Songs of Summer by Anita Dongre –When it comes to ethereal bridal wear, Anita Dongre’s inspiration for her collection “Songs of Summer” was totally romantic. Anita visualised tall beautiful trees, flowers, butterflies, gently swaying branches and flitting fireflies as the enchanting wedding venue for her bride to take her vows at. With such an exotic vision she created a luxurious line of bridal wear in a melody of gentle pastel hues like blush, sage, powder blue, yellow and of course pure white that were inspired by the beauty of the flowers in a summer garden. The most exquisite fine fabrics were contemporary with a traditional touch as modal, light weight specially hand woven silk and cotton in Banaras had a profusion of floral patterns. Bringing the show to a crescendo were the glamorous show stoppers – Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput, who looked divine in Anita’s stunning bridal couture. Shahid wore a white, embroidered, regal sherwani, while Mira looked dazzling in a white lehenga with prints and Gotta Patti work, teamed with an ornate choli and dupatta.
Breezy ‘Hip Hop Baroque’ 90’s trends by Ritu Kumar –Get set for street couture and rap culture from Label Ritu Kumar’s’ “Hip Hop Baroque” collection presented with a lot of vim and vigour at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2018 for the coming season. There were colours and prints mixed in vibrant hues and patterns and there were 90’s DIY punk directions that will appeal to the young swinging dressers. Opening the show with a navy, shimmering, pleated, midi, the op- art story in multi-colours continued throughout the collection. Metallic Tees and matching flared mini, micro pleated asymmetric maxi, the sari inspired gown and micro mini silver sequinned skirt glittered on the ramp. The printed velvet line comprised capris, blousons and a very stately power packed pantsuit, while the black net creations with multi-hued motifs cascading down the front were eye catchers. Making a fast pace zingy entry was the lovely, Bollywood beauty Tapsee Pannu, in a swinging long op-art, print, shimmering, robe over a black lace inner.
Half Full Curve –It was a show devoted to the sexy, voluptuous, goddesses of the world! It had the youngest 19 year old model to the mature 81 year old lady walk the ramp. The ‘half Full CURVE’ label, which is the brainchild of Rixi Bhatia of Quirkbox fame and her sister Tinka, created the brand for the stylish Plus Size women who have been ignored by the fashion fraternity for long. The fabrics were a mix of pure georgette, sheer Chanderi, Dupion silk and splashed with bouquets of flowers in thread work, sequins, beadwork and lots of appliqués. The emphasis was on textures with a profusion of wild flower motifs, delicate embroidery and pastel hues being the leitmotif of the collection.
Un-Revive by Hemang Agrawal –Hemang Agrawal’s “Un-Revive” line at LFW 2018 once again centered on the textiles of Banaras but in a contrasting manner. Opening the show with a green drop waist pleated dress, Hemang followed it with a smock coat, cropped pants and kurta, and a full box pleated midi smock. The collection of saris in pastel hues with their gentle shimmer were ideal for evening glamour and those festive nights. The final trio of one-button coat-dress and double-breasted midi coat dress were the perfect end to a show that displayed restrained dazzle with large doses of Indian textiles weaves and craft.
The Black Machine by Soham Dave –The creativity of designer Soham Dave was challenged to work with the Dholka Cluster in Gujarat and the result was a collection called “The Black Machine” inspired by the Black Usha Machine. The focus of the garments was created with surfaces and interesting textures on the black lock stitch machine. Sack dresses, batwing-sleeved mini, bell-sleeved dresses, tunic with a flared skirt and asymmetric top with cigarette pants were a great offering in the negative/positive theme. The final kurta with a flared midi skirt was just right for the summer festive times with fun on the agenda.
Afternoon by Padmaja Krishnan –A Padmaja Krishnan fashion showing for her label ‘Padmaja’ is always an ethereal line of classic garments. Her lyrical collection at LFW 2018 called “Afternoon” was a tribute to the radical drawings by Nasreen Mohmedi, the pioneering Indian artist. The line of saris were in gentle shades of ecru, grey and ivory, with some colour blocked discreetly and worn with blouses that had either frayed hems or woven shades of fabrics. ‘A’ line midis, long lean dress with pin tuck detailing, asymmetric blouses or dresses and the favoured drop crotch salwars with kurta made a serene summer story.
