LFW: Indian textiles and weaves get designer touch

The 15th anniversary edition of Lakme Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 (LFW) begins in Mumbai today, with presentations by top and emerging designers. While realising the need to work with Indian craftsmen to revive traditional rich weaves, designers are also paying attention to create clothes that match latest trends and modern day sensibilities of global fashion lovers.

And they sure are being appreciated by fashionistas as Indo-western fusion lines in traditional weaves matched with modern styles are expected to hit the LFW ramp this time. Designers like Shruti Sancheti, Kiran Uttam Ghosh, Deepika Govind, and Shon Randhawa among others will present their Spring/Summer collections.

Indian textiles get a modern twist

Mumbai-based designer Vaishali Shadangule is known for her passion for traditional Indian weaves like Jamdani, Paithani, Maheshwari, Chanderi, Kand or Ikat. The designer has dedicated her efforts towards the revival of these rich Indian textures. Shadangule debuted with her collection at LFW-2011 showcasing well-crafted Indian dresses in chanderi and paithani prints. The collection to be presented at LFW follows the journey of the thread to handwoven textile inspired by traditional performing art ‘Behrupia’.

Designer Kiran Uttam Ghosh, trained under British designer Jasper Conran, has been showcasing her designs on the LFW ramp since its inception in 2000. For her latest designs, she has used handloom Maheshwaris, Bengal Dhakai and Tnt weaves, , Banarsi brocades and kinkhwabs, phulia and ikkat blending them with modern fabrics like georgette, crepe, jersey and pleated to create a range of racer-back ganjis, white shirts, heat-pressed pleated dresses, trousers and saris.

Another designer, who has been working with Indian weaves, Deepika Govind constantly works on her design philosophy of 'Fashion for the EARTH meaning Elements, Art, Revolution, Technology and Human Hand. She blends Indian craft with Western designs like her saris with pure gold threads on crepe, khadi yarn with Tencel, silk extracted from corn fibre, Eri silk to create an alternative to denim, and soyabean knit tees. ‘The Yogi Who Loved Blue’ – her recent innovative line is inspired by the remote terrains of Kutch and the handcrafted tribal ornaments and long dresses of the Jat community, blouses of the Rabari community and long-belted dresses of the khatris.

And Shruti Sancheti’s eponymous fashion label launched in 2009 continuously promotes Indian weaves and embroideries. Her new collection called Nomadistaan is an amalgamation of various printing techniques, tribal crafts and woven textiles translated into contemporary ensembles and styles infused in the form of jackets, boleros, dresses, spliced skirts and culottes and flowing maxis, midis, pants and pleated long skirts. The USP of the collection is the tribal crafts from the Thar region along with Mughal influences.

Designer Shon Randhawa is ready with a range inspired by the '70s having bell bottoms, balloon sleeves and kerchief drapes with cropped shapes and tulles, lace and sheer silk, suede, wool and crisp cotton. These are layered with traditional embellishments like chikankari, Kantha and Gara embroideries as well as hand block prints, tie-dye, patchwork, appliqué and leather trimmings, mirror-work, lamé and metallic speckles.

And Anavila Misra is ready with her fresh line-up of saris in organic linen and natural or indigo tones, with contrast selvedge and geometric, grid-like patterns. She has worked with a few weavers from Phulia, West Bengal in 2009 to create 120-count yarn of loose and open weaves instead of the regular 60-count yarn. Today, her range of organic handwoven saris and separates, which are created by artisans in the craft clusters of Bihar, Jharkhand and Bhuj are popular among the fashionistas. Her latest called ‘A Summer Stroll’ is made up of 100 percent natural fibres.

Stage set for the 15th LFW

Globally acclaimed designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee opened the fashion extraveganza hosting an offsite show on March 17. This season celebrates 15 years of being the successful and premier fashion trade platform. Grand finale designer in Anamika Khanna, would be presenting summer trends through her collection. She will put up a grand show on March 22, the last day of the fashion gala. She has earlier been the finale designer of LFW twice – once in 2004 and then in 2009.