The Lakme Fashion Week kicked off its first-ever season-fluid edition on Wednesday and Gen Next designers say they will miss presenting their collections in front of a live audience with the fashion gala going virtual for its 2020 chapter in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The LFW holds a special place in the hearts of Gen Next designers, who make their debut on the Lakme stage in Mumbai.
Day one of the fashion gala started with three budding couturiers – Aarushi Kilawat; Bhumika and Minakshi Ahluwalia; and Anmol Sharma – presenting their respective collections.
For Kilawat, presenting her clothing line “Between The Lines” virtually, for her label The Loom Art, was a unique experience.
“The thrill of taking a bow and presenting in front of a live audience is overwhelming, and I’m certainly missing that moment. There were few difficult times… To manage and organise things via Whatsapp and Zoom to articulate and materialise the whole collection,” she told PTI in an email interview.
However, the Jaipur-based designer believes staging a virtual show has its own advantages.
“To look at the brighter side, the process of doing a virtual fashion week was smoother. I also believe with this platform we are reaching a larger audience who are getting a chance to watch the fashion week through their screens,” she added.
Kilawat unveiled her soothing collection of boxy jackets, double layer dresses with a variation of sleek and oversized shirts, and ensemble dresses. The colour palette ranged from icy blues, white to some batch of ivory, pinks and peaches.
Mumbai-based Bhumika Ahluwalia, who formed the label Mishe with her mother Minakshi, said it was their wish to present their collection in “Shuwa” in front of a live audience.
“As it was our first collection we really wished to present it in front of a live audience but the Lakme Fashion Week team made it very smooth for us. Everything was a different experience and rather this time it will reach a wider audience this time,” she told PTI.
The duo’s collection of women’s clothing was inspired by sign language.
Minakshi Ahluwalia said the pandemic-induced lockdown forced them to change the strategy for their designs.
“We feel the lockdown rather helped us to rethink everything. We started working on the collection before the lockdown. The lockdown gave us enough time to research more and refine it. Getting fabrics made from our artisans was a bit of a challenge but otherwise it was quite smooth,” she added.
Sharma, a graduate of National Institute of Fashion Technology, also said he missed the vibe of a live show but chose to look at the brighter side of the things.
“I really wished to be present at the venue when the show happens, so there is an emotional quotient that remains unfulfilled; but yes working from home definitely is easier and convenient,” the Gurugram-based designer told PTI.
Sharma presented his collection “Dress To Reform” for his label Dhatu Design Studio at the fashion gala. He said his collection talks about “possibilities, solutions and a way of life”.
“I have taken into account the entire lifecycle of the product – starting from the fabric development stage to the end of use, designing, producing, consuming and living better. The final products are practical and quality based for longevity,” he added.
Sharma said he used recyclable, compost friendly, and biodegradable material for his collections of menswear.
The Gen Next programme gives some of the most exceptional young talent in the country an opportunity to showcase their work on a large platform like the LFW.
The fashion gala concludes Sunday.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)