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Fashion meets compassion: Designers focus on social issues

Fashion meets compassion as fashion designers focus on socially relevant topics for their shows this year.

fashion and trends Updated: Feb 01, 2017 07:28 IST
Akshata Shetty
Lakmé Fashion Week

Nepal’s first transgender model, Anjali Lama, will be walking the ramp for Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2017.

French fashion designer Coco Chanel once said, “Every day is a fashion show and the world is a runway.” Her message implied that fashion was all about making a difference and showcasing what you believe in. With the Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2017 all set to begin, HT Café shares looks at how this season’s designers will use the fashion show to highlight socially relevant topics.

From women empowerment to creating awareness about animal cruelty-free products and addressing gender discrimination, this year, designers aim to tell a fine story of fashion and compassion.

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No labels, please!

International gender neutral model Petr Nitka will also be walking the ramp at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2017.

After the first ever plus-size show last year, Lakmé Fashion Week is taking the conversation on inclusivity further with a #TagFree show this season. The show is about doing away with the different labels used to describe women, such as big, small, curvy, skinny, fair, dark, girly or masculine. Nepal’s first transgender model, Anjali Lama, will be one of the women walking the ramp.

Lama says, “I am extremely thrilled [to walk the ramp]. This is indeed the highest recognition I have received in my career till date. Associating with this platform makes me feel like I am at the top of the world right now. I now have the responsibility to propagate this message of inclusivity further.” International gender neutral model Petr Nitka will also be walking the ramp at Lakmé Fashion Week.

Women power

The show #ArtisansofKutch focuses on artists from Kutch, Gujarat. Monghi Rabari, one of the artisans, says, “Women usually stay home and do embroidery or work with NGOs, while the men go out and work. Women never get the recognition they deserve. I always wished for the artisans to get their due recognition. For Lakmé Fashion Week, we will present an entire collection made by our own hands. I feel proud to be acknowledged as much as the designers are.”

A model showcases a sari created by artisan Monghi Rabari .

Saying yes to sustainability

Footwear designer Nupur Chaudhuri will present a new collection that is made from cruelty-free materials at the fashion week. Chaudhuri says, “I love animals and I want my work to contribute towards animal welfare. So, it was a conscious decision to be responsible and not use leather, whether in the upper parts or the soles of the shoes. Our shoes are quirky and fun, and carry a message that says it’s more fashionable to not harm the environment.” She has tied up with designer Vidhi Wadhwani for the show.

Footwear Nupur Chaudhuri’s shoes are quirky and fun, and carry a message that says it’s more fashionable to not harm the environment.

Meanwhile, fashion designer Amit Aggarwal has come across a novel way to recycle old saris that have fallen into disrepair. He says, “I met a woman in Delhi who hailed from the Waghri community from Gujarat. She was selling quilt and patchwork art made from old saris, and she described how women in villages traded these shreds for aluminum utensils.” Aggarwal has developed a collection made from old saris with an aim to present something unique and environmentally-friendly.

Dharavi rocks

The show Dharavi Design Dialogue explores the innovation of design in Dharavi, which also serves as a hub for artisans who have serviced the fashion industry for decades. Embroidery artisans Mohammad Ismail Ansari and Shaikh Alam hail from Dharavi, and have joined hands with fashion designer Jay Ramrakhiani for the show.

Ramrakhiani, who was brought on board to help take the concept in the right direction, felt that although the artisans were amazing, he had to help them to balance quality and quantity.