The eighth edition of Asian Designer Week (ADW), a spring-summer collection special, was held at Vivanta by Taj, Dwarka in New Delhi on 27-28 April. The international fashion event was presented by Asian Fashion Design Council (AFDC), an organisation which works towards encouraging young designers.
The two-day event witnessed a spectacular display of latest trends by more than 40 renowned and upcoming designers. This year, the collection showcased at the event had a lot of emphasis on khadi and handloom products, as well as on Northeastern textiles from Manipur. The idea was to promote traditional fabrics which haven’t been in vogue of late.
ADW’s first day started with ace designer Rosy Ahluwalia’s collection centred on bandhej and leheriya. All her designs were inspired by the culture of Rajasthan. This was followed by a segment called “Asian Budding Designer”. As a part of this, designer Subhadip Mitra presented his collection “Naksha”. Next up was a beautiful Nawabi-inspired collection from Zarana by Sana Khan.
The organisers of the event want to take India’s homegrown fashion labels to the international market. Taking a step in this direction, they had designer Khushi Chauhan showcase her label Celesline99’s Indo-Western collection. She informed us about the inspiration behind her designs. She said, “Our purpose in doing this is women’s empowerment. I believe in promoting bold look for women. It’s a symbol of strength.”
After many amazing collections put up by designers, Day 1 was concluded with a show by brand Sitara, owned by Chandani and Ruchika. The duo presented their collection named “Klallam” , curated with embroideries and fabrics from different parts of India.
Since the fashion show focused on providing aspiring designers a platform to display their potential, both the days had a great lineup of next-gen designers. Creations of students from various fashion institutes from all over India were also featured here. Participants from International Women Polytechnic, New Delhi; NIIFD Mumbai; and VIDM Bihar among others.
About the goal of the event, Vivek Rawat, creative director of ADW, said, “Our objective is to formulate a platform for budding designers across Asia who are immensely talented and have the potential to take their fashion labels to global markets.”
Day 2 opened with student designers from various colleges showcasing their work. There were programmes like “Nextgen Emerging Talent Show” hosted here as well.
Kraft Corridor’s collection was presented next, for which actress Shibani Dandekar walked the ramp. The budding designer had Dandekar donning a wedding outfit inspired by centuries-old traditional hand embroidery styles from the state of Lucknow, which garnered much appreciation. After this, Manpreet, who won MTV’s Love School, was seen walking the ramp for DV by Disha Vadgama, an Ahmedabad based designer.
One of the major highlights of ADW was celebrity designer Robert Naorem’s authentic designs from the Northeast. Delhi Fashion Club (DFC) brought the talented designer to the national capital for the show. Naorem ruled the ramp with his collection depicting handloom textiles of Manipur blended with power-loom textiles. The models accessorised the look with Nagaland-inspired spears headgear. Naorem wanted to communicate the Northeast’s culture and values through his designs. Famous Manipuri actress Soma Laishram walked as a showstopper for Naorem.
The pre-finale was a brilliant show wherein She-La by Maninder Gulati’s collection, “Bringing Back the Old into New” was displayed. His collection, “Umrao” was inspired by the Mughal era. In the words of Gulati, the designs he put together “depict how old silhouettes can be converted into modern cuts and style”.
The finale of the ADW saw the established designer Reena Dhaka’s stunning collection, “Dark Bewitching Blooms”. The designs included big sleeves, knife pleats, a slouch and more. The designer described her collection as, “Layering a subversive spirit of the Seventies, along with diversity, wherein mix and match is the charm”. Her inspiration for this collection is the struggle of women. She said, “In the era of #MeToo, I struggle to bring peace against the turmoil. Through my designs, I want to bring hope against chaos.”