Tencel™ 1.0 by Rajesh Pratap Singh –Collaborating with Tencel™, Rajesh Pratap Singh came up with an amazing line “Tencel™ 1.0”, which was an experiment from the yarn and fibre stage to innovative designs and fabric developments to bring about a fashion for everything sustainable. Colour blocking was at the centre of attraction while a mélange of hand block, digital as well as screen prints completed the list of techniques used. The sari inspired dresses, skirts and quaint dhoti bottom wear were in a colour story that moved from popsicles like coral to almost fuchsia, Indian pink, steel grey, mountain blue and pristine white.
Sikkim’s Lepcha Weaves by Karma Sonam –Using 100 per cent natural fibres like Nettle, Organic Cotton, Yak Wool and Merino Wool, which were combined with the traditional weaving methods of Sikkim, the garments were inspired by the Bhutia and Lepcha tribes of Sikkim. For men’s wear there were wrap pants, worn with wide-lapel, cropped, jackets, and giant external pockets for trousers with a layered coat. Women’s wear was stylish with kimono style blouse, cropped pants, tasselled sleeveless cover, a romper with blouse and lots of layering with jackets, blouses, pants, tunics and waistcoats.
Nagaland’s Loinloom by Jenjum Gadi –Creating the back strap weaving method called Loinloom from Nagaland, which is in cotton with natural dyes, Jenjum displayed a grand unisex look inspired by nature, tribal patterns and weaves. The creations exuded a marked organic feel with abundant texturing, fringes and weaves. Stylish tunics and feminine skirts with surface embellishments, vertical striped coat with fluid pants and a striped fringed cover were ideal summer wear. Men’s wear too was as detailed with tassels for coats, while a knee-length hoodie, frayed edged shirt and coat with a giant collar and floppy waist coat were stylish elegant offerings.
Tarakini by Tarun Tahiliani –Tarun Tahiliani fashion showing is always a grand display of glamour, style and fashion. For LFW Day 3, Tarun brought the romance and fantasy of florals and the cosmic stars along with an ethereal flavour of his signature, layered and weightless fashion for his “Tarakini” Spring/Summer 2018 collection. It was traditional and fusion wear, which came with amazing oodles of sensuous craft that created a magical look on the runway. The segment that left the women in the audience breathless with desire was the line of gowns with illusion panels and embellished with fine rows of embroidery over layers of translucent tulle that recreated an almost retro Parisian look. Edged with tantalising precious stones, the ensembles were in scintillating nude tulle around which only dreams are woven. Men’s wear matched the glamour of the inspiration with pastel hues of ivory, pale beige and deep blue in luxurious fabrics, and were turned into Jodhpuri jackets, kurtas, bundies, dhotis and sherwanis, some with tonal embroidery. Bollywood diva Kriti Sanon brought the scintillating show to an end as she glided down the catwalk wearing a spectacular nude tulle lehenga, choli and draped dupatta that glittered with the constellation of multi-coloured stars.
Men’s wear by Falguni and Shane Peacock –After dressing the women around the world, Falguni and Shane Peacock turned their creative design strokes on men’s wear, which they launched with great fanfare at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2018. The collection was launched by Bollywood’s Dabangg girl, Sonakshi Sinha who strode down the runway in a black embroidered jacket with fluid pants and a bralet. And the showstopper was multi-talented Karan Johar – the male style icon. Karan confidently strutted down with great style in a silver/black glittering peacock embellished jacket with white side striped pants, waist coat and topped the look with silver hair.
Neel by Gaurang Shah –A Gaurang show is always a memorable experience in music, dance, fashion and style combined with crafts, fabrics and prints. This season the show opened with a live band, singer Hansika Iyer and the very graceful Kathak dancer Barkha Patel. With the hand spun yarns procured from different clusters in India, Gaurang innovated on his favourite weaving technique of Jamdaani and incorporated indigo in Kota, Benaras, Patan Patola, Paithani, Khadi, Kanjivaram and Dhaka weaves. Gaurang then added a profusion of the most gorgeous block prints like Ajrakh, Dabu, Bagh, Bandhani, Shibori, Leheriya and Batia. The final touch was provided by stunning embroidery starting with Chikankari, Kashidakari, Aari, Rabari, Kasuti, Parsi Gara and ended on Kantha.
