A week of upcycling DOWNLOAD PDF

The Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2017, that saw 93 designers exhibit their collections and innovations across 42 shows, was a lot about recycling and upcycling. Meher Castelino reports.

There has been constant talk in the past few years in India, abroad and at several seminars and discussions on how to protect the environment. This has led to many projects that have tried to figure out how fast fashion can be slowed down. In turn, it is now being debated how the fashion industry, which is the most polluting, can make use of its discarded garments and turn them into new creations.

What happens to all the old clothes that are discarded by the fashion-conscious? Are those just waste, or can they be used with inventive ideas? What happens to all the leftover fabrics in factories after the garments are made? A beginning to this end was made at the Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2017 season through the concept of using old clothes to create new ones with the top designers like Rajesh Pratap Singh and Abraham and Thakore leading the way.

Using discarded fabrics

The Abraham & Thakore label by David Abraham and Rakesh Thakore has been loyal to sustainable and organic fashion for decades. At the Week this time, their menswear collection ‘Dandy March’ was a stylish parade of unconventional garments. Using only discarded fabrics like bedsheets, cushion covers and off-cuts, the duo made a creative attempt at recycling waste material from off-cuts on the factory floor. Bits of cloth from kabadis, markets of Delhi and even packaging material of courier parcels were used in an innovative way for the garments. By using techniques like boro, pojagi, kantha and quilting, the label recycled and upcycled the fabrics, and presented a great fashion story for the urban dandy.

The colours were strong masculine hues of ecru, ivory, kora and indigo. The achkan, sherwani, kurta, lungi and salwars were dreamt up from waste and remnants of textiles. The military-style kurtas with patch pockets and epaulettes were shown with salwars. The modern version of the sherwani had a hint of the shirt collar but was worn with churidars. Sporty sleeveless two-tone Nehru jackets were matched with easy-pleated patched denim trousers, while an off-centre zippered kurta-shirt was an eye-catcher.

The inspiration for styling was derived at times from the Freedom Movement. Ivory-textured kurta with pyjama and angular kurta with extra-long sleeves, a lungi bundi shirt trio and a patched textured bundi were the ideal menswear. The final black sherwani had a marked 1940s feel that completed the story.

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