It has been a star-studded weekend at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) in India, with celebrities such as Janhvi Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Sushmita Sen making their way down the runway. Here are highlights:
Janhvi Kapoor makes ramp debut
Fashion designer Nachiket Barve, who showcased a collection inspired by millennials at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week (LFW), roped in Bollywood star kid Janhvi Kapoor as his showstopper.
Speaking about his collection, Barve said: “I think the effect millennials have on fashion is revolutionary. They see the world differently from the generations before. They want La Dolce Vita, the good life on speed dial.
“They want to have beautifully made clothes and style them in their own way. They are unafraid to break rules and mix Indian and Western silhouettes in their own way, quite like the maharanis of yore.”
Barve says the millennials want to be inspired and are hyper aware of trends.
“They want clothes they can mix and match and wear differently. They want to repeat their clothes, but style them differently. After all, even maharanis don’t have an unlimited budget,” he quipped.
The designer, who launched his eponymous label at the Gen-Next show at LFW in 2010, presented a range titled ‘Millennial Maharanis’ here, which, he said, was an ode to the royalty of the 1920s and 1930s who wore Indian as well as Western fashion with equal elan.
“The Maharanis of Cooch Behar, Kapurthala and Jaipur were internationally celebrated fashionistas. The collection celebrates the young jet-setting millennial girls who dress up with style and celebrate across the world — sangeets in Nice, bachelorettes in Moscow and destination weddings in the Middle East,” he said.
Barve has showcased his work internationally at the Buenos Aires Fashion Week (BAAM) in Argentina, as well as at Coterie in New York.
Being a designer in India is wonderful for him as there is a wealth of craft traditions and a point of view that is global.
“It is the best of both worlds. Presenting my collections at international platforms has been a wonderful way to showcase my collection and the heritage of cultural wealth to a global audience,” he added.
In his almost a decade long journey in the Indian fashion world, Barve has also styled the likes of Anushka Sharma, Ileana D’Cruz, Pooja Hegde and Karisma Kapoor. He is not alien to costume designing for advertisements and films too.
“I have been doing select costume design projects for the last few years. My first costume design project for the Marathi musical Katyar Kaljaat Ghusali got me the Maharashtra State Award and a slew of other awards. Aani Kashinath Ghanekar is my second feature film, and I am also currently working on Taanaji: An Unsung Warrior with Ajay Devgn.”
Rajesh Pratap Singh goes wild
From prints like flowers to animal motifs such as owl, playful monkeys, slithering snakes, tigers and birds, ace fashion designer Rajesh Pratap Singh along with showstopper-actor Rajkummar Rao wowed fashionistas with a jungle-inspired collection.
Dressed in an all-white kurta and churidar paired with white sneakers, an excited Rao called Singh a “pure artist” and that he respects and has “huge regard” for the designer.
The collection titled ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ had the garments made out of a fibre called Tencel combined with weaves like chanderi, Benarsi brocade, jamdani and ikat. The entire range saw a great use of block prints, lehheriyas from Rajasthan and embroideries.
Talking about the showstopper ensemble, Rao, who was accompanied by his actress-girlfriend Patralekha, said: “The fabric is called Tencel. It’s known for its comfort, gentle feel on the skin and has this great moisture technique. It can adjust itself as per the body temperature ... The garment is very light weight and it’s white, my favourite colour when it comes to clothing.”
The show witnessed live music by duo Hari and Sukhmani, who sang numbers like Kesariya baalam, Laung gawacha and Jugni as models walked in attires like pantsuits, angakhas, capes and jackets. Female models were seen sporting Rajasthani borlas to complete their looks.
Apart from white, predominant in Singh’s collection, other hues used were pastel blues, pinks, greens with gold and silver zari work. It also saw handmade shoes with animal motifs and handcrafted semi-precious buttons.
Gaurang Shah steps back in time
With old and gold songs like Waqt Ne kiya kya, Mud mud ke na dekh and Yeh hai Bombay meri jaan playing as the background score, award-winning textile designer Gaurang Shah’s show ‘Anupama’ — inspired by yesteryear actresses like Nutan, Meena Kumari, Nargis and Madhubala — took fashion lovers at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week, back in time to the 1950s and 1960s era.
With a wide range of vintage style saris, dresses and Anarkalis, models broke ramp rules by giving up towering heels to saunter barefoot for the show here on Friday.
For recreating and completing the 1950s’ and 1960s’ look for ‘Anupama’, which saw an array of beautiful shades ranging from pastel pinks to mauve to grey, blue, dark wine and maroon, models used flowers on their heads.
“The 40 pieces of beautifully handwoven inspiration is a recreation of an era of glorious hand-woven saris and dresses in colours from pastel pinks to mauve to grey to blue to dark wine and maroon,” Shah said.
The finale of the exuberant show saw a ballet dancer who tiptoed onto the ramp in a beautiful off-white crop top and a long skirt paired with ballet shoes, and performed on the song Mud mud ke na dekh from the film Shree 420.
Asked why did he not have a celebrity showstopper, Shah said: “‘Anupama’ is our showstopper. We believe every single model and the pieces which is an outcome of more than eight months of hard work is unique, and have a story to tell. We would like all the admiration and applause go to every single piece of ‘Anupama’.”
At the end of the show, which saw paintings of veteran actresses Waheeda Rehman, Sadhana, Nargis, and Vyjayanthimala, Shah was welcomed with loud cheers and whistles on the runway.
Sushmita Sen stuns yet again
Sushmita Sen, who walked the ramp as a showstopper for the label RmKV says her journey as a single mother and a star has not been an easy ride as fighting for who you are has its own difficulties.
“There is an aspect to what they say which I don’t take personally ... As in they are talking about me, and there are certain amazing qualities in the way I have lived my life, but then you also have to be me to know that it’s not an easy ride. It has its own difficulties to fight for who you are,” she said. “It’s not an easy job, but you keep doing it for 25 years and it becomes a habit. And you are just accepted post that,” added the mother of two adopted daughters Renee and Alisha.
The 42-year-old says women yearn for strength in general.
“Women want that strength and if a person embodies it, they tend to look at that person and say ‘you epitomise it’. The truth is it’s the desire to epitomise it ... That strength in a woman,” she added. The actress sported a jumpsuit with a reversible sari and said that wearing the six-yard drape makes her feel more feminine and it’s a fashion statement that will never go out of trend.
“I don’t think the sari is going out of fashion because as long as you have Hindi films and actors sporting saris, it will never go out of fashion. I think it is fantastic that we are trying to find innovative ways to drape saris because the younger generations likes choices,” said Sushmita, whose sari-clad look in Main Hoon Na became a rage.
The millennials want to be contemporary in every way possible, she added.