Making the Shift


The Autumn Winter Lotus Make-up India Fashion Week (LMIFW) in its current edition explores new materials and collaborations

It’s that time of the year when fashion students, bloggers and the industry at large are in a tizzy. It’s a guessing roulette on which Bollywood celebrities will be showstoppers, and new fashion trends cussed out, measured and perhaps absorbed. The Lotus Make-up India Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2019 (LMIFW AW’19), a four-day event, kicked off at the usual venue – Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the Capital. While fashion week regulars like Rahul Mishra, Suneet Varma, Samant Chauhan and Namrata Joshipura were in the line-up, what was interesting was the thrust on sustainability, green fashion and environment consciousness. Here’s a sneak preview:

Green Room Conversations

With actor-singer Tiffany Haddish choosing to wear her $ 4000 Alexander McQueen dress three times in public already (she wore it to the recent Oscars, her SNL monologue and a red-carpet event for her film Girls Trip Last July) — we know that fast fashion is already contentious and hopefully on its way out. The conversations seem to have trickled home as well. The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) took the initiative of sustainability forward with special dedicated shows. “We want sustainability and conscious fashion as a way of life. We can’t have designers showcasing environmental friendly and sustainable weaves and fabrics, and then plastic glasses and fake grass at the venue. Today, we have an entire line-up for that narrative: there is a ‘Green Heart Show’, where four leading designers present their ideas of fluid fashion through Liva fabric. For instance, Amita Gupta has a line called ‘Sustainable’, which blends the Banaras weave with a modern contemporary twist. But it’s necessary to have these ideas continue even when the fashion week is over,” said Sunil Sethi, president, FDCI.

With Liva, by Aditya Birla group, coming on board as the associate sponsor, FDCI attempted to push for sustainability. The Livaeco Green Heart Show kickstarted the fashion week, with Rina Dhaka, Sahil Kochhar, Shalini James and Samant Chauhan. On the closing day, they presented ‘Liva Protege’, where younger designers were mentored by seniors such as Aarti Vijay Gupta and Chauhan. “Liva is a new age fabric, made out of cellulose. It’s a highly sustainable fabric with great breathability and fluidity. Not only does the fabric look great, it feels great too. Most importantly, it does not leave one with the guilt of harming the environment which fast fashion is doing globally. The fabric is sourced from FSC certified sustainable forests. The journey of every piece of fabric can be tagged and traced to its origin,” informed a Liva spokesperson.

Delhi-based Chauhan said, “The idea is to present the explorative possibilities of the fabric, in a fun, relaxed, fluid way. As designers, we need some part of that in our work, we can’t achieve it with machines alone. This is where the
manual and the handmade art and craft come into the picture. I am blending technology with the fabric, for a
younger clientele.”

Delayed Debut

The preparations at his Lado Sarai studio, were akin to a ‘daughter’s wedding’, said Suket Dhir. The designer, who has been on the Indian fashion scene for more than a decade, finally made his debut at a fashion week. He presented an extended version of his latest collection ‘He for She’. “I had been skirting this decision for a while, due to my own process of over thinking. There was a time when I couldn’t afford to do a show, and then when I could, there were limited options, and I had a small team,” said Dhir. But given the acclaim his collection received, it encouraged the designer to take the plunge. The show also had his trademark menswear collection. Dhir’s menswear reflects his experiments with his own clothing, with emphasis on organic fabric and its utilitarian value. “I don’t believe in single-wear clothing. I come from a time when expensive clothes would last, and would be passed on to the new generation. I want to create something that men want to wear on a daily basis,” he says.