Lakme Fashion Week update: New models, GenNext designers for Winter/Festive 2011

Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011 is still a while away, but preps for Mumbai’s biggest fashion event are in full swing. Speaking Chic brings you mid-season updates from LFW W/F 2011.

GenNext and Emerging designers for LFW W/F 2011
To start with, the list of debut Gen Next designers is out. The designers/ teams are from around the world—from Nagpur to Vancouver! Here are the lucky eight:

  • Farah Sanjana from Nagpur
  • Mohammed Javed Khan from Bangalore
  • Nikhil Thampi from Mumbai
  • Shashank Raj & Prajwal Badwe from New Delhi
  • Siddharth Arya from Mumbai
  • Theresa James & Roger Prince from Vancouver
  • Thinles Chosdup & Niranjana Adhya from Noida
  • Urmi Ghosh from Kolkata

Meanwhile, the emerging designers line-up has some familiar names, including Shivaji Dutta, Anna Liza Ganguly/ Anita Walia and Pam & Arch. A glimpse of the GenNext show from the previous season (Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011):

GenNext Designers at LFW SR 2011

Nine new faces on ramp for LFW W/F 2011
Earlier this week, an LFW jury selected nine new models to walk the ramp this upcoming season.


New faces of Lakme Fashion Week-(L-R) Keren SilveirraKaren LimaXamira MohlmannNoelia BarreiroDiana LobodaMariia CherniakovychSweta DolliNijhum Pat

Check them out (pun intended!) from left to right: Keren Silveirra, Karen Lima, Xamira Mohlmann, Noelia Barreiro, Diana Loboda, Mariia Cherniakovych, Sweta Dolli, Nijhum Patra and Mitali Rannorey.

The long-legged lasses impressed the jury comprising choreographers Anu Ahuja and Marc Robinson, designer Aki Narula, photographers Prasad Naik and Vishesh Verma, Monikangkana Datta, Anil Chopra (CEO- Lakme Lever) and Anjana Sharma (Director- Fashion IMG Reliance).

Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011 will run from August 16 to August 21, 2011 in Mumbai.

LFW: Fashion lessons from Day 5

One would expect some exciting stuff happening on the last day of Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011. Though the day began well, there were not too many “Wow” moments that day. Here are some fashion lessons we learnt on Day 5 of LFW.

Nude colours are still around

Harangad Singh and VJ Balhara used beige, sand and similar colours in good doses in their collections. While VJ Balhara sought rustic inspiration, Harangad Singh had aristocratic influences, and showed us an interesting way to wear beige this summer without looking dull—with soft colours like lemonade and pink.

(Below left to right: VJ Balhara, Harangad Singh)

VJ Balhara at LFW S/R 2011 Harangad Singh at LFW S/R 2011

Markets rule over fashion

At Satya Paul that evening there was marine inspiration and we saw enoughsequins, twinkles and other shiny things that made us blink more than needed. And at Abdul Halder, we felt the designer was trying too hard to be as wearable as possible that it almost bored us. The common thread? We suspect they’re both tailored (pun intended) for very specific markets (though different ones, of course).

(Below left to right: Satya Paul, Abdul Halder)

Satya Paul at LFW S/R 2011 Abdul Halder at LFW S/R 2011

Feminine fashion is always in style

From Pallavi Mohan’s A Pocketful of Posies to Gauri-Nainika’s grand finale, we loved the soft feminine silhouettes, fabrics and details. At Pallavi Mohan’s Not So Serious show, there were cascades of ruffles, lace on sleeves and tiers, peasant tops and sexy baby doll blouses. At the finale Fantasy Collection, Gauri and Nainika showed us cocktail dresses with spiraling drapes and textures in pastel shades of white, blue, green, pink and yellow. And there was plenty of lace, frill details, tulle and soft satin. No better way to make you feel all girly and ladylike.

