This year’s Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive ended on a high note with a plethora of themes, social causes and Bollywood celebs gracing the runway in charismatic couture, as the 5 day event marked 20 years this year. Lakme has always thrived to provide a podium to newcomers, be it the fresh batch of fashion institutes or investing in start-ups. It has also set an example to break barriers, whether it is androgynous ensembles, transgender models or simply adding curvy models making size no limit for fashion, Lakme has aced it all in two decades.
However, among the crowning moments, this season was a rather questionable one for some significant choices and themes. Here’s a breakdown on everything wrong with one of India’s biggest fashion event.
Designer Amit Aggarwal launched his luxury pret collection called 'Flux' with cricketer Hardik Pandya and actress Lisa Haydon walking the ramp as showstoppers. While Twitter trolled the cricketer as a prodigy of Ranveer Singh (given the bold fashion choices), a concern by many that was swept under the rug is that someone who has been misogynist and sexist in the past was given a place on a prestigious runway that celebrates women. If we’re so forgiving towards men of that calibre, shouldn’t it apply to everyone who has stepped in his shoes? We must say it was a brilliant way to clean up his image with the ruse of fashion. Nevertheless, there is a section that did not applaud this move on account of Lakme, as it highly screams of double standards.
About a year ago Esha Deol made headlines for walking off, after being interrupted by organisers during the post show conference. If the actress would maintain her standards of dignity, she wouldn’t have returned with a comeback this season. But as a parent she bent the knee for her daughter Radhya, who walked the ramp for the first time. This was for the Hamleys show that saw, 22 children from around the country, aged 4-9 years sashaying on the runway.
While we adore Esha’s idea to let bygones be bygones, it is disturbing to see kids at such a young age walking the ramp. While it is a debatable topic, we stress on the fact that fashion weeks are adult platforms that rely on a structured format, making it too complex for little children. Introducing kids prematurely to a concept that has a history of being ruthless and self-objectification, is not something they should come to face with.
Finally coming to the much hyped #FreeYourLips movement that was seen as the crux and USP for this season. For most of us it was highly overrated, unnecessary and a wasted attempt to associate societal issues for the sake of marketing a new range of matte lipsticks. While the promotions around the fashion week was about freedom of expression for women through this medium, using such issues to sell products simply makes them numb for being dragged only for a wider profit margin. Women have been fighting for their freedom of expression in better ways and lipsticks aren’t that top the list.
All in all, despite marking a growth of 20 years, Lakme Fashion Week went backwards in trying to make a forward move. The idea is to follow one strong approach so you don’t end up in a potboiler of dual standards.