For the last few years, sustainable fashion at Lakme Fashion Week has dominated conversations and shows on Day 2. This year, the theme was India's gorgeous but often underrepresented North East, with six designers showcasing weaves and fabrics from six different states.
“We’ve been having conversations with the United Nations for the last couple of months and we were looking at a region where we could do actual developmental work on the ground,” explains Jaspreet Chandok, VP and head of fashion, IMG Reliance. “North East is known for its rich culture and heritage, and there is a story to tell of each state that we wanted to help bring out,” he continues.
On the ramp, Khumanthem’s collection, with its minimal aesthetic, took inspiration from Manipur. Shades of white and off white dominated the line, which were offset with intricate border work. Daniel Syiem paid a tribute to Meghalaya with his black and white separates. Loose trousers, shirt dresses and jackets in handwoven fabrics exuded an easy-to-wear vibe.
Jenjum Gadi and Exotic Echo Artisans Society x Nagaland followed the same colour palette, adding stripes to their handwoven jackets, trousers and shirts, while Tilla by Aratik Dev Varman x Tripura was in favour of free-flowing maxi dresses.
Kuzu took on Sikkim with layered ensembles — dresses and jackets were styled over shirts, completed with skirts, all in clashing colours and prints. Meanwhile, Sonam Dubal's collection perfectly represented the weaves of Assam.
These designers and their sustainable collections are helping take the craft sector forward while putting North East on the fashion radar. According to Jaspreet, one lakh metres of garments will be produced in the North East in the coming year.
The conversation on sustainable fashion has only just begun, and such initiatives will hopefully help enable and activate the same on a larger scale in the future.