As exciting as Fashion weeks are, they are equally exhausting. When I went for my first ever fashion week I learnt how tremendously hard working the fashion industry truly is. And the 2nd thing I learnt was to wear wedges or flats and not trot around in stilettos!
Its a melting pot of budding talent, media, buyers and not to miss, the celebrities who walk the ramp shows. Lakme and Wills Lifestyle organize the two national level trade shows in India- Lakme Fashion Week & Wills India Fashion Week, that take place in Bombay and Delhi respectively. These take place twice a year each; Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter.
The real show is not the runway or the glamour and after parties. They are undoubtedly a lot of fun, but the real show unravels in the workshops; conceptualizing the collection from design board to the final show on runaway, all under tight deadlines and budgets, keeping in mind that the consumer is king. Without retail this whole exercise is futile, the collection has to be loved and bought! (Yes its true, the fashion retail industry is a tough nut to crack, but the energy is almost addictive). So, as a fashion buyer/merchandiser for a multi designer store in Pune, I went around LFW W/F, hunting for new, interesting designers who are fresh and ready to give fashion retail a heady rush .
The purpose of every designer’s show is to give buyers and the media an insight into how to the collection looks when worn. They also showcase the designer’s inspirations.
For example, Priyadarshini Rao’s silhouettes need to be put together to actually understand the sensibility which is very bohemian/fusion… The styling can only be understood on the ramp.
Watching all the shows is not possible and so we decide before hand on what to watch. I spent a significant amount of time running to and fro, from The Source. This is the exhibit area where the designers put up stalls and display the clothes that are styled on the ramp. This is where all the business happens.
Amidst this running around, two people caught my eye. Wearing this beautiful, funky Manoush skirt was Esha Amin who’s a stylist. Loved the colors on the skirt, it was bright and refreshing.
Bumped into this lady who was no designer, but loved how she had designed and styled her own outfit. She had got the dupatta embroidered, designed a lace blouse and put the look together very well!
Co-incidentally, what I saw trending this time at the fashion week was Indian textiles, handlooms and embroideries across diffusion, pret and couture whether on the runway or the street. Like neon was big for spring summer, traditional Indian fabrics seem like the trend that will make waves this season. There was an introduction of sharara pants, ghagra pants and pallazzos with straight tunics and kurtas and long cholis that were styled as fushion and urban wear. These can be worn from day to evening. (take a look at Manish Malhotra, Krishna Mehta’s collection)
I was very happy to see so many designers working on the revival of Indian heritage, weaves, textiles and crafts. In a versatile culture like India, there is something for every designer to take inspiration from and revive it with their own twist to it.
Here is Gaurang reviving the Patan Patola
Shruti Sanchetis’s intricate embroidery, inspired by the Maharashtrian paithani weave.
Anita Dogre’s gota work was spectacular!
I waited like an eager beaver for the grand finale-Sabyasachi. I watched spell-bound as I was transformed to the 1920’s, The Great Gatsby. Everything from the sets to the décor and music was brilliant.
Got me thinking on how much goes on behind the scenes of a fashion trade show at a national level, entertainment+business at its best.
Lastly, one trend that was all over the Lakme Fashion Week W/F, was expressing fashion aesthetics with prints! Various prints starting from maps of India, musical instruments, extinct birds to armed forces and quirky cartoons were seen in collections.
So intriguing were the prints (rather the inspiration behind them) that we decided to host these designers on the occasion of our stores’ 5th anniversary! (If you’re in Pune, you’re most welcome to drop in on 6th September 2013, 4 to 8pm). Aarti Vijay Gupta, Karishma Shahani, Pragya & Megha and Quirkbox collections straight from LFW will be available at Rudraksh on 6th September’13.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Would love to get your feedback and answer any questions you may have.
Text by: Sharmista Sahu, Merchandiser, Rudraksh.
Some pictures are sourced from Press Releases and edited by Moda Ninja