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Lakmé Fashion Week 2020 was actually surprising for fashion was offered to the audience with a refreshing perspective. So, be it Karishma Shahani-Khan's 'Ramta' collection which was about bold patterns with striped and circular accents or the use of handloom mundu fabric and showing cultural narrative by the label Malai, the first day of LFW wasn't tired and monotonous at all. The first day of the fashion week had a balanced mix of contemporary and traditional with some designers reimagining and appreciating past. Raw Mango by Sanjay Garg and Gaurang Shah were the designers, who beckoned us to pause and think about the indigenous weavers, the fabric heritage, and craftsmanship of the country. Adding to that, the designers made the past heritage so relevant.
One look at the Instagram feed of Raw Mango and you know the label offers stories from the country's past. The label, which proudly advocates diverse craftsmanship, is also a traditional preserver of the fashion legacy of the country. The label values the textural intricacies of the past and makes it relevant in today's time driven by social media trends, and this is something we really admire about Raw Mango. Raw Mango is like a nostalgia boutique and this time, at the Lakme Fashion Week, the label presented its collection Moomal - Festive2020. The collection was inspired by Rajasthan - home to Sanjay (Garg). The metallic gota, bandhej, vibrant hues were incorporated on poshaks, gathered lehengas, jackets, and cholis. The peacock and floral motifs enhanced the collection and we saw a riot of colours such as the shocking greens and pinks and the radiant yellows and blues. However, with white blouses paired with motif-adorned sarees, we also witnessed a beautiful balance between past and modern sensibilities. The collection was certainly bold in approach and the way the styling was done with elaborate chokers and old-fashioned bangles, we felt it was actually going beyond the comfort level. The collection may be a hit or a miss among the dedicated clientele of the designer label, or it might even create a new market, but the noteworthy point is that Raw Mango's collection had a voice, whether you find it appealing or not.
History becomes even more interesting if we are offered visual narratives. In this regard, designer Gaurang Shah comes to the mind. Be it the designer's Samyukta collection inspired by the love story of 12th century king, Prithviraj Chauhan or Anupama collection which was a tribute to the golden era of Indian films, Gaurang Shah, weaves history on his traditional outfits. The designer inspires us to search about those kings, era, film actresses, and more. Gaurang's collections are mostly an ode to the bygone eras and we find his outfits holding a lot of relevance in the present scenario too. This collection of his, which was about exquisite sarees, was an artisanal ode to the legendary courtesan, Taramati. The designer was inspired by the courtesan, who charmed the Seventh Sultan of Golconda, Abdulla Qutub Shah. However, this isn't for the first time that a designer was inspired by Taramati. The courtesan has inspired designer Anand Kabra too, who presented his collection, 'Taramati' back in 2013 at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week. Anand Kabra's collection was a mix of traditional and contemporary silhouettes with a more modern perspective but in Gaurang's collection, we saw a singularity in approach with sarees. The romantic narrative of Gaurang Shah came alive with diverse hues from wine to yellow. The rich floral motifs were noticed on his sarees but the intricate work including aari, chikankari, Kasuti, Shibori, Kantha, Kutch embroidery, Parsi Gara work also adorned his saree collection. As for the weaves, the designer let go off a particular weave and right from ikat, jamdaani to Benarasi and kani, Gaurang incorporated versatility to his romance-inspired Taramati collection. We simply loved his collection for it was not only true to his sensibilities but also relevant.
What do you think about Raw Mango and Gaurang Shah's collection at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week 2020? Let us know that.