Lakme Fashion Week 2017
When people think of Fashion Week, cities like New York, Paris and Milan come to mind. But with over a billion people in India and a growing middle class, India’s fashion star is on the rise. Lakme Fashion Week started in 1999, and in the years since, it has gone on to produce two stellar fashion weeks each year that showcase the best and brightest of India’s fashion scene.
This year, it wasn’t just the clothes that caused a commotion. Lakme Fashion Week 2017 was the first time a transgendered model walked the runway in India. Anjali Lama – born Navin Waiba – was born to a farming family in Nepal, but always knew in her heart that she was destined to live a different life. In 2005, she came out with the help of The Blue Diamond Society – an organization that works for sexual minorities. And though her transition wasn’t easy, living as her true self has reaped many rewards. Including the chance to walk in Lakme, working the runway for Monisha Jaising’s opening show.
And once the show opened, it didn’t stop. Here are a just a few of the designers – veterans and up-and-comers – who showed the world that Indian fashion is a force to be reckoned with.
Rita began her career in 1969, with only two tables and four hand-block printers, in a small village near Calcutta. Her dedication to using only the finest fabrics and craftsmanship, as well as her belief that beautiful, handmade designs could be just as profitable as machine-made clothing, has made her a fashion superstar in India, with 50 boutique ‘Ritu’ stores across the country. For Lakme 2017, Rita unveiled her “Maharaja Pop” collection, including beautiful takes on traditional Indian pieces mixed with sparkly designs trending towards a more Western fashion aesthetic.
Payal established her fashion house in 1999, and has been climbing the ladder of elite Indian fashion designers ever since.
Her signature designs are best described as ‘Indian Contemporary’, a chic and sophisticated look that is just as elegant in London and New York as it is in Mumbai and Delhi. Her beautiful use of florals and art deco-inspired motifs breathed a whole new life into traditional sari and lehenga designs, with our favourite being the gold lace cape over the shimmery burgundy sari. Classic, modern and elegant.
Sonam and Paras Modi
Sonam and Paras Modi launched “SVA” (meaning “soul” in Sanskrit) in 2013 to offer bespoke bridal, luxury and menswear
using timeless ideas, elegant fabrics and supreme craftsmanship. For Lakme 2017, SVA showcased their beautiful collection named “Noor”, which included lehengas with plunging necklines and cape sleeves, one-shoulder saris that looked more like dresses, and Nimrat Kaur walking the runway in a beautiful lehenga with an angular choli-wrapped top that took our breath away.
Since 1995, the House of Anita Dongre has grown to include
bespoke bridal wear, a boho chic brand for women named “Global Desi”, menswear, jewelry and more. For 2017, Anita used boho prints and styles to update lehengas and her blue and white printed anarkali jacket with printed pants was an immediate hit.
The hand embroidery on beautiful, naturally dyed fabrics is always a staple of Jayanti Reddy’s beautiful designs, and she didn’t disappoint for 2017. Her embroidered lehengas and draped kurtas personified elegance, and the deep plunging necklines gave traditional Indian attire a modern edge.