The daring and exhilarating start of a show by designer Anamika Khanna was the perfect start to the latest joint edition of FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week, which began on March 16.
The union of two giants is something the Indian fashion fraternity has been waiting for over 15 years. Kolkata-based Khanna presented a crisp, nearly four-minute-long showcase that made it clear that she is the reigning high priestess of Indian fashion. He created the perfect fashion movie, with a beginning, middle, and end.
“My collection is an art and textile collaboration and will be a tribute to the fact that what is created will one day perish. What’s left behind is the legacy, and what matters most is what you do with it, ”Khanna said.
With paparazzi video and bright cameras looping in the background, we watched models walk in Khanna’s creations, which mixed art and textiles. Khanna is known to mix sharp western silhouettes with intricate workmanship from India. The result is an asymmetrical off-the-shoulder tunic; a loose fitting bralette and pants paired with an antifit cape; a self-designed white sherwani paired with a black shirt and pants; and a dress with a thigh-high slit, topped with a floor-length cape, all with lacework, tassels, and intricate and highly detailed minute details that make each garment a work of art.
Clothes aside, Khanna also took us, and by proxy the fashion fraternity, back to the drawing board. The show began with three models dressed in white, and their outfits were hand painted by visual artists Deepak Kumar Saw, Smriti Lekha Gogoi, and Amlan Dutta. Towards the end, the painting was washed away by the rain. We’ve seen rain on the traditional ramp before, in 2012, at Milan Fashion Week, during the Burberry Prorsum Finale, and there was a torrential downpour that unleashed Christian Dior’s Cruise 2019 collection.
Khanna, staying true to her original ‘transitory, temporary’ theme had it all: models, art, and clothing fade and evaporate into thin air. All very evocative of the ‘ashes to ashes, dust to dust’ theme of the Bible. And if we want to refine more on a pop culture reference, we cannot miss the scene of Avengers: infinity war, where the super evil villain Thanos snaps his fingers and half of humanity disintegrates.
Khanna just doesn’t surprise us with her creative talents, she also makes us ponder the connections to the metaphysical, and she also smashes the myth that fashion is only about the superficial. Everything can be transitory, temporary, but it also leaves a legacy that impacts many things.
Khanna’s show brought back the great drama and style that was lacking for the past year. While the ramp and front row antics may take a while to resume, Khanna’s high-energy performance is enough for now, to sustain us, until we can return to the normalcy of a physical spectacle.