The first day of the ongoing Lakmé Fashion Week x FDCI in Mumbai was dedicated to all things India. Called Sustainable Fashion Day, over five designers and labels on 9 March presented their take on Khadi and other indigenous textiles and crafts of India.
The design label Anavila, for instance, paid tribute to dabu, an ancient mud resist handblock printing technique from Rajasthan. Dabu, which comes from the Hindi word dabana (to press), is labour intensive and involves several stages of printing and dyeing.
In its collection, Anavila used the craft in saris that were draped in a way that the wearer didn't require any petticoat or blouse, documenting how the six-yard fabric can be manipulated to follow the contours of the body.
Inspired by rural wall paintings, Divyam Mehta presented a Khadi collection that was laid out in geometrical patterns and highlighted draping and artisanal construction, complemented with rows of darning stitches to reinforce seams. The raw textures of Khadi denims and cottons, for instance, were elevated with renders of Kantha stitches, imprints of hand-carved wooden blocks and screen prints.
Suket Dhir’s Spring Forest collection included summer and winter garments in muted hues and dreamt up in cotton and cotton silks. The weaves were in different counts that offered plain twill as well as jamdani that was printed in refreshing colours.
The garments, sharply cut and well constructed, were embellished with kantha, and had clever detailing and trims.