Since the past 15 years, the Lakmé Fashion Week has been promoting India's rich handloom culture and giving a worthy platform to budding designers. The summer-resort edition of the fashion gala, which concluded on Sunday, was again a step forward in that direction.
LFW's role as a platform for promoting young and budding designers was quite visible on the opening day of the summer-resort 2015 edition on March 18, when some fresh faces showcased their unique creations under out-of-the-box themes.
Mentored by ace couturier Anita Dongre and presented by INIFD, the 19th edition of the Gen Next show witnessed collections that were a fabulous mix of creativity, style, innovation. Some of those who impressed with their creativity were Alan Alexander Kaleekal, Ankit Carpenter, Kanika Goyal, Manish Bansal, Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama and Salita Nanda.
Besides earning the audience applause, these designers struck a chord with buyers.
"The overall response from the buyers and international stores has been extremely positive for us. We have opened conversation with a number of them. We got enquires from Aza, Malgaadi, Ogaan, Creo, Minerali, Amaara, Vyoum, Solo Look, Sade and Iness," Karan Berry and Leon Vaz of the label Karleo, told IANS.
Another designer, Farah Sanjana, who is four seasons old, said: "LFW has always been good in terms of business. This season too, I have got an incredible response . National and international buyers have loved my clothes and have placed orders from US, Dubai and London."
As many as 163 registered buyers — 43 international and 120 Indian — were present at LFW.
The progress has been immense, said Purnima Lamba, head of innovation at Lakmé, the event's title sponsor.
Sharing the journey of completion of LFW's 15-year journey in the Indian fashion industry, Lamba told IANS: "I think we have made a lot of progress from the day we began. As a startup, we knew that we would be defining the future of fashion. So, whether it's Gen Next show or Indian Textile Day, we made sure that we are setting a benchmark."
LFW dedicates a day to Indian textiles each time. And on day two of the gala this time, the organisers felicitated designers promoting use of textiles.
The day started with prominent designers Raghavendra Rathore, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Anita Dongre being lauded by Textile Commisioner Sajay Kumar Panda for their continuous contribution to promote Indian textile and handloom. Discussions were also held on how they can be popularised as a new style statement among fashion-conscious youth.
This was the time when Mukherjee, one of most influential names in the world of fashion, appealed to all corporates in India to set aside a day for Indian wear. He said it would be great if Indian youth could wear textiles and bring about a revolution.
What followed in the remaining days was a display of various silhouettes by a plethora of designers.
A total of 83 designers participated in the just-concluded edition of LFW. Apart from emerging and young designers, there were also some of the stalwarts who promoted India-inspired fashion on the runway. The names included the likes of Raghavendra Rathore, Tarun Tahiliani, Wendell Rodricks, Kiran Uttam Gosh, Krishna Mehta, Manish Malhotra, Suneet Verma and Shivan & Narresh.
Not to miss, there were also two international names.
While German lifestyle clothing company Tom Tailor showcased casual and uncomplicated clothing, designer Natalie Jolliffe of brand Miss Bennett London offered a mix of ensembles for the fashion forward young women, looking for a distinct style statement.
And how could Bollywood presence be given a miss for a fashion event in Mumbai? There was dollops of B-Town glamour with Shraddhha Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, Arjun Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Kalki Koechlin, Tamannaah Bhatia and the ever-so-graceful Shabana Azmi on the ramp.
Here's a look at Bollywood's best gracing the LFW 2015 ramp: