The Indian Handloom and Textiles Day at the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) winter-festive 2015 started with designers Swati and Sunaina, and Rinku Sobti and Shruti Sancheti, whose collections exhibited traditional textiles. What was more intersting was the government’s mision to focus on the concept of “happy weaver and happy consumer”.
Alok Kumar, the development commisioner of handloom in the textiles ministry, says the government’s mission is to have happy consumer and buyer.
“I, along with the ministry, have taken a mission to revive and rejuvenate the handloom tradition of India. The dimension of our new mission is to capture the space of handwoven textiles and crafts that nobody else can compete with, which is the uniqueness and high value cloth. This will support a large number of weavers in India,” Kumar told reporters post the first show of the second day of fashion gala that is dedicated to Indian handloom and textiles.
“Our mission is that it should go as a major economic activity for indian growth and Make in India. So we are very happy to associate with LFW as they bring lot of stakeholders. We are hapy to invite weavers so that they can share their experience with their community.
“Our ultimate mission is a happy consumer and a happy weaver,” he added.
Kumar was the part of the panel that also had designers who opened the day with their show. Designer-duo Swati and Sunaina opened with their ‘Banaras Revisted’ collection under the label ‘SNNA Banaras Revisited’.
Ardent followers of finely woven fabrics, the duo has worked with master weavers of Banaras to create heirlooms in an attempt to keep the art alive. Their aim is to design traditional textiles that can cater to the desires of the younger generation of sari wearers.
“The younger girls are not getting the right saris to wear. They want nicer colours, finer fabrics and this is what we are targetting. Plus we provided certification of zari along with other things,” designer Swati told IANS when asked about how they were trying to tap young generation through their clothes.
Next was Rinku Sobti who also brought the glamour of Banaras on the ramp with her lable “Loom 1905”. The collection was called “Tassels” and brought to centrestage the intricate work of the weavers in the Bajardiya cluster.
The fine silks were expertly hand-woven by master craftsmen. There was a wide array of weaves and designs along with the novel silk net construction, a specialty of the Bajardiya weavers that was shown in a checked pattern. A fascinating line of skirts, jackets, jumpsuits, kurtas, blouses and lehengas dazzled the audience.
Bollywood star Gauhar Khan was the showtopper wearing a macramÃ© woven long kurta, tasselled cropped top and black silk embellished lehenga.
“I think it’s an honour when you combine tradition with fashion. From my collection, there are a few pieces that I can just say ‘Wow, I love what I am wearing’. It’s something that I can wear for party, wedding. I am very happy,” said Gauhar.
As part of the ‘Reinvent Banaras’ initiative announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, designer Shruti Sancheti presented an amazing collection called “Kaashi to Kyoto” for her “Pinnacle” label. She took the audience on an Oriental odyssey that had colour, craft and innovative fabrics.
Combining the inspirations of the two cities, the designer redefined the ancient Banaras weaving with a contemporary touch.