(Below left to right: Pallavi Mohan’s Not So Serious, Gauri-Nainika’s Fantasy collection)

Pallavi Mohan at LFW S/R 2011 Gauri Nainika at LFW S/R 2011

We love quirky chic

We enjoyed some of the accessory designers who kicked off the final day of Lame Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011. Prabhat Kumar showed us how accessories can be kinda crazy—with a reptile-like texture on bags… not for the light-hearted! Meanwhile, Rohan Arora showed us a riches-to-rags story, for the inflation-struck Indian fashionistas. From the colourful embellished heels to the flats with basic prints, they were all worth a look. Meanwhile, we also liked Rachana Reddy’s  fan, rectangular, oval and pill box shaped clutches and sling bags.

(Below: Prabhat Kumar, Rohan Arora, Rachana Reddy)

Prabhat Kumar accessories at LFW S/R 2011 Rohan Arora accessories at LFW S/R 2011 Rachana Reddy accessories at LFW S/R 2011

LFW: Highlights of Day 4

The fourth day of Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011 was a mixed bag—with fun fashion and some disappointments.

Floral fiesta

It was mid-March, and the mercury was rising in Mumbai, even as the fashion was getting summery. We saw the eternal summer favourite floral prints taking to the ramp. Purvi Doshi presented great summer florals while Cantabil designs got an edgier twist. And at Anupamaa Dayal the bright florals were mixed and matched with colour and print blocks on saris, kaftans and dresses, creating a very sunny atmosphere in the main show area.

(Below left to right:  Purvi Doshi, Cantabil styled by Rocky S, Anupamaa Dayal).

Purvi Doshi at LFW S/R 2011 Cantabil styled by Rocky S LFW S/R 2011 Anupamaa Dayal at LFW S/R 2011

Funky prints ruled

Like we noted above, florals got a fun twist. But that was just one of the prints we saw on the ramp. Sabah Khan’s rickshaw-inspired prints were kitschy yet wearable. And the inimitable Kallol Dutta got cheeky with a print inspired by leading fashion journalist Sathya Saran (she’s ex-editor of Femina). Take a look.

(Below left to right: Sabah Khan, Kallol Dutta)

Sabah Khan at LFW S/R 2011 Kallol Dutta at LFW S/R 2011

More fun stuff for guys

So it turns out that Indian guys will have an amazing range of clothes to choose from this summer. While Day 2 of Lakme Fashion Week Summer/ Resort 2011 had some good clothes for guys, the Cantabil and Sanjay Hingu collections on Day 4 added to their list of summer sartorial choices.

Sanjay Hingu presented a pastel colour palette for men, focussing on soft blue suits, jackets and trousers, with Rocky S styling the Cantabil men in pastel-coloured suits. One-button suits were another common link. Meanwhile Cantabil had a vibrant colour range for polo tshirts, and it was fun to see the guys in bright-coloured bermudas and trousers.

(Below left to right: Sanjay Hingu, Cantabil styled by Rocky S)

Sanjay Hingu at LFW S/R 2011 Cantabil by Rocky S at LFW S/R 2011

Lots of chic vacation wear

When I go on holiday this year, maybe I’ll ditch the convenient jeans-and-tee combo, and look at options for a relaxed chic look. In international fashion markets, this is often called resort wear, and I think it’s a great idea for the hot Indian summer, irrespective of whether you’re going on vacation or not.

I loved Anupamaa Dayal’s colourful printed kaftans in pinks and oranges, and Pria Kataria Puri evoked a Marrakesh atmosphere with exotic prints, mirror work and crystal-embellished kaftans, maxis and tunics that you could wear to a party.

(Below left to right: Anupamaa Dayal, Pria Kataria Puri)

Anupamaa Dayal at LFW S/R 2011 Pria Kataria Puri at LFW S/R 2011

Been there, seen that

At a show titled The Future of Fashion, what would you expect? Futuristic design, oodles of creativity, refreshing styles, right? Unfortunately, at this DHL-inspired show designers Atsu Sekhose and Kallol Dutta presented clothes that were mostly insipid and well, not futuristic or mindboggling at all. As a fashion watcher later told me, “What future of fashion? The show was more about the past of fashion.” LOL. (Take a peek and decide for yourself).

