KALEEKAL revisited conventional gender roles and interpreted them into a fluid collection in textiles made from organic natural fibers. Innovative techniques of zero waste pattern cutting, ethical fabrics, recycling, yarn repurposing were employed for the realisation of the collection.
THREE experimented with the beauty of imperfections in our lives presenting a wear for the woman who instead of rejecting their flaws, celebrates them. A play of colours, predominantly red and white, and multiple playful stripes makes these garments comfortable every day wear.
Kallol Datta 1955 stuck to his commitment towards trend free style that has been his hallmark from the very nascent stage of his label. He explored the validity of trending hashtag of sustainability by reinstating his allegiance to slow fashion.
INSTALLATION: EMBLEM OF WOMAN’S CONSTITUTIVE EVOLUTION<. Ron Datta, a designer working with the grassroot weavers, paid homage to a timid, illiterate child bride’s brave metamorphosis into an erudite influencer of collective ethos of a generation that included Rabindranath Tagore.
Fatherland saluted Jnanda Devi’s sartorial style that was a toast of glittering high society while deeply rooted in the weaving consciousness of her homeland. This was portrayed through a series of pictures with talented Kalki Koechlin donning the role of Jnanada Devi. Adding depth were a tightly curated academically oriented personal effects and vintage blouses and saris.
In a novel move, highly respected Weavers Studio took to the runway that has, for the past 22 years, archived and enriched the tapestry of our weaving, embroidery, natural dyes and block printing heritage by employing almost 1000 artisans and acquiring thousands of vintage blocks, antique motifs and journals. The organization showcased comfortable drapes in their mastered crafts of the purist fashion ethos.
Bina Rao of the Creative Bee foundation used classic techniques to create new textures that were then block printed, hand painted and dyed in the highest quality natural dyes. The entire collection was created in the strict confines of sustainability. The colors were inspired from the classic palate of Rembrandt while silhouettes were inspired from the films like Mughal-e-Azam.
HEMANG AGRAWAL’s collection challenged itself with the zari that has been technically unmanageable owing to the stiffness it brings and hence has traditionally been relegated to patterning purposes. Hemang used only the metallic yarn to create wearable textile, teaming them with contemporary motifs to create simple shapes.
INSTALLATION: THE SARI IN US. Anavila explored the relationship that the Indian women have with the sari in her exhibit – The sari in us. The loss of this easy relationship was revisited to explore the wearability of this drape by the modern, multi tasking woman by showcasing sari in the format of: sari on the move, sari at work, sari in love, sari in celebration. The handwoven, easily drapeable beauties on display lent a visual treat and a sense of ‘why not!’ enthusiasm to the viewer.
The infusion of whimsy and just plain fun into the erstwhile considered serious space of sustainable fashion reached its charming finale with a show by Sanjay Garg called ‘MONKEY BUSINESS’. Taking inspiration from the ubiquitous mischief-maker – the monkey, this collection took upon itself the task of righting the grave injustice done to our ‘brethren’! Often overshadowed by the elephant and peacock who lend themselves towards being immortalised on saris as emblems of India; the monkey decided to steal this adorable show. In his evolved style, Sanjay used a variety of weaves from Varanasi and Chanderi to present easy to wear and glamorous garments.
All in all, it was a day that pointed towards exciting times for our weavers and growing knowledge of conscious fashion. The fast fashion giants are growing exponentially but so are the patrons of planet friendly and stylish fashion. The fashion on the ramp was an indicator of a cogent mandate for sustainability.
Pallavi Datta is a textile enthusiast on a journey to explore the myriad delicious facets of sustainable fashion in India of now and yore. She chronicles her pilgrimage on PallaviStyleDiaries.
Photo Credit: Viral Bhayani, Lakme Fashion Week