The name Ashdeen Lilaowala is renowned as a textile designer who creates beautiful paintings with a thread and needle. A Master at presenting the Parsi Gara embroidery in all its colourful and creative glory, Ashdeen’s collection “Memories on Cloth” at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2020 was not only an exquisite vision of embroidered beauty but excellent craftsmanship amalgamated with contemporary style. With 150 craftsmen Ashdeen’s studio in New Delhi is the hub for the gorgeous embroidery that he is known for.
The silhouettes were kept simple and elegant allowing the motifs to do all the talking. The hand embroidery featured the beauty of flora and fauna, which has been the distinct characteristic of the Parsi Gara craft. The popular motifs of bows, roosters, birds and butterflies came alive on the fabrics as they flitted over the garments. Ashdeen added another traditional embellishment, which is the lace that was popular, as an edging for the sacred undergarment the ‘sudreh’ worn by the Parsis. The beauty of this lace was seen on the ensembles, which brought to the forefront, the message of celebrating sustainable development goals by combining craft with culture. An alluring, one-shoulder blouse covered in self-hued sequins was contrastingly teamed with a voluminous lehenga, that featured hand embroidered motifs like the bird of paradise, roosters and butterflies. The look was completed with a black dupatta placed neatly around the neck and tied at the back. Ashdeen Lilaowala’s “Memories on Cloth” was a timeless collection that will be cherished by connoisseurs of beauty and craft through times immemorial.
The House of Three that stands for Mind, Body and Soul has followed a philosophy of western fashion with an Indian Soul that was brought to Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2020. The brand is the brainchild of Sunak Sen Barat and Anu Shyamsunder, both graduates of National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi. Their vision was to present a marriage of contrasts to the contemporary Indian and that is just what their collection “Kumarikandam” was all about. The brand brought on the ramp the glorious textiles of two states – West Bengal and Tamilnadu and displayed the expert weaves of three fabulous Master Weavers – Rajib Debnath from West Bengal, Satya from Kanchipuram and Santaanam from Kumbakoram, Tamilnadu.
Rajib Debnath’s label Tantajo that supports the livelihood of 450 families of master weavers, dyers and spinners is known for his superfine Bengal cotton, Jamdaani muslin that was used by the House of Three in 100 to 300 counts and reinvented with indigo and yarn dyes. The muslin came in printed Khadi versions or some with Jamdaani, jacquard weaves and check patterns. Muslin was also woven in different types of checks and at times printed for added interest.
The weaves from Tamilnadu revolved around the luxurious silk Kanjivaram fabrics, which are the treasured textiles of the state. They were woven into geometric, graphic, checks and stripes and then appliquéd with jamdaani motifs. Temple borders Kolum and Alpona motifs were blended with prints and embroidery creating contrasting yet common elements. A gorgeous ivory, midi skirt with appliqué and fringe details having scalloped lace trim at the hemline, adorned with minimal sequin work was styled with an ivory Kanjeevaram saree. A secondary line of fabrics like linen and viscose jersey appeared to add a variety to the creations. The colour story opted, was pastels with inspirations from the ocean, for blue, aqua, yellow, orange and red. While the Kanjivarams were predominantly in a black and white combo with bursts of colour blocking, the muslin collection had rainbow hues for the embellishments.
In the 22 pieces collection, the label added a couple of men’s wear that comprised a mulmul shirt with a Khadi day suit, mulmul kurta, Khadi double-breasted bundi with smoking jacket lapels, wide-leg double pleated pants and churidars. Social activist and multi-lingual cine star, Siddharth walked the ramp for the label in a peach kurta with playful, checked sleeves teamed with a black and white Kanjivaram Nehru jacket featuring mustard detailing on the flap pockets. The look was completed with a scarf jauntily wrapped around the neck. The pert and pretty actress and musician, Saba Azad strutted down the runway in a white Jamdaani mini with a ruffled bib interest on the bodice. The “Kumarikandam” collection for Summer/Resort 2020 from the House of Three was all about fashion that amalgamated the best from the West with the traditions and heritage of India’s culture that will definitely thrill fashion followers.