Mai Mumbai, the charity show organised at the Lakmé Fashion Week on Day 2, was one of the best shows I have seen in the 10 years of fashion weeks in India. It was as emotional as it can get, as the cause was to raise funds for the welfare of the victims of Mumbai terror attacks.
The organisers got a garment each from designers from around the world such as Versace, Carolina Herrera, Valentin Yudashkin, Zac Posen, DVF, Donna Karan, and several others, and from Indian designers such as Rohit Bal, JJ Valaya, Ritu Kumar, Raghavendra Rathore, Arjun Khanna, Narendra Kumar Ahmed, Rina Dhaka, Nachiket Brave, Anupama Dayal and Sabyasachi Mukherjee.
The result was stunning. Actors and actresses, along with models, walked the runway in these creations free of charge. The clothes will be sold through a worldwide silent auction through eBay.
Earlier in the day, the accessories show that kicked off the proceedings had Little Shilpa as usual dazzling all the way on the runway — her headgear had lamps, scuba diving gear, helicopters floating on strings of wires, AK 47s and multiple hats. Shilpa is truly talented and that, as was the case in her showing last season, was evident this time as well. Bags, shoes and neck accessories by others such as Malaga, Crimzon and Stoffa, too, were showcased.
Otherwise, the day was exclusively for men. LFW, which introduced menswear day during the fashion week last season, kept its second day for men’s clothing.
A word about menswear: some of the creations I saw seemed more apt for a certain segment of men than for regular chaps. For the same reason, I found most of it unwearable. That’s a pity, as this platform should have been used more for saleable creations than to showcase clothes that could attract attention more from the same sex than from the opposite sex!
Also, some designers had made a string of Jodhpurs (breeches) and sent them out one after the other. Why? Have a couple of them in your collections and then move on guys, rather than boring people with the same stuff!
Troy Costa was an exception and came out with suits with narrow shawl and notch lapels. The jackets were short and lean — a wine red jacket was particularly nice — and flat-front trousers, again narrow.
Krishna Mehta’s collection had chocolate browns, wine reds and cobalt blues. The highlights were kurta-churidaars worn under tunic jackets, and pieces of fabrics worn over the body with just one tie-up on the waist with zipper enclosures in front.
Few people can make suits as Narendra Kumar can. I’ve seen for several seasons now that the way he cuts and tapers his suits are something that very few manage to do in the design business — and I am yet to find those. His show was well received by the audience.
Others who showed were Digvijay Singh, Rohit & Abhishek, Sanjay Singh and Virtues Men.
Two innovations have been introduced by LFW — an accessories show and a totally dedicated day for menswear since last season. While the accessories show has taken off well, I feel that menswear designers, barring a very small number, should make clothes that men can actually wear... and still step out of their homes looking like men!