The Lakme Fashion Week, one of India’s premier fashion and trade events, concluded its 2013 Summer/Resort showcase last month. My interest in this ostentatious affair lies in the twist and transformations that designers spin to hand-woven fabrics.
This year there was a gorgeous spurt in the use of hand-loom, all for good measure! Payal Pratap’s stunning launch collection; Rahul Mishra’s Baroque Tree and the Kerala handwoven fabrics; Krishna Mehta’s Indian Textiles, Prints & Dyes based collection; Tanvi Kedia’s Tribal Winds; Ruchika Sachdev’s Bodice are a few remarkable ones, among others.
In a country with millions of weavers and a myriad weaving traditions that is a good trend – for sustaining heritage crafting traditions, bringing more work to artisans on the looms and for fashion too.
Amongst all the coverage in the media, a discerning article in Mint caught my eye ‘Too many young designers are trying to tell a hand-loom story. But how will they make their brands distinct?’
Over decades, artisans and weavers have taken a huge hit from various quarters, machine-made goods being one. Artisans have left their heritage traditions and skill sets to take up jobs that help them pay for the basic necessities of life. It is heartening to note that the spotlight is returning to handmade wonders and their makers. Although it is yet to be ascertained how much the artisans are benefitting, from an economic vantage point.
So for now, it doesn’t matter if ‘Too many young designers are trying to tell a hand-loom story.’ In fact, that IS what really matters!