Mumbai, Jan 29 : With the Ministry of Textiles mustering up forces to promote the visibility of homegrown handloom by Indian weavers, Lakme Fashion Week (LFW), the Summer Resort 2019 edition of which gets underway here on Wednesday, has its focus set on nurturing sustainable fashion, fostering fresh and innovative talent, and increasing the livelihood of artisans who are keeping the nation's rich textile traditions alive.
Designer Gaurav Gupta will open the season with a melange of zardozi, chikankari and brocades at The Royal Opera House here on Tuesday with a show to kick off five days of fashion fodder.
"LFW provides an opportunity not only to define Indian fashion, but also consumer culture and preference.
We take this responsibility seriously and have been able to leverage the platform to initiate conversations on inclusivity, livelihood and sustainability," Jaspreet Chandok, Vice President and Head of Fashion, IMG Reliance, told IANS.
In its pursuit to encourage fresh talent, LFW has been running a Gen Next programme.
This time, four designers will get a chance.
There's 'The Real Cut', which will enable diamond jewellery designers to collaborate with emerging designers.
But the star attraction is the Circular Design Challenge, which will give a jump start to the 'Sustainable Fashion Day' on January 31.
By dedicating an entire day to sustainable fashion, LFW organisers have steered the once largely Bollywood glam-laden platform in a constructive direction.
A collaborative initiative of Reliance Industries Ltd's R | Elan 'Fashion For Earth', the UN in India and LFW, the Challenge is a competition for fashion entrepreneurs who innovate using materials from diverse sources of waste, including plastic.
Its aim is to spotlight the environmental champions of tomorrow in the Indian fashion and textiles industry.
The winner will get Rs 20 lakh to build a sustainable fashion brand.
On the same day, a show will highlight the achievements of a project supporting marginalised handloom clusters in Assam.
There will be a special showcase of Eri and Muga textiles handwoven by artisans in these clusters through a capsule line developed by mainstream fashion brands such as Raymond and Anita Dongre.
Dongre will separately also showcase a line created using biodegradable fabric Tencel.
Even leftover Tencel fabrics from previous LFW seasons have been used by some designers for an upcycled collection under FashUp Project.
This apart, athleisure designer Narendra Kumar has tied up with Alcis Sports, for a line made using environment-friendly R-PET (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate), a recyclable material used for soda bottles, water bottles and food jars.
As for the livelihood aspect that Chandok touched upon, a #FashionForLivelihoods show will include work by weavers and artisans.
A #FarmToFashion line has brought together The Woolmark Company, fashion label Pero and Kullu-based wool weavers' cooperative Bhuttico for a line of luxury garments made using Australian Merino wool.
Delhi-based designer Rajdeep Ranawat, who is making his LFW debut, is excited about the diverse platform.
"Fashion, as it should be, is beyond the boundaries of commercial viability and yet wearable in nature, theatrical and cinematic in its true sense, and that's what pulled us towards debuting with LFW this time," Ranawat told IANS.
Glamour won't be missing.
Tabu will walk the ramp for Gaurav Gupta, Aditi Rao Hydari for Sailesh Singhania, Divya Khosla Kumar for Parvathi Dasari, the "Gully Boy" cast for a line 'GullyGen', Karisma Kapoor for Punit Balana, Kareena Kapoor Khan will catwalk for Shantanu (and) Nikhil's grand finale.
From the sports arena, Saina Nehwal will walk the ramp for Vaani Raghupathy and P.V.
Sindhu for Misfit Panda by Juveca Panda.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at email@example.com.
She is in Mumbai on an invitation by LFW organisers)