2015 has been a year of artisanal revival, a sartorial return to the rich legacy of the myriad crafts, textiles, weaves and embroidery techniques from different parts of India and around the world. Be it on international or Indian Runways, heritage fashion has been the buzzword this year, a celebration of heirloom craftsmanship in a nod to the resurgence of the traditionalist fashion movement.
Talking about Indian runways, heritage designs have made a major comeback this year, so much so that the recently concluded Lakmé Fashion Week Winter Festive had a day dedicated to Indian handlooms and textiles in recognition of the importance of reviving the Indian artisanal craftsmanship through fashion. The revitalist trend also took center stage at the India Couture Week and India Bridal Fashion Week, with designers turning to the diverse cultures from across India – from the Mughal era embroideries of Jammu & Kashmir, eclectic block prints of Rajasthan and handlooms of Benares to the timeless silk weaves of the South, for design inspirations. Going beyond India, international references also made an appearance on the recent runways, with designers like Rohit Bal, JJ Valaya and Suneet Varma bringing in exotic elements from Persian, Russian and Turkish folk heritage into their couture collections.
Here we present 5 major runway revivals from this season, a curation of heritage inspired designs and silhouettes that captured our imagination and left us longing for more of our sartorial legacy:
Handlooms of Benares
Organic weaves and artisanal reliefs from the holy city took centre stage at Lakmé Fashion Week with ‘Re-invent Banaras’, a special initiative by Shaina NC focused on highlighting the rich handlooms from the city with dedicated collections by leading designers Ritu Kumar, Shruti Sancheti and Krishna Mehta. A revival we are completely on board with!
We think nothing can quite match the elegance and timeless quality of South Indian silk weaves. The recent couture collections of Ashima Leena, Anita Dongre and Tanvi Kedia presented this beautiful fabric in striking Indian and fusion designs and silhouettes.
Prints From Rajasthan
Vibrant, colourful and eclectic is how we would describe the sartorial heritage of Rajasthan, a design aesthetic that lent itself beautifully to the boho-chic vibe at the recent collections of JJ Valaya, Swati Vijaivargie and Urvashi Kaur. A modern day Indian gypsy look, we are definitely crushing on this trend!
If we were to name one historical era that signified a cultural renaissance in India, it would have to be the Mughal era. Be it language, cuisine or fashion, the refined sense of being and the very aura of the Mughals have always captured our imagination. am:pm, Rohit Bal and Reynu Tandon seem to agree with us, with their couture collections incorporating the intricate embroidery techniques and the delicate designs inspired by Mughal architecture and culture.
Adding the exotic element, couture collections of Rohit Bal, Varun Bahl and Payal Singhal reinterpreted the rich folk craft of the Ottoman era. With garments that were a beautiful rendition of elaborate prints and floral motifs replicating the regional tapestries, the final product was nothing short of poetry in motion!