(Below left to right: Atsu, Kallol Dutta)

Atsu Sekhose at LFW S/R 2011 Kallol Dutta at LFW S/R 2011

LFW: Trends seen on Day 3

Day 3 of Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011 was it kicked off with the accessory show, and ended with a rock glam show by Shantanu-Nikhil. We pick our top fashion and accessories trends of the day:

The gleam of metal

From Siddharth Tytler’s Metalosophy show to metallic accessories, there was enough metal on the ramps to send security officers into a tizzy. 😉 Siddharth Tytler’s collection had gold and silver embellishments (or strong metallic hints) on dresses, blouses and even shorts. At Malaga there were gold and silver sequinned bags shining on the ramp, while Suhani Pittie used real metal  to create some interesting neckpieces and cuffs.

(Below left to right: Siddharth Tytler, Malaga, Suhani Pittie)

Siddarth Tytler at LFW S/R 2011 Malaga at LFW S/R 2011 Suhani Pittie at LFW S/R 2011

Debarun’s gold applique glittered on the ramp, giving a rich look to his outfits, while Anita Dongre used gold and silver ribbon borders (though there was nothing unusual or luxurious about them).

(Below left to right: Debarun, two pictures from Timeless by Anita Dongre)

Debarun at LFW S/R 2011 Timeless by Anita Dongre at LFW S/R 2011 Timeless by Anita Dongre at LFW S/R 2011

Fashionable nomads

Babita Malkani sought inspiration from Baul singers from Bengal and the fluid, feminine silhouettes were nomadic, bohemian and chic. The prints included those of Baul singers, Bengali scriptures and abstract designs of musical instruments like the Iktara.

Meanwhile at Aparna and Norden Wangdi’s aptly-titled “New Tower of Babel” the softly draped and asymmetrical dresses had symbols in Japanese, Chinese, English and Sanskrit  in resham, prints or sequins. While the look was anything but sloppy, the outfits reflected new-age nomads.

(Below left to right: Babita Malkani, Aparna and Norden Wangdi)

Babita Malkani at LFW S/R 2011 Aparna & Nordan Wangdi at LFW S/R 2011

Art meets fashion

Rajat Tangri’s Bella Donna sought inspiration from Italian Renaissance painter Fra’ Filippo Lippi, using his painting of Virgin Mary and infant Jesus on his jackets and dresses. Meanwhile Rimi Nayak took a step toward being a mixed media artist by inserting buttons into plastic tag string and attached these on to fabric.  She also used origami on her dresses and skirts.

(Below left to right: Rajat Tangri, Rimi Nayak)

Rajat Tangri jacket at LFW S/R 2011 Rimi Nayak dress LFW S/R 2011

Women get daring

Projecting personalities on the ramp is always tricky, and is usually done with the clothes, hair and makeup. But once in a while, it’s nice to see accessories speaking up for the battered wife as seen at Eina Ahluwalia. Models wore gold pendants shaped like daggers, knives, trishuls, bows and arrows, sickles and even a skull with semi precious stones.

Euna Ahluwalia at LFW S/R 2011 Eina Ahluwalia accessories at LFW S/R 2011

Shantanu-Nikhil introduced their bridge brand S&N Drape with evening wear meant for a glam rock diva. With thick orange eyeliner and big crimped hair, the models walked with attitude and some flipped their hair and flirted with the cameras. Corsets replaced sari blouses, and petticoats were absent. Boleros were worn over slinky bodysuits and bronzed brocade was used for sheath dresses. And the divas ended the show with some fun dancing with the designer duo.

Shantanu Nikhil dress at LFW S/R 2011 Shantanu & Nikhil at LFW S/R 2011

Hotties on the ramp

Pictures below, enough said!

