Photo Courtesy- Lakme Fashion Week
Paying reverence to the aesthetics of early 20th century Indian royalty and uniting traditional Indian textiles with vintage silhouettes, Gaurang presented his Spring Summer ‘16’ collection, “Calico” at the Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2016 on March 31. Songwriter and singer Manasi Scott set the tone playing a beautiful composition of Indian Jazz music as 40 models walked gracefully at the ramp one after another.
His ensemble of 40 collections included 24 outfits and 16 sarees. Each of those ensembles is crafted from exquisite hand-woven textiles in Khadi, Uppada, and Kota using the Jamdani technique GAURANG stated. Declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, the Jamdani is a singularly striking weave that has created an impact across the centuries. The patterns are woven with a non-structural weft resulting in vibrant patterns that dance across the fabric.
Adding insight into Calico Inspiration, GAURANG says Traditional Chikankari embroidery finds a canvas in the Jamdani adding its charm to this stately fabric. The legacy of the princely city of Lucknow, Chikankari is an iconic Indian hand embroidery technique that is both subtle and stunning. Showcasing iconic weaves and techniques in all their unfettered glory, “Calico” emphasizes the rich and vibrant history of Indian craftsmanship while championing the Indian woman of today.
Gaurang’s Jamdani weave did the talking for all his saris and the gowns. Each had an interesting interplay of textures in the warp and weft. Some saris used khadi by khadi, in others, Gaurang used khadi and muga and in another khadi and organza.
Calico is a detour from Gaurang past seasons as he introduced a whole new variation in textures for the motifs as well. The floral pattern for instance used dupion silk and another, cotton. From Mughal floral motifs to paithani designs, there’s a combination of elements. Keeping with theme Calico, the saris and gowns play to the epoch era. It was a beautiful display of Jamdani craftsmanship using motifs, colours and detailing with box prints.
Drawing on various trends of this intriguing era, each piece in this collection by Gaurang evoked a unique nostalgia. The saris were draped in royal styles of 12 states and the gowns followed the silhouettes of the Belle Epoch period. Using 28 to 30 metres of fabric for one gown meant using fine, light fabric and deft tailoring.
Calico draws inspiration from the early 20th century that witnessed the zenith of colonial rule in India when Indian society at large underwent a visible cultural shift. The wealthy and influential were rubbing shoulders with their colonial counterparts as equals, resulting in a unique blend of cultures, symbolic of the Raj in the 20th century.
GAURANG states nowhere is this confluence more evident than in the fashion of this fascinating era, bedecked in jewels, respecting centuries of tradition and heritage, while embracing modernity the Maharanis of this era harnessed their aesthetics to make a powerful statement with their outfits.
Gaurang says Calico is iconic weaves and techniques in all their unfettered glory. “Calico” emphasizes the rich and vibrant history of Indian craftsmanship while championing the Indian woman of today magnificently. Calico is a contemporary interpretation of the Tree of Life motifs.