Weaving a Narrative of Tradition and Innovation

Shah is here at the Lakme Fashion Week x FDCI to showcase his latest range christened “GULAL”, which he described as a symphony of cultural elegance and modern sophistication…writes Durga Chakravarty

Award-winning textile designer Gaurang Shah is happy with the efforts of Indian personalities such as Vidya Balan, Tabu, and Kirron Kher to name a few, for their contributions to promoting Indian weaves.

He said their endorsement not only showcases the sartorial splendour but also fosters a sense of pride and recognition for skilled artisans.

Talking about Indian celebrities doing their bit to promote Indian styles and weaves, Shah told IANS: “Undoubtedly, Indian celebrities wield significant influence in shaping fashion trends, and many are fervent champions of indigenous styles and weaves such as Vidya Balan, Kirron Kher, Sonam Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Tabu and many more.”

“From donning exquisite Kanjeevarams to embracing the intricate craftsmanship of Phulkari, they effortlessly blend tradition with contemporary allure, amplifying the global appeal of Indian textiles. Their endorsement not only showcases the sartorial splendour of our heritage but also fosters a sense of pride and recognition for our skilled artisans,” he added.

The designer said that they “serve as cultural ambassadors, weaving a narrative of inclusivity and reverence for our rich textile legacy.”

Shah is here at the Lakme Fashion Week x FDCI to showcase his latest range christened “GULAL”, which he described as a symphony of cultural elegance and modern sophistication.

The designer, who ventured into costume designing with Nag Ashwin’s 2018 Telugu film ‘Mahanati’ based on the life of actress Savitri, makes no bones about Indian fashion competing at international levels.

“Indian textiles possess an inherent allure, steeped in centuries of tradition and craftsmanship. From the intricate patterns of Banarasi to the delicate elegance of Chanderi, each weave whether it is a saree or ghagra for bridal or casual wear, tells a story of heritage and skill,” he said.

Indian fashion captivates with its vibrant colours, rich textures, and timeless designs, said the designer.

Shah added: “It’s not merely about competing; it’s about celebrating the unique history of our cultural identity, resonating with fashion enthusiasts worldwide. More so, the adaptable talent of our weavers, whom we continue to enrich with newer design ideas and skill sets, which we do with our weaves across India.”

The 2024 edition of LFW is special for Shah, who is making a comeback to the runway after a long break.

The designer said the pandemic was the reason.

“The hiatus from the runway! Well, it’s been quite the journey. You see, in the wake of the pandemic, our beloved looms faced a temporary lull in production, a momentary pause in the rhythmic dance of threads. But fear not, for our passion for weaves and Jamdani burns brighter than ever!” Shah said.

He added: “It took a bit of time to rekindle that vibrant energy, to align every warp and weft just right. And now, oh, our looms hum with renewed vigour, weaving tales of tradition and innovation alike.

Shah wanted to make a “grand re-entrance”, to unveil something fresh and captivating, something that would stir the soul of every fashion aficionado.

“And what better time than Phagun, with its burst of colours and zest for life? GULAL, our latest creation, is just the beginning — a kaleidoscope of hues that will paint the seasons ahead. So, brace yourselves, for our journey through the palette has only just begun!” he added.

Shah Revives Forgotten Textile Artistry

Award-winning textile designer Gaurang Shah honoured the heritage of the nation’s textiles by showcasing “long forgotten” embroideries such as Mochi, Parsi Gara, Petit Point, and Kasuti, among many others on the runway with his latest collection ‘Gulal’.

It was a housefull for Gaurang, who showcased over 40 ensembles comprising of 30 lehengas and 10 sarees, each a testament to the intricate craftsmanship of India’s weaves on day 2 of Lakme Fashion Week x FDCI.

The presentation began with a live music performance by Germany-based medical engineer and singer Hardik Chauhan, who is known to perform Gujarati folk numbers. He was joined by the models, who did garba.

This was followed by a playful tale of Radha and Krishna’s Holi antics by Kathakali dance, which is associated with spirituality.

The collection, which took over a year to create featured ghagras and sarees, which according to the designer highlighted the “long forgotten embroideries like Mochi, Parsi Gara, Petit Point and Kasuti, Phulkari, Kutch and Kashmiri.”

“The dynamic designs line up hinted at the glory of yesteryears, the luxuries that are now rare and opulent,” the designer said.

The 40 exquisite garments consisted of Jamdani, Jacquard, and Dobby, which are the dynamic weaving techniques used to create textiles in hand charkha Khadi, fine cotton, silk matka, and other natural silks.

Shah described the colour palette as “standing for purity, sincerity, and peace and is worn particularly in the Spring season of Phalgun.”

As per the designer: “The weaves are made with virtues of patience and precision that each artisan practices while hand weaving each textile. Their emotions and traits are woven into each line. Each piece of GULAL will be a combination of three different textiles of India.”

Regal Showcase at Lakme Fashion Week x FDCI

It was a complete royal affair as veteran designer Rajesh Pratap Singh showcased his latest collection on the first day of the Lakme Fashion Week x FDCI here on Wednesday.

However, it soon turned into a pet party as two four-legged furry friends joined the models to bring the curtains down on the show.

Before Singh showcased his capsule collection, which was in collaboration with polo-wear brand La Martina, fashion lovers were treated to a glimpse of the ‘sport of the kings’ – a polo match at the Mahalakshmi Race Course.

A carefully picked playlist featuring songs such as ‘Who’s gonna ride your wild horses’, ‘Riders of the storm’, and ‘Horse Soldier’, gelled perfectly with the theme of the show, as the horses and the polo game took the centre stage to be the inspiration behind the collection.

The silhouettes featured in Pratap’s collection included Jodhpuri pants, blazers, polo T-shirts, and shirts, all in the rich hues of royal blue, gold, ivory, and burnt orange, among others.

However, during the end, the show earned several “awes” after a stray dog ran and joined the group of models, who strutted towards the paparazzis to strike a final pose for the collection.

Another stray dog stood right in front of the cameras, while the models posed along with a polo player for the final picture.

All in all, the show was a complete hit — as the collection earned the claps, while the strays stole the limelight.

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