the expressions of the 17th-century French painter, Jacques Linard. His effortless assembly of natural things lends [the sort of] emotion that is characterful and conspicuous,” says Verma.
Saaksha & Kinni
Known for their use of geometric prints and patterns, Saaksha & Kinni will showcase a line-up inspired by Gujarat’s ikat, Rajasthan’s leheirya and the prints worn by the Fakirani Jatts of Kutch at Lakmé Fashion Week this season. “Our inspiration comes from the two Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan and in particular, the photographs taken by one of our favourite photographers, Natty Singh, which capture the Fakirani Jaats of Kutch among other tribes,” says designer Saaksha Bhatt. This season, the designer duo has gone bolder and more formal with silhouettes—think power suits, sheer kaftans, and evening gowns with embroidered jackets, in a colour palette that champions shades of purples, greens and rusts.
What to expect from Day 2 at Lakmé Fashion Week
This season 11.11 will be collaborating with WWF-India, the C&A Foundation and SRIJAN (who have been actively involved in reviving the cultivation of organic cotton in Madhya Pradesh) to present their latest collection. Giving a contemporary spin to basic ethnic separates, the label has played to its strengths by incorporating the age-old craft techniques of bandhani and kalamkari on a variety of khadi cotton fabrics. Mustards, navy blues, whites and reds are expected to dominate the colour story for this collection.
For his newest collection, Amit Aggarwal is collaborating with with Reliance Industries Limited’s textile arm, R-Elan, who are known for engineering plastic bottles into a rare textile. “Our collection ‘Flux’, which actually refers to the flow of energy through a surface, was inspired by light and how it flows through various surfaces. We’ve experimented with fluidity and form to create a collection that truly resonates with our brand language,” says Aggarwal. Expect geometric ensembles, exaggerated sleeves, power shoulders in shades of emeralds, purple, gold, blush, silver and ivory in this collection.
Abraham & Thakore
Abraham & Thakore pay an ode to kurtas in their new sustainable collection, which features pieces made with LENZING™ ECOVERO™, a sustainable and environmentally responsible viscose fibre. “Titled ‘Kurta 2.0’, this one includes dresses, tunics, sari blouses, kaftans and jackets in silhouettes that are inspired by the shape of a kurta. The colour palette is a mixture of black, ivory, olive and khaki,” says David Abraham.
What to expect from Day 3 at Lakmé Fashion Week
Textile designer Kshitij Jalori, whose eponymous label approaches Benarasi weaves with a minimalistic and sophisticated mindset, is all set to make his debut at Lakme Fashion Week with a collection titled ‘Moulin Rouge’. The designer drew inspiration from the Art Deco Design movement of the 20th century for his latest showcase, and aims to present a very modern distinctive vision of the Golden Industrial Age. The separates are decorated with statement embroidered motifs, exotic florals and animals in exuberant shapes in a symmetrical order. “The patterns are highly stylised geometrics, which have a very sophisticated yet flamboyant feel to them. The distinguishing features are simple, clean shapes with a streamlined look, focusing on architectural details and giving rise to the ‘ARCO’ series of clothing,” says Jalori.
“The collection is a love letter to my mom,’ Sunaina Khera says about her newest collection, titled ‘Dear Mom’. “It’s inspired by her beauty, selflessness and kind nature.” Expect intricately embellished saris, lehengas with hand-embroidered dupattas and dresses in rich organzas, tulles and crepes on the runway. “The line-up consists of colours ranging from pink, burgundy, beige and black, and includes motifs of lilies, roses and cherry blossoms—commemorating my mother’s taste,” adds Khera.
What to expect from Day 4 at Lakmé Fashion Week
Staying true to his gender neutral design aesthetic, Dhruv Kapoor’s latest collection will highlight a blend of edgy silhouettes and relaxed fabrics. “The collection is a contemporary take on 1960s MOD scenes, as it explores edgy tailoring in washed linens, tartans and layered detachable linings in vibrant colours,” says Kapoor. Here, you will find easy, ready-to-wear separates like dresses, blouses, jackets, trousers and skirts, featuring psychedelic prints that will take you from day to night with minimum effort. The colour story includes bright yellows, blues and reds, among other high-shine hues.
What to expect from Day 5 at Lakmé Fashion Week
Jaipur-based designer Punit Balana will present his festive collection on Day 4 at Lakmé Fashion Week winter/festive 2019. Titled ‘Rabari’, it draws inspiration from the Rabari woman of northwest India, known for their diligent embroidered textiles, creativity, aesthetic and identity. The collection will feature skirts, saris, sharara sets and kurtas with Balana’s signature prints, including bandhej, stripes and checks in shades of yellow, green, black and cream. The designer has also played with different kind of embroidery this time, such as mirror work and amla work.
Gauri & Nainika
© Gulshan Sachdeva
Closing Lakmé Fashion Week winter/festive 2019 is designer duo Gauri & Nainika, whose latest collection draws inspiration from Lakmé’s beauty statement for the season, FreeYourLips. “The collection is true to our brand philosophy and our DNA, which is super feminine and glamorous. It is all about occasion dressing. We love flowers, 3D embellishments and frills, and this time they all come back in a new way, says Nainika Karan. Prepare yourself for feminine silhouettes featuring structured power shoulders and exaggerated drapes in vibrant shades of reds, pinks, blues and gold, with a touch of floral embroidery.