Day Two at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017 has always been reserved for Sustainable Fashion and this season five Master Craftsmen of Paramparik Karigar were paired with five talented young designers for the opening show, 'Craft Is Cool'.
The result was a great fusion of Heritage crafts presented in a stylish contemporary mode.
The two decades old journey of Paramparik Karigar spans the expanse of the country discovering talented craftsmen, who have quietly nurtured the heritage crafts of our land.
The Paramparik Karigar initiative was undertaken to provide sustained livelihood to the craftsmen and ensure the participation of their next generation in the continuation of the heritage.
Ratna Krishna Kumar, Member, Management Committee, Paramparik Karigar said, "Paramparik Karigar is proud to be associated with Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017 and would like to applaud its endeavour in promoting our craftsmen and presenting hand loom textiles/crafts in an innovative and contemporary form."
The five pairs created a stylish jugalbandi of craft, weaves and contemporary fashion that gave the applauding audience an intense fashion experience.
Inspired by peace and harmony the artisans and designers not only highlighted the crafts but their creative sensibilities that revealed a graceful hint of Japanese and oriental nuances to match the requirements of the season.
To the strains of live singing by Akasa showcasing eight garments each, the craftsmen and designers presented a variety of styles, which were accessorised with beautiful vegan shoes designed from the fabrics of the show by Kurio.
THE BAGH STORY
MOHAMMED YUSUF KHATRI
When it comes to block printing techniques in the Bagh patterns there is one name that stands above all. Mohammed Yusuf Khatri, Master Craftsman from Madhya Pradesh along with his sons, Bilal and Kazeem has always created wonders on fabrics as well as even bamboo mats and leather. The inspiration has been the fauna and architecture of the land that enchanted lovers of the Bagh hand block printing and dyeing techniques.
Teaming up with Mohammed Yusuf Khatri were Vineet Kataria and Rahul Arya with their label 'Vineet Rahul'. Using the fabrics cleverly, the duo unveiled their collection called 'Raag' comprising neo-Indian slim line kurtas; wrap trench coats, quilted skirts; while the silhouettes moved from kimono sleeves to detailing with pleated hemlines. Shifts, maxis with side fins, belted soft double-sleeved jacket and kimono over kurta with loose pants, gave the Bagh print a perfect backdrop. Working with Gajee silk, voile, mulberry silk and beautiful Chanderi, the duo stayed true to the Bagh colours - maroon, black and beige to highlight the craft.
THE DABU STORY
BHERU LAL CHIPPA
When it comes to the intricate technique of mud resist form in hand block printing, Master Craftsman Bheru Lal Chippa from Rajasthan is the ace at the art. Teaming up with his five sons Bherulal, created some amazing hand block designs. His two young sons, Pintu and Vikas ensured that there was a fresh fervour added to the patterns to match the modern needs of the fashion industry.
The brand 'Poochki' by Ishanee Mukherjee and Anirudh Chawla, which was launched at the Gen Next Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2017 show is known for its relaxed fashion statements and that is exactly what was presented on the ramp. The look used the delicate Dabu prints in deep earthy tones to give an interesting angle. Piped dresses, boleros, cropped pants, panelled skirts, blouson and an interesting box-pleated harem pant added to the beauty of the Dabu print with the feminine silhouettes. Geometrics and pretty floral designs enhanced the youthful zest of the creations.
THE SHIBORI STORY
Based in Munnar and started in 1994 under the Shristi Trust, Aranya Naturals of Kerala has been known for its tie-and-dye as well as natural dyes. The 100 per cent natural dyes are extracted from local sources. The colours are derived from indigo, tea waste, eucalyptus and pomegranate, which gave a natural appeal to the Shibori.
Shreejith Jeevan's 'Rouka' label has always been a devotee of natural and organic fabrics. Keeping the beauty of Shibori in mind and the sensibilities of the craft, Shreejith used a mix of naturally dyed Shibori along with resist dyeing techniques like batik and ombre dyeing to create engineered pieces for his collection 'Into the Lotus Pond'. He also made clever use of Arashi, Nui and Itajime Shibori that added to the charm of the creations.
Inspired by the Japanese Zen styles with minimum harm to the fabric, Shreejith offered asymmetric tops, maxis, easy tunic dresses, Samurai inspired skirts and sheer colour blocked organza jackets. An A-line tent, empire line smock, front tied maxi and layered tunics over maxis were the perfect offering for the craft. The shades were restricted to indigo, blue and madder red along with ivory. The fabric choice moved from pure silk to satin, organza, georgette and crepe.
THE BANDHEJ STORY
From Gujarat the name Shohel Khatri means the Master of Bandhej or Bandhani. Giving this Indian tie-n-dye technique his brilliant touches the result was a palette of designs in all the rich Indian hues that were ideal for the trendsetting dresser.
THE POT PLANT
'The Pot Plant' label by Resham Karmchandani and Sanya Suri received an enthusiastic response when it first appeared at the Gen Next Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2017 show. Working with Shohel Khatri gave the designing duo a new dimension to their styles. Redefining the feminine craft, which is predominantly used for wedding trousseaux, the designers showcased easy gender fluid garments with a versatile appeal. Draped kimono jackets, a flame red sari with a rustic blouse and feminine shapes were the highlight of the women's wear. Men's wear appeared in combos of jacket, kurta and pants, a jumpsuit or track pant versions.
THE AJRAKH STORY
SARFRAZ KHATRI OF PRACHEEN
Hand block printing with the Ajrakh Technique is a specialty of Sarfraz Khatri of Pracheen. Using geometrics and astrological motifs the Master Craftsman has created stunning handloom silk stoles, saris and organic cotton fabrics. Printing with vegetable dyes, the look was beautiful but very contemporary in design and form.
Anjali Patel Mehta's 'Verandah' label incorporated the beauty of Ajrakh fabrics for her characteristic high-end Boho chic creations. Using heavy silk, tussar and Dupion along with machine detailing, the eight garments had a relaxed easy vibe with shades of maroon, mustard, grey, indigo and blue. Tassels, cotton fringing, kimono sleeves and easy silhouettes had a marked oriental flavour with an emphasis on Japanese imagery. The kimono blouse with cropped pants, baggy jackets, bell-sleeved floor-kissing cover, the dramatic tasselled Kaftan and unstructured jacket were highlights of the collection. The pleated palazzos and the draped gathered long coat rounded off the look. Anjali however kept the fluid separates perfect for mix and match options.