Here’s a sneak peek into the Gen Next designer collections debuting at LFW W/F’19
Every fashion week, LFW’s Gen Next has been redefining various aspects of couture through the use of innovative silhouettes and weaves. This season sees a new crop of designers heavily invested in reinventing and exploring rather subtle details like texture and feel, characteristic that enhances the mood of a collection. We get chatting with Lakmé’s handpicked six, ahead of their showcase in August, and gain a sneak preview of their collections that will spotlight experimental embroidery and prints, upcycled textured weaves, and finishes that are inspired by art, architecture and even nature.
Anatomy by Gaurav Singh
Groomed by the likes of Gaurav Gupta and Madira Wirk, designer Gaurav Singh’s collection focusses on stylistically innovative garments that are wearable off the ramp. “I am inspired by the Kadali-Patram (banana leaf in Sanskrit) and how it serves a range of purposes in our culture — from being used to serve food to being a vessel for floral offerings to deities.” The 30-year-old’s collection combines rough handwoven khadi with innovative cutting and draping techniques to recreate the anatomical patterns and composition of the banana leaf. Presenting a line of dresses, tops, jackets and skirts, the Ghazipur-based designer has used pleating and boning across the collection to mimic the ribs on the plant’s foliage.
Ura Maku by Manjushree Saikia
Experimenting with the composition of natural silk yarn like eri, muga and organic cotton for its distinct hand-made feel, Mumbai-based Manjushree Sakai’s collection is an ode to the weavers from the North East. Titled Down to Reality, the collection explores the history of power dressing, including Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking. “The collection deeply resonates with the silhouettes that are of historical significance and is an attempt to create a style that is timeless,” says the designer whose collection of jackets, trousers and dresses are dyed shades of beige using organic Assamese tea.
Little Things Studio by Ankita Srivastava
Little Things Studio’s founder/creative director, Ankita Srivastava’s clothes aim to inspire body positivity. Created using khadi, Chanderi, mashru and cupro (vegan silk made from waste cotton), the choice of fabrics and texture are pivotal to the collection explains the 30-year-old, who is based in New Delhi. “We wanted to use textiles that felt good on the skin. The idea behind the collection was to create garments for the woman who felt confident in whatever she wore.” Translating this philosophy into design elements, the collection boasts motifs featuring female forms and is inspired by the painting and paper cutting techniques employed by French artist Henri Émile Benoît Matisse. The winter/festive line will see variations of silk shirts with saris.
Zilzom by Stanzin Palmo
Ladakh-based designer Stanzin Palmo’s collection offers insights into the unexplored craft and embroidery traditions of the region. “The Pashmina shawls that are made for the market are completely plain. With this collection, I have introduced hand embroidery onto these shawls and used a traditional tie-and-dye method called Thigma on jackets and scarves.” Designed using yak, sheep and camel wool from the region, the collection will offer a range of pleated yet, flowy silhouettes that are inspired by the traditional Ladakhi Goncha robes that feature gathers around the waist.
Amaaré by Sahib Bhatia
Featuring embroidery inspired by Australian aboriginal dot art, designer Sahib Bhatia’s line is a play of textures on trench coats, jackets, shirts, bhandgalas and blazers. Aimed at the millennial man, the New Delhi-based designer’s collection hints at Japanese fashion sensibilities and experiments with layering and asymmetrical hemlines. Dominated by shades of black, navy blue and grey, the 28-year-old’s line makes extensive use of cotton and woollen blends.
Noié Noéi by Akanksha Aggarwal
Akanksha Aggarwal’s collection is motivated by architecture — especially the structures designed by famed Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. “I have always marvelled at the fluid but complex forms that she brought to life. When I was studying at Parsons in New York, I’d see people working on the
construction that is located along the High Line.” Transposing Hadid’s fluid forms into her designs, the semi-formal collection combines cinched waistlines, exaggerated sleeves, bold shoulders and flowy hemlines with zero-waste cutting patterns that are worked into the silhouettes as surface techniques—pleats, gathers and folds. “I have also used a multicoloured upcycled fabric with cotton, jute, denim and silk,” says the 29-year-old New Delhi-based designer.