Gen Next category at Lakme Fashion Week is mostly about a bunch of 21-year-olds who’ve just graduated and been hand-picked to showcase their line. You’d be forgiven to imagine that their first-time-ever would be sloppy, garish and brassy.
After all, even established designers get carried away and put up shows that are not necessarily about clothes. But, contrary to expectations, the fresh lot displayed outfits that were high on creativity, concentrated on design and technique, exemplified with only a hint of drama in it. But it’s going to take them a while before they become names to reckon with.
Delhi-based designer Rahul Anand’s line God Must Be Crazy, inspired by aerodynamics, got a positive response, evident from the barrage of compliments and huge orders placed. “I got orders on consignment basis from two stores in Mumbai and one in Australia,” beams Anand. His inspiration is designer Manish Arora, whose sometimes crazy, sometimes arty designs have made him an international name. “But I’m not in favour of bastardisation of fashion. I refuse to follow a trend that has already been set by a designer, just because I know it will sell,” states the 21-year-old designer.
Mehak Jain, also from Delhi, showed a line with both Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter outfits. “My inspiration came from an incident. I saw a goat being dragged to the altar as an offering to God,” says Jain, who is intrigued by the many rituals that exist in India.
“White is associated with a widow, red with a married woman and everything starts and ends with God here,” she explains the reason for chosing Krishna as a constant in a section of her designs.
Right now, Jain’s collection is being showered with more compliment than orders from buyers because “merchandisers stick to old guns who have already proved their mettle. But I’ve got consignment orders from a store in UAE and another one in Sri Lanka,” says Jain.
The Calcutta-based Amalraj Sengupta occupies the first stall of the Gen Next lot. His designs, inspired by martial arts, were appreciated for their simple cuts and structured edges. “That’s my forte – structuring. I’ve got five orders from stores across India and one from the U S,” smiles Sengupta.
Shreya and Sabbah Sharma were appreciated for parading outfits that were spunky and wearable at the same time. When asked to pick the most promising of the lot, Vikram Raizada, Vice President and head of fashion, IMG India, said, “I don’t want to evaluate them because each one of them has been selected on the basis of rigorous assessments. So each one of them has the potential to become the next fashion czar.”