(Aditya Roy Kapoor for Debarun and Randeep Hooda for Rajat Tangri)

Aditya Roy Kapoor

Randeep Hooda for Rajat Tangri

LFW: 5 things we liked on Day 2

On Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011’s second day (March 12), the ramp was on fire (well, almost). The clothes sizzled, and so did the models. Our roundup of Day 2:

Designers went bold and sexy

If it’s summer, there’s got to be swimwear. And if it’s swimwear, the ramp’s gonna heat up. At Shivan-Narresh, models strode out confidently in sexy swimsuits. And Anand Kabra played peek-a-boo with sheer coverups over bikinis at the Sleek: The New Mystique show.

Also at Anand Kabra was the sensuous look with red, black and wine silk draped tunics. And on the boldness front, spunky designer Masaba Gupta led the way with giant-sized dots and rolled-up fabric as headgear.

Below left to right: Shivan-Narresh, Anand Kabra, Masaba Gupta

Shivan Narresh at LFW S/R 2011 Masaba Gupta at LFW S/R 2011 Lakme Studio Sleek Mystique Sensuous Look Anand Kabra

Mesmerising atmosphere, stunning collection

At Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011, Little Shilpa presented a fashion film along with her collection Fleurs du Mal (both her creations). With dim lighting, smudged eyes, hints of tears and seven intricate headpieces and neckpieces, Shilpa’s show was spellbinding to say the least.

Little Shilpa at LFW S/R 2011

Meanwhile Manish Malhotra created a magical, royal and rustic atmosphere with coloured lamps and royalty-inspired decor. Take a look at the set:

Manish Malhotra at LFW S/R 2011

Something nice for the guys

The Energie show was all-male, with some great clothes for the guys: trendy, preppy sportswear, casual chic and relaxed day wear. At Manish Malhotra later that evening, the ace Bollywood designer presented some amazing chikankari and Kashmiri embroidery sherwanis for men. As an added bonus, this also meant that two back-to-back shows had super-hot male models walking the ramp, including Kunal Kapoor. WOOt!

Below: Energie and Manish Malhotra

Energie show at LFW S/R 2011

Manish Malhotra at LFW S/R 2011

Fun with hair!

Anand Kabra’s show was about clothes and hair, of course. Anand Kabra’s Magnetic was accompanied by a unique hair style:  an asymmetrical side sweep frontal fringe, with a half inverted French braid. Earlier in the day, we spotted wonderful and wearable hair accessories at Pam & Arch London worn on the side. The accessories were shaped like flowers, birds and fans.

(Below: Anand Kabra’s Magnetic look from the front and the back, Pam & Arch London.)

Lakme Studio Sleek Mystique Magnetic Look Anand Kabra at LFW S/R 2011 Anand Kabra Sleek Mystique Magnetic look at LFW S/R 2011

Hair accessories at Pam & Arch London LFW S/R 2011

Colours we want to see in a waffle cone

Yummmm… ice cream on the the ramp! Jatin Varma’s collection was titled Gelato which was enough to make our mouths water. His designs were marked by sorbet colours (melon pink, blue, white and dollops of yellow), light fabrics and delightful drapes on minis and gowns. Barely couple of hours later, Shivan-Narresh’s collection sought inspiration from Vanilla— so lots of white blocked cleverly with splashes of blue, orange and even black. I’m tempted to break my diet already.

(Below left to right: Jatin Varma, Shivan-Narresh)

Jatin Varma dress at LFW S/R 2011 Shivan-Narresh at LFW S/R 2011

LFW: 5 things we liked on Day 1

The first day at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011 threw up a number of surprises, and we liked them all! Take a look at our top moments from LFW’s Day 1:

Sabyasachi had fun with fashion

Pop colours, fun with fabric, matching unlikely textures… Sabyasachi didn’t leave any creative stone unturned. With every outfit, he stunned me by the sheer wizardry of his craft. Wearable straight off the ramp? Yep, if you’ve got the personality.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee at LFW S/R 2011

Japanese designers: The show must go on

As the world remained glued to TV sets and news sites awaiting news from Japan, Japanese designers took it in their stride and put on the special Tokyoeye show as planned. While the creations were not particularly breathtaking, the designers certainly seemed to have designed for an international sensibility.

