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5 Thoughts We Had While Watching The First-Ever Virtual Lakmé Fashion Week. Mostly, Why Didn’t We See Any Diverse Models?

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Covid has scrapped a lot of things this year—one of them being the fashion weeks. Who would’ve thought that our couch would make for the prized front row seat this year but here we are! This is the time of the year when leading designers showcase their collection in the winter festive season of the fashion week. However, pertaining to the idea of becoming conscious and sustainable in the times of Covid, Lakmé Fashion Week decided to go season-fluid this season. This meant the clothes did not adhere to specific season and could be worn all year round.

The five days of fashion frenzy just wrapped up yesterday and we saw a lot of interesting concepts, collections and crafts hovering the first-ever virtual runway. The sustainability angle was definitely one of the highlights of the fashion week where we saw fabrics made of fruit waste and naturally made denims by the Gen Next sustainable brands like Mishé and Dhātu Design Studio. Apart from this, there were emotion-evoking and cinematic fashion films, purposeful fashion, celebration of crafts and a lot of drama that unfolded on the digital runway. PS, there was also a green screen situation and serious lack of diversity on the runway that we also couldn’t help but notice.

Let’s talk about it all in detail. Here are 5 thoughts that crossed our minds while we watched the first virtual and season-fluid edition of the Lakmé Fashion Week 2020. Basically, all the good, bad and the ugly from the fashion grandeur!

Ode to the artisans


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Soulful and Beautiful .A tribute to textile and craft and our artisans .. Coming soon @lakmefashionwk and @manishmalhotraworld

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This season’s fashion week was all about acknowledging the artisans who are the backbone of the fashion industry. It’s them who weave their blood, sweat and tears into the intricate details of a piece of fabric and transform it into this gorgeous designer wear we take home but their efforts go unnoticed and unrecognised at the end of the day. However, this time, there was a segment All About India specially dedicated to promote and support the artisans and craftsmen of India.

Six leading designers including Anavila, Payal Khandwala, Suket Dhir, Abraham and Thakore, and Rajesh Pratap Singh for Satya Paul and Urvashi Kaur collaborated with the crafts clusters like block printing, ikat, katwa and linen weaving, brocade, Jamdani, and Shibori and paid tribute to them. Also, the opening show for LFW, Manish Malhotra’s Ruhaaniyat was dedicated to supporting the women artisans of Mijwan Foundation that the designer is associated with.

Art steals the spotlight, not celebrities

Celebrities are the fashion fixtures on the physical runways and often end up hogging all the attention from the collection and the craft. The anticipation regarding which Bollywood celebrity is going to sashay down the catwalk is the only thing that keeps the audience hooked for a fashion show in most cases. However, for the virtual runway at the Lakmé Fashion Week, most designers ditched the celebrity showstoppers as they probably found it pointless, barring a few.

Fashion label Raw Mango even skipped on runway models and cast real women from different walks of life to model its collection. The result was that the fashion shows enthralled by thousands of fashion fanatics attending from home got to see the collection and art in their true form and essence, without a celebrity taking over. It was refreshing to see the art and clothes getting all the spotlight for once.

Also Read: Raw Mango’s Show At The Lakmé Fashion Week 2020 Featured Real Women And Captured The True Essence Of Marwari Weddings. We Love This!

What’s up with the whimsical VFX?

Okay, there was something very weird going on in some shows that we just couldn’t ignore. We get that since the shows are digital, putting up an imaginative backdrop on the virtual runway was an obvious inclination but ya’ll didn’t have to go crazy with it. In some shows (think Amit Wadhwa, Mishru and even Kunal Rawal), the CG background looked so bad that it probably took the eyes from the collection and all we could think about was what is happening in the background? The green screen effects and poor editing took the centre stage. Guess, that’s one of the shortcomings of having a digital show, something you’d never witness in a physical setting. Ah, well!

Fashion becomes more practical

Covid has forced us to rethink our sartorial choices. As a result, fashion has become more practical and comfort-oriented and it showed at the Lakmé Fashion Week. From lightweight lehenga skirts at Raw Mango to roomy and loose-fitting dresses at Chirag Nainani, the collection was more functional and fuss-free. Also, for the bridal wear, we spotted a lot of styles with pre-stitched dupatta on the neckline or sleeves which make the pouf-y ensembles a tad bit more manageable to wear. Apart from the pre-draped sarees and lehengas, there were more contemporary designs which replaced dupatta altogether and rather featured capes and jackets to make fashion fuss-free and comfier.

Lack of diverse models


Lakmé Fashion Week was a major disappointment for a sole reason—there was absolutely no representation of diverse models on the runway. Not a single show featured a plus-size model or age-inclusive model and this is not the future of fashion we were hoping for. Fashion industry has been under the scanner lately and the age-old trend of casting standard-sized models was being criticised. And, it’s not just the problem of diversity on runways that are a slow burn, but in the sizes in collections as well that the designers need to address.

With fashion weeks moving from a traditional platform to more innovative and revolutionary concept, we’d really like them to leave behind the traditional norms as well and make the catwalk more inclusive. Since we spotted some size-inclusive models at the FDCI India Couture Week just a few weeks ago, we had big hopes from LFW as well, but the one-size lineup at the runway seriously left us shaking our heads in disappointment.

Also Read: Plus Size Models Strutted Down The Runway At The FDCI Couture Week. Finally, Designer Wear Isn’t Only For The Skinny


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