In any case, I promised a review of Lakme Fashion Week, and I just can't bring myself to flake out. Lucky for me, there was generally little to cover this year, LFW was preceded by Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week, and most designers chose to show their bridal collections there.
Vikram Phadnis and Sashikant Naidu at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2012
Standouts for me this year, were Vikram Phadnis, Sashikant Naidu, and Komal Sood. Vikram Phadnis showed a collection of highly formal pieces in black and cream contrast tones, tempered by floral prints and ombre tones. I really enjoyed the mix of textures, with the addition of linen, raw silk, crochet lace, and other elements more custom to western wear being added for refinement and couture style. It felt to me a little like a combination of Shyamal and Bhumika in 2009, combined with Sabyasachee in 2011. Sashikant Naidu showed a collection of printed sarees and dresses in ultra-earthy colours, rich in tones of yellow, red, green and brown from the natural dyes used in the manufacturing of all the textiles for this collection. Naidu drew inspiration from rural India, depicting scenes of everything from village life to tended gardens to the wildlife. To keep the collection fresh for the contemporary fashionista, the addition of ruffled tops with sarees and asymmetric dresses will not be amiss.
Komal Sood at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2012
Komal Sood, by contrast, showed a series of ultra-modern mini dresses and flowing gowns in electric colours. The handpainted chiffons, tulles and silks moved beautifully along the ramp. Her palette was vibrant and sexy, the cuts were versatile, and I could see a piece that would work on almost every body type. A stand-out piece for me was the electric blue evening gown with the double sequin straps across the collar bone. I have a thing about that shade of blue, and I am thrilled to see it everywhere this year. There's a story with me and that colour, but I'll save that for another day, another post.
Other notables, which intitially didn't make it to my list, but then did, after seeing them elsewhere, or reconsidering them based on where the designer was in terms of creative process are Debarun Mukherjee, Payal Singhal, and Bhairavi Jaikishan. So when I first saw Debarun's collection, the pictures were photographed with the wrong filter and the colours came out harsh. Not something important you, but what it mean to me, was that the all white collection looked washed out and unflattering. I then saw the collection again elsewhere, and decided I was wrong, that in a softer light, the white cottons looked romantic and positively ethereal when combined with the pastel tones of the contrast fabrics used in each outfit. I could see it working beautifully for bridesmaids. More on that later.
Payal Singhal was the darling of this year's fashion week. and initially, after adoring last year's show, I felt let down by this one. But it occured to me that I was being unfair, a designer is not obligated to show the same style every year just because her fans love it, and although the clear experimentation in cut and design may not be to my taste, at least it's a change. I enjoyed the palette of midnight blue, silver, and grey, as a bit of a change from the otherwise colours shown traditionally at summer fashion weeks.
Bhairavi Jaikishan, opted for a collection heavy on sarees this season. I wasn't particularly fond of the collection she showed at last years WLIFW, so this show was a pleasure to watch. While she's stuck to her favoured textures and materials in chiffon and satin, the toned down watercolour shades keep it from looking over the top. I've also liking the styling, with several different drape styles and the addition of belts and waist cinchers for added interest and possible trendsetting appeal.
And though I very rarely feature non-bridal wear on this blog, I decided to feature Pia Pauro, because her resort wear collection was too sexy and fun to resist, and let's face it, everyone should go on a honeymoon. Also, Rocky S.' rocker chic mini-dresses were styled amazingly and the second I saw the girl walk out in that tiara, I knew I was posting.