MUMBAI, India — The five days of Lakmé Fashion Week emphasized femininity in the summer and resort collections on show.
This was not necessarily with the heavy embellishments that often characterize Indian design — although there was some of that, too — but rather with net, swirling gowns, unexpected windows of skin through the use of transparent fabrics and a lot of demure coverage.
There were the metallics, too, like the burnished gold of Gaurav Gupta’s collection. Gupta worked with U.K.-based Indian accessory designer Mawi, who showcased her line in India for the first time with the chunky jewelry adding to the Egyptian theme of the show, which was called “Memphire.” Togas and saris, jumpsuits and gowns in metallic jersey were complemented by gold ribbed collars, pendants and chunky jeweled collars.
This was the first time Mawi has shown in India. “I think the market in India is changing along with the people’s lifestyles and there seems to be a far greater desire for international themes. People’s perception about jewelry is part of the change as well,” she said. RELATED STORY: Lakmé Fashion Week Refines Its Focus >>
Rajesh Pratap Singh also focused on metallics in his show, the last one of Lakmé Fashion Week, which closed Sunday. Accentuated by mirrors on the runway, the clean silhouettes that Singh is known for shimmered. Fabrics created for the show included weaves of silver and stainless steel, and silk and linen, all based around the them “Illusion.”
That was also the name of the new makeup line launched during the shows by Lakmé, the homegrown beauty brand from Hindustan Unilever, and one of the organizers of the event along with IMG Reliance Pvt. Ltd.
“This is the trend of the season and our new launch. It is young and edgy,” Purnima Lamba, head of innovations at Lakmé, said.
Indian companies remained a focus of the five days of shows, which included a textile day on Friday during which traditional weaves, appliqués and embroidery techniques from different parts of India appeared on the runway in collections by the likes of Anita Dongre and Krishna Mehta.
However, the focus on textiles was not limited to one day alone — the opening show of Lakmé Fashion Week was by Sreejith Jeevan, who has studied textiles at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad and École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. He presented a collection of clean, simple cuts with fabrics focused on words he used often, such as “cool” and “breathable.”
Even as designers emphasized Indian textiles and heritage, more Western styles continued to proliferate on the runways as in Narendra Kumar’s collection of structured tops and pencil pants. Inspired by the work of artist Franz Kline, the line held a different kind of femininity — with sharp tailoring, pleats and detailing that combined with the prints to add elegance. He also showcased a collection for men.
Designers said they continued to be as busy with buyers coming by — including a larger number than ever from e-commerce sites and, as before, from the Middle East. The number of fashion retailers from across India continues to grow, they said.
“I’ve been real busy,” said Aartivijay Gupta, whose prints told a story of miniature Indian paintings. “I think each designer is seeing a different bunch of buyers.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast