LFW finale designers on creating art amid pandemic: Daunting yet fruitful

·3-min read

New Delhi, Oct 25 (PTI) As fashion took a back seat for the customers amid the coronavirus pandemic as futuristic designer Rimzim Dadu and emerging creators Saaksha Bhat & Kinnari Kamat utilised the nationwide lockdown to figure out innovative ways to function and rebuild the business. The designers worked hard with their teams from their homes to create their respective festive collections which they showcased at the first digital, season fluid Lakme Absolute Grand Finale in Mumbai on Sunday.

Dadu, known for her modern spin on the quintessential Indian sari, said the period at home was a good break from her hectic schedule, but creating a full-length collection was an “emotionally overwhelming” process as she had to be careful about the safety of her team as well as the artisans.

“It was emotionally very overwhelming. But I think at some point we decided to cut the news out and resume with our lives and work in a very phased and safe manner. I think ensuring everyone’s safety, my team’s safety and our artisan’s safety, was the biggest thing in my mind,” the designer told PTI.

The celebrity-favourite artiste, who has taken her experiment with metallic chording and steel wires a notch higher with her festive 2020 edit, said to curate her latest range she created a “bio bubble” where the whole team started living together to complete the work as per the schedule.

“It was kind of bittersweet. We realised that the only way to do this is to create a bio bubble of sorts where we all live together. And the whole idea was that all of us will work for a common goal, which is rebuilding the business and getting back to what gives us immense joy -- the art of creation.” The designer said her collection explores floral and geometric patterns with emphasis on flow and movement of textiles.

Saaksha & Kinni, who presented their range “Gor – The gypsies of India” inspired by the Banjara community, said with so much uncertainty around it was a huge “challenge” to come up with a collection.

“It was certainly challenging to curate this collection during the pandemic and lockdown. Without having fabrics and embroideries in front of you, it is a task to design and create.” But the duo said they enjoyed working on the line as they got a lot more time than usual for research and development.

The range highlights the famous Banjara stone prints, bandhani, thread work and iconic usage of mirrors and coins. The silhouettes include micro-pleated skirts, kedia style blouses, jackets and shirts; created in lightweight fabrics such as chiffon, cotton silks and satins.

Both the labels’ collections were inspired by Lakme’s beauty theme for the season #SpotlightReady, with actor Mrunal Thakur as their showstopper.

The designers said showcasing at the first virtual LFW was a new and exciting experience.

While Dadu said she enjoyed adapting to the change, for Saaksha & Kinni it was a little “daunting” experience.

“The pandemic has forced this sort of digital shift upon all industries, including fashion. This is a change we all have to embrace. The sooner we embrace this change, the better it is going to be for us,” said Dadu.

The designer believes that the pandemic has also brought an immense shift in the way people consume fashion, making “meaningless” shopping a thing of the past.

“People are not going out as much so the spending on fashion has definitely dropped a lot. But what’s happening is people now want to invest in pieces that they actually like and feel emotionally connected to.

“I think that mindless and impulse shopping is gone and has taken over meaningful purchases. People want to invest in things that resonate with them rather than following a trend. It’s actually a good thing,” she said.

The five-day long LFW saw some of the biggest names from the fashion industry including Manish Malhotra, Masaba Gupta, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Kunal Rawal and Amit Aggarwal showcase their festive collection. PTI SHD RDS RDS