Whilst I was (reluctantly) climbing the mountains of Slovenia (pictures to come soon - promise!), this lot were happy mingling in the comfort of Mumbai's Grand Hyatt Hotel, busying themselves with chatter of the latest unveilings from the Winter/Festive 2012 collections. Lucky them. Taking place twice a year since 1999, Lakmé Fashion Week is India's most prestigious Fashion and trade event, acting as a platform for the launch of many of India's most talented designers. So that's the intro done, now for the Lakmé Lowdown...take a look at some of the 'best in show' according to the humble opinion of Wandering Threads:
(As above) Definitely one to watch: an unquestionable mastery of print-on-print styling that is synonymously Indian, but what's that? It's inspired by Pac Man?! Yup, Chaudhary's inspiration went on a whirlwind ride back to the 1960's American Retro Era, where he picked up a sunny colour palette of canary yellow, cherry red and electric blue before propelling himself 20 years into the future to play a bit of our favourite 80's childhood arcade game, then hurling himself back to the present day ready with the one and only 'Miss Pac-in District'. Despite the somewhat nerdy inspiration, this collection's got definite sex appeal: a predominantly lean, body snug silhouette in super-modern block vs digital print-colour fusion's gave a new twist to the sari-choli combo, whilst full skirts paired with traditionally cut choli's created a look which would easily find its place on the runways of western fashion weeks. Enough photo's I need to see this in person Chaudhary! Get thee to London Fashion Week!
Winner of the Grazia Young Designers Award: Best Jewellery Designer 2012, Arora's career seems to be skyrocketing to success at only 24. A graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York, Arora launched her accessory line upon completing her studies in 2011 and has already held trunk shows in Dubai, Egypt and New York. Her LFW W/F 2012 'Nouveau Gypsy' collection saw her trademark oversized statement necklaces embellished with a mishmash of mesh and chain, set with gemstones and enamel in geometric forms on beds of tassel's, while spiked chokers kicked up a 'dare to touch' rock'n'roll edge.
Synonymous with the combo of indigenous design and contemporary styling, Sancheti's Pinnacle brand combines traditional craftsmanship with a look desirable of modern day India. With a collection entitled 'Thar', this seasons look was very much a contemporary fashion take on the time-honored textiles of the Kutch region. Combining traditional techniques of Shibori (a unique stitch resistant technique of the Nebsarai Village), Sindhi Tanka or Kutch stitch with negative appliqué, herringbone, chain and buttonhole stitches in a colour palette of richly hued fuschia, sunset orange, mango, indigo and royal blue, Sancheti's seamlessly layered and meticulously crafted ensembles made more than an impact on Indian Textile Day.
Infamous for her penchant for 'androgyny, structure and contrast', Sachdeva sure didn't fail on any mark this season with her fluid collection inspired by the Indian Maharaja and the Sadhu. Elegant, sheer and floaty blouses, feminine pleated skirts and billowing harem pants were neatly nipped with sharply cut blazers whilst pretty pastels and feminine, soft shades of berry and apricot where starkly bordered with black belts and collars. Picking up on that distinctly tailored western edge? No doubt a by-product of days spent studying at London College of Fashion and stemming from an impressive resume of experience working with both Vivienne Westwood and Giles Deacon.
Mara Hoffman eat your heart out! There's a new kid on the block and she certainly stole the show this season at Lakmé with her Mexican Folk Art and Aboriginal inspired prints. Aptly named "Espiritu de Mexico", Pauro's collection IS the perfect holiday wardrobe (NB for those of you yet to leave for your summer vacations). Brightly hued beach shorts were paired with printed cami's, easy-wear patterned jersey dresses featured appliqued Mexican motifs and for that evening transition Pauro provided bead encrusted, heavily embroidered mini tube dresses. Oh and she's a graduate of London College of Fashion, can you tell?
For more information on Lakmé Fashion Week, click here.