Others –The exceptionally beautiful Nimrat Kaur of Airlift and Lunchbox fame graced the ramp in a tie-up blouse, tiered skirt and silk net dupatta embellished with zardosi sequins, which were highlighted by handset pleats and digitally printed tassels. She was the showstopper for designer Pooja Shroff. On the other side, Kalki Koechlin walked the ramp for Amoh by Jade. Big Boss’ very own Hina Khan graced the runway for Osaa collection by Adarsh.
“The Tribe – The India Story” by Shantanu and Nikhil –Shantanu and Nikhil’s collection was an echo of the emerging new voice of the millennials who believe in the #IndiaOnTheMove ideology, an ideology that breeds on the grounds of egalitarianism. It was fashion that broke boundaries on all fronts whether it was bold, colour blocking, layered, pleating, innovative drapes, floor sweeping capes or aged textures. Men’s wear had sharply cut coats, bundgala jackets with draped kurtas, bundies, sherwanis with four patch pockets and double-breasted Jodhpuri jackets, some with discreet print. Women’s wear was ultra-glamorous and included draped dresses with waist coats, cropped jackets, asymmetric coat- kurtas, gowns with capelets and saris teamed with off- shouldered cholis and stretch pants. To match the royal ambience of the collection, the showstopper had to be the very dashing and dapper Saif Ali Khan, who strode down the ramp in a black asymmetric closure kurta over slim pants.
“Samanzar – A Garden of Flowers” by Sama Ali –Sama Ali, daughter of Meera and Muzaffar Ali presented the royalty of Awadh with her collection “Samanzar – A Garden of Flowers”. The exotic regal occasion wear was royal attire, dappled with a generous dose of pearls and sequins. The flowing capes and shrugs that adorned the classic shararas and saris were visions of beauty as they floated down the ramp on glamorous models. When the collection is so magical, there can only be one showstopper that can bring the curtain down. It was the eternally ever gorgeous Sushmita Sen, still looking like Miss Universe as she regally floated down the ramp to the strains of the Umrao Jaan hit song ‘In Aankhon Ki Masti’ wearing a splendid lehenga, glittering choli and diaphanous dual dupattas.
“Saira” by Payal Singhal –Payal Singhal’s collection for Lakmé Fashion Week revolved around her mythical muse “Saira” whose name was the title of the glamorous display. Tracing Saira’s journey through Roman, Byzantine and Persian influences on Islamic design, Payal merged the patterns, techniques, prints, motifs and colours to showcase an exotic look that was generously dipping in the beauty of history. The absolutely gorgeous Aditi Rao Hydari, fresh from her block buster film Padmavaat success glided down in an ivory silk, fully embroidered lehenga, choli and dupatta to end this very ultra-glam line that was ideal for bridal splendour.
“Lotus” by Reshma Kunhi –A fresh floral inspired collection designed to emulate the complexity and allure of the lotus flower that is known for its beauty and strength. Feminine and fierce, the silhouettes were an eclectic mix of traditional Indian wear with a global appeal and were aimed at the modern Indian woman who is rooted to her culture but likes to dabble in the unique when it comes to her personal style. Bipasha Basu modeled a dazzling garnet-red layered sari embellished with tassels and opulent gold embroidery, which was worn with an off-shoulder asymmetrical blouse.
