The Fashion Design Council of India returns to Mumbai after 16 years with the Lakmé Fashion Week, starting 12-16 October at the Jio World Convention Centre.
Going by the sketches, preview look books and collection notes, it's clear that it's a season of shine-heavy evening wear and fun resort pieces, embodying the spirit of travel and exploration of nature and artforms.
After the two trying years of lockdown, it's not hard to understand why designers explore wilderness, travel, epoch defining historical eras and art forms. While SVA and Nirmooha take us on an adventure trip steeped in holidays and nature, Limerick and Payal Singhal have visually arresting art forms on their moodboards. Moreover, Geisha Designs and Shantanu and Nikhil propose a closet of shine-inducing evening wear, comprising statement cocktail and ceremonial ensembles. Looks like twinsets or co-ord sets are here to stay. So is 3D baroque-inspired embroidery.
Here are some key trends to look forward to at this season's at FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week.
Travel and nature
SVA's new collection, Mor Aur Fuaara, comes steeped in the spirit of travel, nature and holiday. Designer duo Sonam and Paras Modi took a trip to the picturesque Nadesar palace in Varanasi, which informed their creative canvas. During their stay at the heritage palace, the designers found themselves getting transfixed by the view of a gushing fountain and a pack of peacocks. Their collection evokes these visuals in the form of vibrant prints peppered on Indo-Western fusion silhouettes. Their signature stripes make a strong comeback, combined with metallic accents. Engineering their own textiles and inculcating Lucknowi embroidery and applique detailing, each ensemble whispers a story of its own. Hues of luscious, green, mints, midnight blue, off white and rose gold pink paint a rich canvas of luxe, wearable ready-to-wear. Ensembles crafted in an array of contemporary silhouettes comprise of draped saris, structured capes, twin sets and separates.
This spring, Nirmooha seems drawn towards Mother Nature and its vast wealth of flora and fauna. Picture a pack of luscious fungi growing in the wilderness, which has been played into the prints and textures of the pieces realised in lime green, daffodil yellow, deep purples, soft lavender along with terracotta. The label's signature 3D cord ornamentation is explored to create tactile textures over sheer textiles.
Designer duo Abirr n' Nanki from Limerick are all set to unveil Artopia, which derives inspiration from miniature Indian paintings. Reimagining these highly detailed paintings that originated in the 7th-9th century, this collection explores the heritage art in a more contemporary way. Easy-to-wear summer silhouettes, co-ord sets with a few yardage saris on free-flowing fabric, like organza and silk crepe, set the mood for wearable chic.
Another designer inspired by art is Payal Singhal. Her outing, Painterly, dips into her repository of childhood memories and personal experiences for this collection. Singhal grew up around fashion owing to her parents’ garment export business. However, besides her penchant for the dynamism of design, art was an integral part of her world too. Her grandfather was the National Award-winning artist J.P. Singhal. Under his creative influence, her love affair with the canvas started early on, an innate skill she lost touch with over the years as fashion took over. The pandemic allowed her to return to painting, bringing her immense calm as she put paint to paper. Apt for destination weddings, the pieces come to life thanks to multi-hued brush strokes and abstract art besides miniature Mughal paintings.
Exemplifying shiny textures, Geisha Designs' collection, Luminescent, comprises a line of cocktail gowns and evening wear pieces that superimpose masculine with feminine elements. Picture masculine flourishes (in the form of vertical lines interpreted through techniques like weaving, knotting, cording) interspersed with feminine (in the form of 3D florals, ruffles, tiers, flower petals) accents. Silver makes its presence felt along with the reflective accents of rubies, purples, emeralds and midnight sky.
Shine is also on the moodboard of designer duo Shantanu & Nikhil who showcase Capella: Bridal Couture ’22. Inspired by the Baroque art and its symbolic insignias like ornate chandeliers, the pieces evoke visions of the brightest star in the sky, Capella. There’s a nod to tulle and Baroque lace which comes embroidered in dori work.