(Below left to right: Somarta by Tamae Hirokaro; araisara by Sara Arai)

Somarta by Tamae Hirokaro at LFW S/R 2011 araisara by Sara Arai at LFW

Variety of looks: geeky chic, bright lips, bindis

Strange… the bindi has almost disappeared from young women’s foreheads, whether in Delhi or Ludhiana, so it was a pleasant surprise to see them on the ramp at Myoho. And we also loved the oversized catty glasses (very chic) at Sabyasachi, bright pink and orange lips at Mineral by Priyadarshini Rao (super trendy for summer!).

(Below left to right: Myoho and Mineral by Priyadarshini Rao)

Myoho at LFW S/R 2011 Mineral by Priyadarshini Rao at LFW S/R 2011

Gen Next show: Fresh dose of fashion

Six GenNext designers showcased their debut collection at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011. A couple of them managed to break through the clutter to present some interesting ideas. Manas Dash was one, Miriam Strehlau was another. Interestingly, both had very strong Indian inspiration. Whether they become more popular in a few years, only time will tell.

(Below left to right: Manas Dash, Miriam Strehlau)

Manas Dash GenNext designer at LFW S/R 2011 Miriam Strehlau GenNext designer at LFW S/R 2011

Wearable fashion

If there’s one thing Speaking Chic enjoys, it’s wearable ramp fashion! While Mineral by Priyadarshini Rao’s clothes will be seen on the rack in her new stores at affordable prices, there were copious amount of clothes that we would wear straight off the ramp. Examples: Shivaji Dutta’s dresses, skirts at Chaitanya Rao and several garments at Arpan Vohra.

(Below left to right: Shivaji Dutta, Chaitanya Rao and Arpan Vohra)

Shivaji Dutta dress at LFW S/R 2011 Chaitanya Rao dress at LFW S/R 2011

Arpan Vohra dress at LFW S/R 2011

LFW: Sabyasachi finally has some fun

After his show, Sabyasachi Mukherjee said, “I’m a boring designer. So I decided to have some fun this time.” And that’s exactly what he did last night at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011. (And we’re having some fun too—we give you the runway report as a story in pictures.)

The show with outfits were in simple earthy tones, black and ivory prints, styled conservatively. But Sabyasachi was just teasing the audience. His interpretation of the women of the Sunderbans was offbeat and inspired by several decades of the last century.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011

In matte red lips, high buns and catty glasses, the models (and the designer) seemed to be mocking us with unexpected twists to traditional garments. Like asymmetric sleeves, pop coloured tops with floor-length skirts, umbrella-shaped shoulders, shimmering loose jumpsuits, rustic gowns…

Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011 Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011

Sabyasachi juxtaposed unlikely textures, colours, fabrics and embellishments, like gowns with rustic Indian gold-work embroidery, blocking khadi with printed cotton, even saris-cum-skirts! Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011 Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011

Sabyasachi used lots of khadi, hand-produced cotton, textured raw silk and even a bit of lace in detailing. Very interesting outcome!

Some of the unusual stuff:

  • Short babydoll dresses with matching underpants!
  • Sack dresses with deep-cut armholes
  • Fabric made into a fan, fixed on the back of a blouse
  • Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011
  • Black blouses and petticoats with colourful printed saris
  • Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011

The accessories of choice were statement neckpieces and stacks of bangles (both very trendy).

Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011

Even thought the show was eccentric, quirky and even a bit kinky, you would have walked out thinking, “I’d like to wear some of this!”

LFW: Priyadarshini Rao’s Mineral is easy, breezy, summery

White, pop colours, bold urban looks and lots of stylish mismatching (of prints and layers) were the hallmarks of the new label– Mineral by Priyadarshini Rao.

