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How Abraham and Thakore are creating glamour out of waste

The designer duo on their new collection for the upcoming FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week, working with PET bottles and collaboration with R-Elan

Sketches from the designers' upcoming collection (Courtesy Abraham and Thakore)

Designers David Abraham and Rakesh Thakore are “excited” to be back on the physical runway for the FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week, which starts on 5 October. 

They are showcasing their new collection, inspired by the theme of “Assemble. Disassemble. Reassemble”. Created in collaboration with R-Elan (a fashion line by Reliance), the collection forms the basis of a contemporary ready-to-wear wardrobe. The exploration of techniques such as patchwork, hand stitching and quilting, form the focus of the collection. Commenting on the collaboration with Abraham & Thakore, Gunjan Sharma, CMO (polyester business), Reliance Industries Ltd., said the collection combines sustainability and style, showcasing efforts in ways to create fashion using practices that are sustainable and mindful. 

Also read: Designing clothes is like writing a song, say Pankaj and Nidhi

We spoke to the designers about their upcoming collection. Edited excerpts:

Abraham and Thakore say they have always worked with traditional handmade fabrics that are sustainable.
Abraham and Thakore say they have always worked with traditional handmade fabrics that are sustainable. (Courtesy Abraham and Thakore/Instagram)

What was the inspiration behind the collection? 

The collection is made from recycled post-consumer PET bottles. Inspired by this, we looked at patchwork, applique and Kantha, which are the traditional methods historically employed to recycle textile remnants. Each of these traditions have created a distinct design language, which has been our inspiration. Both literally, as in the case of actual patchwork, applique, etc. and, as a source for print and pattern concepts."

How many recycled bottles were used for the collection? Are you planning to completely switch to sustainable fabrics going forward?

About nine to 10 recycled bottles go into a metre. So there are a lot of bottles! We have always worked with traditional handmade fabrics that are sustainable at many different levels.

In the past 1.5 years, there's been a lot of conversation around sustainability and how wasteful the fashion industry is. Do you feel post lockdown, the global fashion industry is back to its old ways?

Fashion understandably seems to be in a celebratory mood post lockdown. In some ways, though, consumer attitudes have changed after the pandemic. People are much more mindful of consumption now and ask more pertinent questions. But fashion can be a wonderful way to celebrate life. 

Would you prefer the digital or the physical format? 

Personally prefer the physical format. It is difficult to recreate the energy and buzz of a live event digitally. But having said that, there have been some excellent digital presentations in the past year.

What do you want your viewer to feel after watching your collection?

That style and sustainability can be completely compatible.

Also read: How Chanel nailed a ‘green’ perfume cap

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