Lakme Fashion Week: Indian Textiles Day Part One

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A designated day for celebration of the Indian textile heritage is an unprecedented concept that was initiated under the Lakme Fashion Week banner a while back. In the beginning, the work showcased on that day oscillated between garbled and tedious but a short span of time the vocabulary has found a refinement of understanding and deep appreciation.
The sustainable fashion market was shackled in traditional ‘zari’ saris and shapeless garments. A spate of talented designers with deep understanding of the weaves and a repertoire of clever cuts shifted the premise and shattered the correlation between handlooms and the ‘jholawaalas’. Now these garments are regarded as the preferred clothing for uber chic and style icons.

‘Sustainable Fashion and Indian Textile Day’ at Lakme Fashion Week has been the meeting ground of these designers from the varied parts of the country and the dazzling, glamorous runway. The empowered set of patrons of sustainable fashion now has an address.

The first show #MADEINASSAM, three diverse protagonists of Assamese heritage weaves had come together to showcase the myriad appeal of this textile.
*The first on the runway was Aagor by ANTS craft, an NGO that since 2002 has nurtured about 150 marginalised tribal women weavers of strife torn areas by teaching and providing weaving work, health care so as to afford them the freedom to stay with their families.


Keenly feeling the disparity and distance in the growing commercial success of textiles and the absence of Northeastern offerings, Pranami Kalita started her label Pariah to bridge that gap showcasing garments skilfully crafted from traditional, luxurious silks like Paat, Eri and Muga.


Anuradha Kuli of – Naturally Anuradha is an Award Winning Master Weaver with 25 years of intense hard work behind her and has risen from grass roots to a space of nurturing a growing community of weavers. She is a revivalist of forgotten weaves and boldly works with natural dyes and hand-spun Eri threads to offer saris that have an exceptional appeal. Vintage embroidery revivalist Purvi Patel teamed these saris with contemporary cut blouses.


*An experimental innovator who emotes through fashion wears P.E.L.L.A. Priyanka celebrated her own myopic eyesight in her collection called MINUS6.5 and painted all the designs over fine hand-woven fabric without the use of her lenses.


An evolved designer with a deep commitment to handloom, Padmaja worked closely with the weavers at WomenWeave in Maheshwar for over a year to showcase a line called ‘loom of my mind’ made out of natural fibers.


Runaway Bicycle took inspiration from uniforms of different professions for their ‘Working Hours’ line and how their clothes were designed according to the requirement of their jobs, hard work and practicality.


Jasonanshu’s show called ‘PLANET LOVE’ spun a sort of cinematic experience to gently draw attention towards our delicate planet and the beauty of handwork, keeping things slow and artisanal.


Pallavi Datta is a textile enthusiast on a journey to explore the myriad delicious facets of sustainable fashion in India of now and yore. She chronicles her pilgrimage on PallaviStyleDiaries.

Photo Credit: Viral Bhayani

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  1. Everything about this post is really, really cool. I love that HHC:
    (i) Featured designers working so beautifully with Indian textiles. And not just a photo gallery, but a proper explanation of each designer’s work. It’s actually inspired me to go pick up some clothes from these designers, and slowly switch away from the mass-produced stuff.
    (ii) Featured another fashion writer! Such a great way to collaborate. Thanks, 3P: Pallavi, Priyanka, and Payal. Happy to be reading all of you!

  2. @Sy: Exactly! I’m trying to switch from mass produced fashion to more ethical and sustainable brands too, so this post is very helpful. If only I could figure out where to buy Aagor online!

  3. Love love love!!
    This is amazing on so many levels!
    We need more support and cheer for ALL of the traditional Indian weaves.. they need to become mainstream.

  4. I have never seen HHC giving a detailed commentary of designers work before. Kudos to you all! Good job. Along with the beautiful photographs, the descriptions made an interesting read. You all seem so very responsible. I am a fan of handloom and more so Assamese handloom. Thia is awesome.

  5. Respects to the Weavers! Enjoyed the writing.

    Some of the designs are rather sloppy! A ‘Jhola’ is the perfect accessory for these looks.

    Can’t be hard to make a sharp looking outfit with these gorgeous materials.

  6. All respect to the super talented weavers!!!! I’m from Benares and such posts fills me with joy!! I’m so happy that finally people are recognizing the beauty of Indian weaves and the hard work behind it. I live in the US and when I see a piece of nothing sold for so many $$$ , I wonder what these artists are worth of.
    Its my request to everyone to join hands and buy and wear as much handloom as we can. They are really gorgeous work of art, they mark civilization and are unique. Der aaye par durust hi aaye!! Amen!

  7. I’ve been reading your blog for years, and never enjoyed the fashion week coverage, as you guys have always posted dozens of pictures with no context. Also, most of the Indian designers are so OTT and Kew copying each other that I don’t care. I’ve a huge fan of hand looms, particularly Assamese hand looms as I’ve met some great Assamese people in life ? Anyhow, really enjoyed this post and the way you described each deisgner’s idea. This kind of coverage is much needed for the handloom sector so that people buy them and also understand why they cost more than mass produced stuff.

  8. While some of the clothes and styles are attractive, the writing is pretentious. It’s like reading some pompous description of wines that you see in menus.

  9. Thanks for this post P&P!
    I had sent you guys an email about sustainable fashion (over a year ago I think) and was wondering if you saw it and what you thought of it.

  10. LOVE the idea of the post — and some of the garments, especially Anuradha, PELLA and Padmaja — but I seriously thought I was reading the designers’ handouts. Much prefer the original P+P’s flippant takes to this pretentious it’s-handloom-so-its-holy tone. (and I LOVE handloom :P)


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