The opening shot of the FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week’s first show by Anamika Khanna focuses on three artists painting human canvases – the models – and the last shot fades out of a scene with the same human canvases standing still in white garb, all colour having been washed out from a downpour in the scene before. What happens in between, in the word of the Rinpoche quoted at the outset, is a story of impermanence, and in the end, everything returning to its natural state, truly a metaphor for this past year.Patchwork of embroideries at Anamika Khanna - FDCI x LFW
The Kolkata-based Anamika Khanna has always been highly respected for the intricacy of her embroideries, and the near mythical quality of her karigars’ craftsmanship. She is a designer for the aesthete among us, for person who is truly not frivolous, a seeker, not a crowd pleaser. For this collection, inspired as she was by the hardships of the pandemic, Anamika wanted to focus on the relationship between art and textiles and how the two can coexist in a state of semi-permanence – as everything that is created will one day cease to exist.A painted sleeve juxtaposed with embroidery at Anamika Khanna - FDCI x LFW Black and white menswear at Anamika Khanna - FDCI x LFW Anamika’s collection, aptly called ‘Timeless The World’ was inspired by the quick changing feelings and emotions that one goes through. Like many people during the rigours of the pandemic, she felt the need to salvage materials and fabrics that already existed, and use these nostalgic pieces in a new way, thus infusing them with artistic strokes, as they turn into avant-garde silhouettes that are fresh and modern – from open sherwanis for men to asymmetrical dresses, kaftan dresses, jacket dresses, lehengas, and the robe-as-jacket for men. Like splotches of paint on a canvas, her multi-hued embroidered patches of textiles took on a life of their own, and pieced together, like a fairytale, came alive bit by bit, in a dramatic digital fashion film, with visual pixellating fades and the incredible crowd and rain scenes of the FDCI x LFW set. Asymmetrical silhouettes at Anamika Khanna - FDCI x LFW Detailing of the patchwork embroidery at Anamika Khanna - FDCI x LFW With the hand-painted visuals of artists Deepak Kumar Saw, Smriti Lekha Gogoi and Amlan Dutta who add their floral and abstract touches; the collection is a visual feast as one-shouldered tunics and cropped blouses are seen with asymmetrical skirts. Minis peek from under floor length coats, while double-breasted jackets for women added drama. Drapes were visible for fluid pants, but asymmetrical tunics and a traditional lehenga added variety to the collection. An occasional flowing shrug, a sequinned bodice, long tassels hanging from imposing epaulettes, embroidered loafers worn with pyjamas and cropped pants (for both men and women), give a laid-back, loungey vibe, while cummerbunds and scarves add glamour. Embroidery and hand-painted motifs in detail at Anamika Khanna - FDCI x LFW Open embroidered sherwani at Anamika Khanna - FDCI x LFW Colours go from black and white to green and coral, to sunflower yellow. Gold adds an Art Deco touch, as there is literally something for everyone in a collection that spans a gamut of styles and moods, to present us with the trope that there really are no rules, that if there is anything we have learnt from the pandemic, is that we create our own present, make our own choices, and yes, have a heart. And Anamika wears her heart on a beautifully embroidered sleeve, for all to see. Patchwork embroidery dress and jacket at Anamika Khanna - FDCI x LFW Puppet motif with embroidery and sequins on a men's jacket at Anamika Khanna - FDCI x LFW Robe jacket for men at Anamika Khanna - FDCI x LFW
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A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.
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