With lots of wearable fabrics like cotton and lots of bright colours (white, indigo, oyster pink, beige and charcoal with large doses of lime sorbet, candy and turquoise), the final collection was wearable and perfect for retailing in Mumbai, which is what the plan is.

Priyadarshini mixed whites with pop colours, mixed prints and threw in interesting detailing like pleats, piping and our favourites– like brooch-like accessories on the left shoulder. We liked her use of layering: like a racer back dress worn over a full-sleeved shirt.

Then there was the print mismatching– skirts were designed to look like different fabrics were sewn together, and a diagonally-tiered chiffon dress was interesting.

As the designer said after the show, the Mineral woman are urban women who have their own sense of style. We agree– they wore bright pink and orange lipsticks and their hair was messy!

LFW: Anand Kabra to create ‘Mystique’

Fashion designer Anand Kabra will present his latest collection Sleek: The New Mystique this weekend at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011. Anand will present his interpretation of the previously-defined four hair looks (free spirited, creative, urban cool, sensuous), along with the yet-unseen fifth look— magnetic. The Hyderabad-based designer collaborated with the Lakmé Studio team to create the looks that will be showcased during the show.

Speaking Chic spoke to Anand Kabra about Mystique—the concept and the collection.

Anand Kabra LFW How do you relate to the concept of mystique as a designer?

Mystique is commonly associated with a woman. No matter how much you know of a woman, there is always an element of mystery with her. Interpreting the various facets of a woman was quite a challenge for me.

In your earlier collections, you had fun with colours like reds, yellows and whites. But mystique is usually associated with darker colours like greys and black. How did you combine these drastically different colour palettes?

You’re right—I love playing around with yellows and reds. While Lakmé Studio wanted an Anand Kabra chhap [stamp/ trademark] on this collection, there are strong doses of black in the collection, these colours are also there though in varying proportions. That gives a different interpretation without being too contrived and going off-theme.

How does traditional Indian wear represent mystique?

Indian costumes are yarded—so just the way they are draped or worn is very exciting. The sari palla, the drape, the pleat and the ghunghat create a mystery around the woman wearing it.

What were the challenges you faced in designing this collection?

As a designer, I was collaborating with a team from Lakmé Studio—but I didn’t want the collaboration to be unfair for either of us. My collections are usually about clothing and a manifestation of my vision. But in a partnership, one can’t overshadow the other. We needed to present a lifestyle, rather than just clothes or hair. Usually, I capture just one mood in my garments, but this time I needed to capture five moods. And the five moods couldn’t be jumpy, they needed to be seamless, and work well with each other.

How will your clothes appeal to women around the world while staying focussed on Indian women?

I design for Indian women. Ultimately, we are all talking the same language of fashion—the boundaries have merged. For me, Indian fashion is a wealth of colours and fabrics. It’s ultimately global fashion with a regional (Indian) flavour.

LFW Summer/Resort 2011: Top 5 things we’re excited about

  1. A taste of Japan: Established Japanese designers will showcase their collections at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011. These are Somarta by Tamae Hirokawa, Motonari Ono and Araisara by Sara Arai.LFW S/R 2011
  2. Exciting designer line-up: Some of India’s leading designers (absent last season) will make an appearance. We’re excited about Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Shantanu-Nikhil, Anamika Khanna, Raakesh Agarvwal and Pria Kataria Puri.
  3. Accessories galore!: This season at LFW will see a whopping 15 accessory designers on the ramp. We’re looking forward to Suhani Pittie and Rina Shah of Rinaldi, and would love to get a dose of the other designers’ accessories. (Below: Picture from Suhani Pittie’s LFW Winter/Festive 2010 collection)Suhani Pittie LFW W/F 2010
  4. Watching LFW LIVE!: It’s not possible to go to every show. So in the middle of a working day, fashionistas can just log on to and get the latest from fashion week!
  5. Great fashion, of course!: Fashion week is about fashion, and that’s what we’re looking forward to. Would love to see some fabulous trends for the summer!