Gen Next takes handloom to new high at Lakme Fashion Week (Photo- Twitter/@LakmeFashionWk)
Youth is the future of country and the fashion industry seems to be in the right hands with young designers making it a point to use “only” Indian textiles in their collections.
Five new designers Anurag Gupta, Ajay Kumar Singh, Kanika Sachdeva, Sweta Gupta and Yadvi Agarwal on Wednesday made their runway debut with the Gen Next show at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2018, and the thread binding them together was their aim to promote Indian textiles through their creations.
Kanika, whose label Jajaabor narrated the tale of a traveller, said it is unfortunate that the fashion industry has been negligent towards Indian textiles for the longest time, but is happy that finally there is change in the mindset of both consumers and producers.
“It is unfortunate that people are running abroad and buying stuff from them. We have such beautiful textiles in India, which unfortunately designers from abroad are coming and using. I believe it is high time we realize the worth of what we have.
“We have to understand that the kind of weather we have in India the handloom fabric is perfect for it. The polyester or stuff like that is good for cold countries of Europe. We need to use them and innovate them to an extent that it goes to the global platform,” she said.
The collection titled “The Artful Lodger” was inspired from various homestays stories from across the globe. She extensively used khadi, chanderi cotton and silk in her range.
Sweta, who hails from Delhi, presented a modern take on nomadic expressions through traditional weaves. The clothing range, deriving inspiration from Himalayas, was entirely made from hand-woven Chanderi and merino wool yarns.
Sweta believes Indian designers should not only focus on reviving handloom but also educate the weavers about the market in order to make them more interested in being part of the fashion industry.
“It should be given that designers in India should use handloom and our own craftsmanship. Educate the weavers about the market. That is what I always try to do. I try to teach them and make them more interested in the designing part,” she said.
Yadvi, whose collection was an eclectic array of hand painted and hand-woven separates, said to bring handlooms to mainstream designers need to focus on creating contemporary silhouettes.
“I love textiles and I did my education in textiles after studying fashion. We have so much of textiles and hand-woven stuff that we don’t need to look outside our country to create something which matches up to the expectations of the international as well as national market. I believe all we need to do is to create clothing with universal appeal.
Delhi-based designer Ajay believes the fact the handloom takes a lot of time to create is one of the main reasons why people still shy away from using it in their collections.
“The reason for negligence is that creating handloom takes time and the costing is a lot, so in the retail market people automatically chose fabrics which are easy. But in the past few years we have realised that we need to look at our own roots,” he said.
Ajay’s collection was inspired by imagination of “intellectually different” people. He used patchwork and kantha with machine embroidery on various handloom fabrics to create a capsule collection.
Anruag on the other hand worked with Khadi denim and said his aim will always be to present handloom in the most powerful way possible.
“I worked with Khadi denim. I wanted to modernize our traditional textile. My concept is to contemporaries the textile treasure we had. My brand represents power of clothing and handloom makes the base of my brand and will always be my focus,” he said.