The Hyderabad clique impressed the audience at the recently-concluded Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2013. Here’s a recap of how four designers worked with four different inspirations:

Regulars at the Lakme Fashion Week, by now, are aware of Gaurang Shah’s stronghold on jamdhani technique on khadi and kanjeevarams. This time, he paid a tribute to double ikat weaving technique of Patan Patola through his collection ‘Stridhan’. This technique practiced by weavers at Patan, Gujarat, is intricate and time consuming. Weavers spend at least a year to weave one sari.

For Stridhan, Gaurang used a combination of techniques and fabrics — khadi, Parsi embroidery, Kanjeevaram borders and gota. Of the 24 outfits presented, there were saris draped in rural style, khadi dupattas, anarkalis, lehengas and ghararas with 10-12 meters of flair and four looks in menswear (including a Patan Patola sherwani, dhoti, kurta and a turban or Pagadi). The collection saw a revival of ancient Patola motifs such as rattan chok bhat, nari kunjar bhat, fulvadi bhat, pan bhat, chabadi bhat and popat kunjar bhat.

One of Gaurang’s loyal clients, actress Kirron Kher, was the showstopper and couldn’t resist doing an impromptu gig on stage.

The bling thing

The first striking takeaway from Shilpa Reddy’s creations is the emphasis on the shoulders. The blouses with upwardly curved shoulders were representative of Thai imagery. Shilpa’s debut collection for LFW, ‘Suriyothai’, is a tribute to the 16th century Thailand’s warrior queen mother. Suriyothai was high on bling and tried to put a contemporary spin on traditional bridal wear. Flowy, fragile fabrics were contrasted by statement blouses with embroidery and stone work that were, again, inspired by Thai textile techniques and jewellery. Shilpa’s collection included saris teamed with blouses that had exaggerated power shoulders, anarkali kurtas, dhoti salwars teamed up with A-line kurtas and kameezes, jackets with embroidery combined with cropped harem pants and more. She brought back the forgotten Indo-western look with flared pants and ethnic tops.

Indigenously Indian

Shravan Kumar also made his debut at the LFW and stayed true to his forte — working with Indian weaves. The designer used handspun khadi in shades of white, off-white, silver, grey and pink. Shriya Saran walked the ramp in a stunning pink lehenga teamed with a silver blouse. But Shravan’s line wasn’t going to be another routine show of lehengas and anarkalis. He used motifs inspired by Russian architecture on soft khadi and cotton in his dhoti pants, structured tops, cropped jackets and more. Titled ‘Voyage of Saklara’, Shravan dedicated his collection to Hyderabad and the Deccan plateau.

Of brides and tantrums

Anushree Reddy’s collection ‘Tantrum Bride’ was a departure from her earlier collection in pretty pastel pinks made for the picture-perfect bride. This time, she focussed on all the drama that accompanies planning for a wedding trousseau. The pre-wedding ordeal has its share of nerve-wracking moments as the bride goes through shopping and fitting sessions trying to meet expectations. Using a riot of colours, from subtle beiges to leaf greens and fuchsia pinks, Anushree Reddy showed a range of flowy, feminine garments. Kalki Koechlin walked the ramp in a stunning voluminous lehenga in shades of green.