As the 18th anniversary of Lakmé Fashion Week manifested itself into sartorial reality, the 5-day event saw a refined synthesis of emerging and established designers showcase their collections for the Winter Festive 2017 season.
The palatial St. Regis Hotel, Mumbai played host to the eagerly anticipated shows and the most followed event on social media.
An unparalleled level of excellence in terms of organizational and managerial skills was displayed on part of the organizers, IMG Reliance, Lakmé and Edelman, ably supported by sponsors during one of the most sought-after fashion events in the country.
All 5 days vouched for being distinct from their nemesis, presenting ample food-for-thought for diverse participants in attendance, be it buyers, media, influencers or guests.
It’s fascinating to note how majority of designers presented pieces that were in fact actually wearable; this new trend in high fashion signals the arrival of a new era in fashion – garments are more modest and novel, meticulously constructed to seamlessly transition through casual daywear, to the night. Collections which still live up to their reputation of being exorbitantly priced, now enter the bracket of being more approachable and wearable than before.
We were filed into a classroom with designers taking the leash into their own hands turning this year’s extravaganza into a platform to dismiss any qualms people may have been harbouring against Indian designers not being up to the mark when it comes to delivering commercially viable designs.
At this point, it is also imperative to mention that Indian designers are taking concept styling seriously, apart from solely concentrating on the tailoring of their garments.
A new-found interest in the technicalities of fit and form have emerged as interesting points of discussion.
Any Fashion Week is developed upon a four-part methodology including, but not limited to, Design, Innovation, Business and Inspiration, and more recently another integral key factor has come to the fore, being Sustainability. These are the ingredients that go into making a collection a wearable success.
Putting sustainability at the forefront, Lakmé partnered with Fashion Revolution, a global movement that calls for transparency and fairness in the way fashion is sourced, produced and purchased.
Sustainable Fashion therefore, had a day solely dedicated to itself at LFW W/F 2017. No wonder then that, the line-up bragged of designers who offered path breaking concepts in their area of expertise.
Sustainable and ethical fashion is commonly considered as an unabridged serving for the cerebral audience that embarks upon challenging the complex workings of their minds through takes on traditional Indian fabrics and techniques.
With a semblance of culture and tradition, the starting point was depicted from an Indian craft perspective accompanied by a dramatic depiction of gender confliction through upcycling, recycling, reengineering and reinstating of fashion.
The proceedings took a more grown-up and serious ‘we mean business’ tone with the avid participation of seasonally recurring buyers who have bookmarked LFW as their mainstay on their sourcing calendars.
Behind the curtains that lead up to the red-carpet razzmatazz are the more vital hush-hush dealings which attribute to the success of any Fashion Week in general. The focus then shifts to the business aspect of fashion, entailing a synopsis of opportunities between designers and buyers. This season, buyers were intrigued by the innovative creativity displayed by emerging talent as well as the commercial viability depicted via the more conventional names from the fashion fraternity.
An in-depth analysis of the same has been initiated by our Fashion Team during the week-long bacchanal of fashion and creativity, which will be unveiled in the forthcoming issue of Apparel Online and on the AR digital platform.
In terms of trends that stood out, florals seem to be taking centre stage showing up collection after collection in a variety of nuances.
The element of detail was spotted either full throttling into a third dimension owing to experimentation with applique embroidery or sitting pretty in hand-painted and digitally printed variations over stoic capes, semi-sheer dresses and structured coats.
Colours such as primrose yellow, deep rouge, cobalt and onyx labelled collections as versatile and wearable by offering transitional style solutions for the woman and man of today.
It is significant to note, at this point that street style was at its seemingly all-time low as we detected a dwindling number of fashionistas (as compared to previous seasons), and even the ones that did make a presence, were far from making a lasting impression.
This may be attributed to and signal the move to incorporate a more serious and commercial take on fashion rather than only serving the glamorous side of the industry. Maybe, maybe not… that is for another season to conclude to decide.