Slow fashion is fast picking up pace
Let’s start with deconstructing the term ‘slow fashion’. The term may have been coined in 2008 by a London-based sustainable fashion consultant—Kate Fletcher—but slow fashion in our context is all about ancient Indian handlooms. Slow fashion rejects the fast fashion cycle that is high on quantity and brands but low on quality and sustainability! Slow fashion on the contrary celebrates individual style, promotes craftsmanship, and advocates responsible consumption and sustainable employment for artisans.
Lakmé Fashion Week paves the way for slow fashion
Powered by all those well-meaning terms, slow fashion is now one of the newest, biggest trends ruling the fashion roost. With the launch of its Indian Textile Day four years ago, Lakmé Fashion Week played a catalyst for change and paved the way for the revival of slow fashion. Ever since, the trend has only picked up with better initiatives and bigger designers joining the slow fashion brigade.
Anita Dongre’s ‘Grassroot’ label is her contribution to chronicling the handcrafted traditions of India and bringing back to life what we call slow fashion. Collaborating with artisans, she aims to revive and sustain handloom traditions and works to offer their skills a global platform by incorporating the painstaking techniques like phulkari, bandhini, chikankari and zari into her contemporary designs for her new slow-fashion label, ‘Grassroot.’
Last season at the Lakmé Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2015, in association with the WEvolve programme, Manish Malhotra launched his ‘Blue Runway’ collection, which addressed the issue of gender violence and worked to empower women in the small village of Misha by employing them to create intricate thread-work like the parsi gara, and incorporating all that into his summer collection.
With an aim to preserving the ancient weaving art form and to bring the handloom tradition of gold and silver weaving from Banaras right back to mainstream fashion, Ritu Kumar is set to launch her label ‘Varanasi Weaves’ at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2015. The designer has employed a team to work with about 50 master craftsmen with an aim to recreating vintage designs starting from the yarns (silks and metallic) and to recreate old design motifs.
There are a handful of others who are contributing to spinning the wheels of slow fashion, such as Hemang Agrawal, Shruti Sancheti, Rahul and Shikha, Anavila Misra, and Rahul Mishra, to name a few. Well, we know we can’t wait to see in person the next milestone slow fashion is set to achieve!