The fourth day of the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/ Festive 2016 was full of innovations and vibrancy, taking the fashion game higher by many notches. Ajay Kumar, Asa Kazingmei and Armaan Randhawa opened the show.
Kumar gave a fashionable ode to Benaras with a vibrant collection called Banaras - The Golden Dawn of Time Eternal.
The colours that lit up the ramp under the bright arc lights ranged from marigold yellow, green betel leaf, red sindoor, aqua and black. Print power was at its peak. While the lotus was Kumar's base motif last season, the prints for the winter/festive 2016 look were inspired by temples, skyline, waves of the Holy Ganges, the marigold and of course the lotus.
Geometric floral blocking with print-on-print was cleverly created to make a striking colourful story.
The designer worked his creative skills with khadi silk, handmade cotton, gold tissue silk, luxe cotton and linen. When it came to masculine and feminine silhouettes, he allowed his imagination to run unrestricted. Wrap over trousers were perfect with long tunic shirts, cowl shirts and cape coats looked amazing. The kilt was a great introduction in menswear.
Style wise for men, Kumar offered long jackets with wide lapels, front cowl kurta, high waist pants and wrap shirt. The biker jackets, double breasted ones with kurta and the shawl collar versions were some more variations. The angrakha-inspired jacket and the printed smock shirt was an interesting silhouette choice.
For womenswear, there was the androgynous jacket, shirt and pant trio, pleated mini with extended sleeves, kimono style slashed sleeves creation and kurta with cape.
The showstopper Rohit Khandelwal, Mr. World 2016, looked dapper in a printed cropped double breasted orange jacket, red shirt, white kurta and pants.
When it comes to fearless fashion, not many can compete with Asa Kazingmei whose EOIO (Each On Its Own) collection was a daring and dramatic offering. He wanted the 21st century male to vroom away with the pumped up look.
Here was a collection that was not for the conservative man who loves to dress in shirts, trousers and jackets. This was a rebellious, fearless all black line with just a hint of deep hues and lots of metallic armour that will appeal to the dresser whose theme song is the very martial "Du hast" by Rammstein.
The very futuristic "I will do my own thing" look was replete with leather and denim that was given a fierce treatment with quilting, padding, shredding and a stark 'out of this world far out feel'.
With denim and leather as the base, Kazingmei added his favourite detailing comprising pin tucking, cording, zippers and studs. The colours too made a strong aggressive statement as black ruled supreme with brown, green and blue denim added to the colour card.
With such overpowering colours, embellishments and detailing, he ensured that his silhouettes made impressive attention grabbing statements. Drop crotch pants or distressed slashed ones with metallic hardware were layered with shirts that sported asymmetric hemlines. Leather biker jackets too were completely balanced with the similar uneven edging.
Randhawa's label EKAM made strong fashion statements for women and men with Art Power as the inspiration that focused on women empowerment.
Turning to Frida Kahlo's face and tiger motifs, Randhawa added the feminine delicate Chinese flowers like gerberas, gaugamela, orchids and the national China plum blossom.
The opening comfy outfit was a red sweater and pants with the slogan 'Make Art Not War' and soon it was time for a long white shirt, the black pleated maxi skirt with fluid coat, followed by a blouson and skirt.
The brown coat-dress, black cape over a dress and long-sleeve jersey creation with a layered look was very trendy and on mark. Jumpsuits appeared for Him and Her and the other menswear look was a pleated pant with a basic jacket.
The final long embroidered skirt with a see-through biker jacket and blouse followed the theme of the inspiration.
The colours of the season were present with ivory, navy, blue, wine and geranium as the predominant hues. Randhawa kept the silhouettes to the minimum but played with detailing and construction. For the sporty chic look, he added cording, piping, embroidery and his favourite hand cut appliques.
To match this powerful but organic line, the fabrics started with chanderi, cotton and then moved to mesh nets and scuba.