The recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2019 had designers from across the country showcasing new styles and setting new trends on the ramp. From the display of classic blazers with a twist, to the focus on sustainable fabrics, this edition of the event was all about originality and ethical fashion. Here are some of the highlights.

Ditch your basic ethnic wear

Designer Payal Singhal, known for her embellished festive wear, showcased her new collection inspired by the silk fabric. From this line, the short red kurta, which comes with a pair of purple velvet pants, particularly caught our attention.

Anita Dongre’s sustainable collection was made out of Tencelfibres, a completely biodegradable fibre that uses an award-winning “closed-loop” production process. She swapped the bold hues of her previous work with subtle shades of pastel colours this time. The line consists of a range of long printed floral kurtas with flared pants and dupattas.

Designer Varun Bahl, too, made a comeback to LFW with this show, after a gap of four years. His new label is called Varun Bahl Prêt, which has much to offer, including a great-looking pastel blue kurta, adorned with oversized yellow flowers, which is perfect for summers.

Anavila’s comfortable kurta and pants are also worth pointing out. So is the label Eka’s white and blue checkered kurta and striped pants. Pret line Bunon, by designer Soumitra Mondal, showcased a white kurta and sharara set, which comes with white pompoms, at the event. The ensemble is sure to be among the favourites this season.

But Rohit Bal’s ivory-themed collection, called “Guldasta”, for which he collaborated with Kashmiri artisans, was the real showstopper here. Sukriti & Aakriti presented a floral short kurta and sharara set that is ideal for all bridesmaids out there.

Raghavendra Rathore, who is known for the classic and bandhgala, presented an easy way to redefine the basic kurta. This time he ditched the boring pin-tucked shirt, in favour of kurtas paired with the classic tuxedo.

Time to suit up

The area of interest for a few designers at the recent LFW was the suit. More precisely, playful variations on the traditional suit. Kolkata-based designer Sayantan Sarkar experimented with blazers that feature asymmetrical cuts on one side.

Designers Shivan Bhatiya and Narresh Kukreja, who are known for their kimono-style capes, this time showcased kimono-style blazers. These can be worn with or without a shirt.

Also, designer Ashish N. Soni showcased their new lapel-less blazer on the ramp. These can be paired with wide and cropped trousers, as well as with a kurta.

Designer Nikhil Thampi also made a comeback to the Fashion Week after a sabbatical and it was an impressive return. He showcased an array of metallic and cutout detailed pantsuits and shine-on evening gowns.

For his part, Gaurav Gupta injected a traditional vibe into the classic blazer. Gupta’s mustard-coloured jacket in jacquard fabric is a perfect pick for any wedding function.

Designer Sneha Arora showcased pantsuits with a fun and flirty twist. Arora’s collection, which full of loose and flowy silhouettes in pastel hues, got us thinking that pantsuits are going to rule 2019 as well.

New Fabric to play with

Anita Dongre under her grassroots initiative, collaborated with weavers from the Northeast. Her women’s wear collection used textiles hand-woven by artisans from marginalised handloom clusters in Barkhetri (Nalbari).

Upcycling labels Doodlage, Door of Maai and Rossbelle showcased new collections and designs using waste products. Ereena by Jyoti Reddy had outfits with organic eri silk and cotton. Usha Devi Balakrishnan’s “Anka” showcased Balarampuram saris using cotton yarn by Payattuvila Cooperative Society from Balarampuram, Trivandrum.

Label Anaam, in collaboration with Rangsutra, showcased ensembles made using handloom cotton and bandhej tie-and-dye process from Napasar and Lunkarnsar villages near Bikaner.

SoumitraMondal launched Bunon, a sustainable label that uses khadi, hand-woven silk and linen from weaver clusters in Vardhaman, Murshidabad and Nodia in West Bengal.

The Woolmark Company and Aneeth Arora’s brand Pero teamed up for Farm To Fashion collection—grown in Australia, made in India.  The collection includes handmade merino wool textiles created sustainably with the Kullu-based weavers cooperative, BhutticoKullu Shawls. Merino wool textiles have also been used in Pero’s signature styles.

Anavila used hand-woven cotton, linen and silk with natural dyes. Intended as an ode to the culturally vibrant Sa Pa community in Vietnam, Anavila’s line includes fluid jumpsuits, tops, kurtas, dresses and saris.

Shivan & Narresh created a series called “Patu”, using “R | ELan” free-flow fabric. The series is inspired by Bengal’s patachitra art and tholubommalata (leather puppetry) of Andhra Pradesh.

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