Others –Inspired by the late 60’s, designer Shriya Bhupal unveiled her haute Bohéme look, which matched the energy and joi de vivre of the New Age lady. Stealing Shriya’s show was the glamorous Disha Patani, who glided down the catwalk in a dazzling off-shouldered, ruffled, gown with a sequin studded belt that added to the sparkle of the look. Tamannaah Bhatia of Baahubali fame walked down the ramp for Ashwini Reddy’s Tilottama collection wearing a delicately embroidered, ruffled blouse teamed with a bright red skirt embellished with gold work and a champagne coloured dupatta/stole. Dia Mirza looked gorgeous as showstopper for Sanjukta Dutta for her Assamese Mekhela Chador collection. She wore a full-sleeved ruby red blouse, matched with ochré -gold toned sari with shimmering embroidery that comprised gold zari work, stones and sequins. Stopping the show for designer Anushree Reddy in a stylish but lively way was the very renowned tennis player, Sania Mirza in a mesmerizingly embroidered baby pink ghaghra and an off-shouldered blouse that was full of glitter and sparkle.
Anamika Khanna’s beauty theme “Nudes Reinvented” –Anamika Khanna is known for creating magic by blending Indian colors with global contours. She followed her vision, while translating Lakmé’s beauty theme “Nudes Reinvented”, to create a stunning fusion of traditional Indian aesthetics with edgy cuts. Her designs were influenced by the new generation of millennials, who are bold enough to wear their individuality on their sleeve. The use of traditional zardozi in experimental ways and a mix of various textiles, colors and prints, gave each outfit a personality. Showstopper for the Grand Finale was Kareena Kapoor Khan who took to the stage in a black fabric work cropped top, a broad belt and a matching skirt. Complementing her look was dramatic winged eye makeup, slicked back hair, chunky earrings and nude lips.
“Wonderland” by Shyamal and Bhumika – The husband and wife team of Shyamal and Bhumika presented “Wonderland” a luxury Prét bridal collection that will be a glorious offering for the most important day of the bride’s life. The lush hand woven silks, satin and tulle in serene pastels like pink, grey, violet and blue, were given the ultimate embellishments. Showers of beads, crystals and pearls were lovingly crafted on the creations and flowed down from the bodice to gradually end at the hemline or covered the complete garment. Bringing the show to a glorious end was the very effervescent and graceful Bollywood queen Kangana Ranaut, who gilded in a dazzling ivory encrusted gown with a tulle veil.
“Life In Monochrome” by Jayanti Reddy – Jayanti Reddy’s collection was perfect enough to tease the warm summer breeze and yet each outfit was constructively manipulated to achieve a constrained silhouette. Off-shouldered blouses, capes with cold shoulders, dhotis, skirts and ruffled dupattas made the collection classy and edgy. Experimenting with peplums were saris and embroidered jackets. Tassels played a significant role, while scalloped hemlines made the silhouettes artsy and fashionable. For a show stopping entry, it was the gorgeous Bollywood diva Shilpa Shetty in an exquisitely embroidered ivory lehenga with scalloped hemline and blouse, teamed with a ruffled dupatta.
Others –Malaika Arora sizzled on the ramp for De Belle in a grungy black trouser set with a drape. Like sister Kareena and brother-in-law Saif Ali Khan, Karishma Kapoor too walked the ramp as showstopper for Aarbee by Ravi Bhalotia. She wore a beige lehenga choli with floral detailing. Making a graceful entry at Shaila Khubchandani’s “Fundamental Fragments” show was award winning Bollywood star, Swara Bhaskar who looked relaxed in a dove grey kurta and pants under a black, multi-slit, tabard-style embroidered cover. Bollywood beauty Tisca Chopra graced the ramp for designer Vineet Rahul in a head-turning blush pink striped lehenga that was embossed with floral embroidery, while the sequined blouse and cape with a bow at the centre made a lasting impact. In another show Diana Penty glided down the catwalk for Punit Balana wearing a three layered skirt with geometrical prints, which was matched with a tube top and a gorgeously embellished shrug with soft heart-shaped embroidery in antique gold coloured threads, sequins and gemstones. Pooja Hegde too joined the festival looking divine in a stunning white creation by Ridhi Mehra that featured an embellished bodice replete with silver and tulle that flowed into a white, luxurious skirt that skimmed the floor. Actress Vaani Kapoor walked down the ramp for Neha Agarwal in an ensemble that was embellished with intricate plum, black and white floral beadwork and comprised an ethereal powder blue skirt, matched with a back-less blouse designed with sensual cutouts that added a flirty touch to this line.