Kaveri Lalchand translates her lockdown experiences into her LFW collection, Cocoon
When Kaveri Lalchand tells us that textiles are her ‘security blanket’, there is no analogy involved. She means it quite literally! It was during the months of the lockdown brought about by the pandemic that the Chennai-based designer found herself going through the seven stages of grief, starting with denial and anger. Her retail stores across the country were shuttered, her karigars were stranded, and the future was uncertain. And, all she could do was turn to her stock of fabrics as a means of self-soothing. “Following the tumultuous weeks caused by the coronavirus panic, I found myself sitting among my stocks, wondering what next. And, almost unconsciously, I found comfort in wrapping myself in these familiar textiles. It was my safe place, and it felt like a warm, comforting hug,” reveals the designer. Inspired by the situation and determined to share this experience, Kaveri went through the motions and began working on her new collection, Cocoon.
Set to be unveiled on Day 2 (October 22) of the upcoming Lakmé Fashion Week, the collection is a play on the idea of the metamorphosis that a butterfly undergoes in the cocoon. By far one of the brand’s most unique collections to date, Cocoon brings together the brand’s signature free-flowing silhouettes and a new-found love for structured tailoring in a soft and feminine way. Dominated by sheer silk organza in delicate hues of off-white, ecru and iron, each ensemble is purposeful in the retelling of the collection’s origin story. Consider the Choux Tunic that has an attached cocoon scarf draped across the shoulders or neck, which creates the image of an enveloped cocoon. Or the Lumiere Drape Dress with a sheer cowl collar that takes on the contours of a butterfly chrysalis.
Among the other highlights of the collection are the use of motifs and surface techniques. Straying from the French florals that one has come to expect from the brand, Kaveri dabbles with hand-embroidered butterflies and dragonflies and recreates their intricately detailed wing patterns using gold stamps.
Along with the launch of the collection, the designer, who is the sole representative from Chennai at the first-ever virtual LFW, will unveil her eponymous brand’s new sustainability initiative. “As a brand, we are beginning to look at a holistic approach to sustainability, and it is not just limited to the raw material,” explains Kaveri. From picking certified vendors for fabrics to spotlighting the talent that has created the garment and ensuring a plastic-free work environment, the label is working towards ticking all the right boxes. ”We are also kickstarting our Love Earth project, THIS x THAT, which encourages customers to bring back their old Kaveri garments in exchange for a voucher. We are also happy to upgrade, alter or repair any of our old garments at no extra cost.”
Rs 8,000 onwards. Cocoon goes live on the brand’s website following the LFW showcase and is available at all Kaveri stores.