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MUSINGS ON LAKME FASHION WEEK

Sathya Saran  (click here to know more about this blogger)

Driving back post-midnight after the grand finale of the Lakme Fashion Week, I could not help pondering over the few shows I had caught over the last two days. And all the shows at the Fashion Weeks I had witnessed over the twelve or so years that have passed since the concept caught on. Why is it that some shows leave one  breathless and awe struck , while others make one bored and restless even while the models are taking their turns on the ramp? What is the magic factor that makes some designers create spellbinding shows and clothes that are covetable across age groups?

The show that triggered off these thoughts was of course by Sabyasachi Mukherji. Setting aside his bespectacled maidens, who have become all too familiar thanks to imitation, the designer decided to evoke a durbar this time. Royalty was evoked in every little detail. In the clothes, of course, with velvet and lace and enough sequins on flimsy nets to rival the stars in the sky; but in other aspects too. Like the hair, the jewellery which was supplied by Jaipur Gems.. jewellers to the royal house of Jaipur. The designer left out no detail... shoes matched perfectly covered in the same fabric the garment was fashioned of; as were the jewelled clothes and the make up with touches of gold and silver at the eyes and red ruby lips.. told of daring women who would not be brooked. All of which added the right measure of gravitas and regality to the models who on other days were more likely to be slumping by the time the last show was announced. Yet, the Sabyasachi signature was there, despite the absence of the contrast of colours he has made a household style... There was no clash of colour here but his faded roses bloomed on sleeves and churidar legs, and flowed down headgear sported by the men. Chain mail clanked through some of the prints and sequins in bronze evoked armour of a bygone era. Or so the imagination whispered. One could imagine the women waiting to be fitted into their clothes, raising an eyebrow at the slightest delay; and then taking themselves off to regal dos where they would nibble on miniature sandwiches and sip wine from crystal glasses. The music added the contrast. No sitar stringing serenades but the heady fragrance of jazz suggesting the liklehood of their stepping onto their Tiger Moths and flying away to spend a summer in the Alps or to play golf in some private retreat, far away from the madding crowd of fawning subjects and vexing ministers.  You will say, that of course this is expected; it was a Sabya show after all. But I will say, that something about a finale brings out the best in a good designer. And for a good designer, every show is a finale.

The mark of a good designer is not just the cuts and the structures and silhouettes he creates; it is in the humilty with which he approaches his craft, knowing that he is but a passing moment in a heritage of cloth and weaving that has survived centuries and been enriched by them. He knows that he has to add his bit to enriching what he has access to, by virtue of his talent . And it is that humilty that allows him to take years to research, and recreate, revitalise and enrich what already exists. And I believe that the common thread that holds together diverse designers like Rajesh Pratap, Manish Arora, Sonam Dubal, Rohit Bal,  Anamika Khanna,  Namrata Joshipura, Wendell Rodricks or the younger sister duo Gauri and Nayanika, and others of their ilk, is their search for excellence, their ability to humble themselves and accept the fact that they are transient motifs in the ever changing fabric of fashion.  And yet, strangely, they are the ones history will acknowledge.

Those who don’t realize this magnificent truth are but playing at fashion. Creating baubles to beguile momentarily before they fade away in the harsh glare of passing time.
 

Sabyasachi: Lakme Fashion Week Finale
 
29-AUGUST-2013
 
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