Virtual shows open a new doorway for fashion world: Gen Next designers
Virtual shows could be a boon for the Indian fashion scene and open doors to a new world, believe Gen Next designers Wajahat Rather and Rahul Dasgupta.
The two up-and-coming designers presented their collections at the ongoing FDCI X Lakme Fashion Week 'phygital' edition -- a blend of physical and digital elements -- on Wednesday.
The fashion gala, which opened Tuesday, is being organised by Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) and Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI).
Rather of label Raffughar said though he missed the andrenalin rush that comes from presenting their work in front of a live audience, there were positive takeaways from the whole 'phygital' experience for him.
"Having a show online has its own advantages, like you can make sure how you want to present your work to a particular audience. It's done in the same manner.
"For example, if we want our garments to be shown from a particular angle or focus on a certain detail, that's possible in an online show. So in my opinion, I think both the platforms have their own pros and cons," the Kashmiri designer, who is based in Delhi, told PTI.
He said Raffughar had to shut shop for a while during the Covid-19 pandemic but things got back to normal as soon as the lockdown was lifted.
"We were lucky that as soon as the studio opened, people started working, and we also received a few good orders, both from international and national stores that helped us to keep our business afloat and keep running," the designer said.
Rather said he wants his label to be known as a sustainable and ethical brand which is "timeless, seasonless and trendless".
"I want Raffughar to be known as a label, which has a huge respect for crafts, which believes that imperfections are the true indicators of human sensibilities and which works closely with the craftspeople and brings the best which could be done by hand."
At the fashion gala, he presented his collection 'Maazi', which means "past" in Urdu.
He described the range as a recollection of the memories of the past and nostalgia, represented through the paisley motifs, which are changing and recreating the blurred parts and images.
"I have tried to show it through glitch and metamorphosis of embroidery motifs like melting paisleys, pixelated motifs and those which change into barcodes.
"The collection has Raffughar's signature style, contemporary pheran silhouettes for summer. Tulip hem and toor trousers with block printing are also part of this range."
Rather said he used muslin from West Bengal and Chanderi silk cotton for the clothing line.
For Dasgupta, who launched his Label Rahul Dasgupta during the pandemic, the experience of presenting his collection on a virtual platform was fruitful.
"The live experience is always different, we can't match or replace that with anything. But keeping the current situation in mind we have done what we could have in the best possible way. When I see the showcase, it makes me happy.
"This opens a new doorway for the fashion world. Had this lockdown not have happened, we wouldn't have explored this possibility. Moreover these phygital shows can take us to a wider audience than the live shows. These are the positive sides to it," he said.
Dasgupta presented his collection 'The Sea', which is inspired by his love for vast water bodies.
"This collection is based on a feeling that one gets while standing on the beach. The waves dying down at the feet creating white foam, that's the first thing one notices, and that's where my collection starts from. It starts with a white piece.
"As the eyes move further the waves start becoming stronger and my collection moves according from blues to Grey's and turn into structures and eventually everything ends at the horizon where the sunrise happens, so my collection ends with a red piece to symbolise that."
The designer, who hails from Kolkata, West Bengal, said he wants people to remember him for his ability to create innovative surface development techniques.
"That's what I love and live for. In the menswear section in fashion, the area is quite unexplored. I wish to put my signature style there and that's what I wish to carry forward and want people to remember me by," he added.
The fashion week will close on Sunday.