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Lakme Fashion Week: Recycling Of Fabrics Is The New Fashion Mantra: GenNext Designers

Lakme Fashion Week: Recycling Of Fabrics Is The New Fashion Mantra: GenNext Designers

Fashion must now be timeless, sustainable and waste less, say Lakme talent-hunt winners.

Rahul Dasgupta (L) and Wajahat Rather (R).

Two GenNext designers, Rahul Dasgupta and Wajahat Rather at the Lakme Fashion Week 2021 talk about conscious consumption and reducing fashion pollution

 The 31st batch of the coveted talent discovery programme – GenNext ­– has announced two winners who will be showcasing at the upcoming FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week. Since its inception in 2006, GenNext has introduced over 200 designers and has created a mentorship programme that has brought a wave of innovation in the industry. The two winning designers Label Rahul Dasgupta by Rahul Dasgupta and Raffughar by Wajahat Rather were chosen through a virtual jury selection process.

GenNext designer Wajahat Rather from Delhi says, “The platform provides a huge opportunity to the new designers. It is a launch pad for many well-known designers. So, being selected as one of the GenNext designers is a dream come true for me. It was a great experience be it the mentoring and the interaction with the industry experts.”

Rahul Dasgupta and Wajahat Rather's collection.

Talking about conscious consumption, Wajahat says that one thing that the pandemic has taught us is not creating too much of a surplus for the market and understanding that it has to be a sustainable model. “We cannot be making clothes that are just in trend for this season. What I am doing and will continue to do is make timeless clothes. The fabrics that I am using are West Bengal malmal cotton.”

Says GenNext designer Rahul Dasgupta from Kolkata, “It honestly feels surreal. I still cannot believe that I have actually won.” Explaining about his collection, he says, “Mine is just a seven-month-old brand and this collection is based on the sea. The whole collection tells you a story. It starts with white garments and then moves to blue and grey palate and then ends with a red hue. I do a lot of surface development technique which is the USP of my brand and I use traditional methods which are shibori.”

Dasgupta has used a lot of leftover main fabric in his collection to create a whole surface. He says, “There is a jacket in the collection which is salvaged from the leftover fabric. I try to keep the fabric wastage as minimum as possible, but it can’t be zero for sure.”

The selected designers will be presenting their creations at ‘INIFD presents GenNext’ an eagerly awaited show at the joint fashion week being organized by Lakmé, RISE Worldwide (formerly IMG Reliance); and Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), scheduled to be held between March 16 to 21, 2021. Having been through a competitive selection process, the winning GenNext designers were then taken through a series of Masterclasses over three days with Sabina Chopra, the Lakmé Fashion Week team as well as industry experts. The sessions were hosted to help the winners understand the importance of brand building, guide them on the principles of business and marketing and were also given feedback and advice on their upcoming showcase and collection.

Rahul Dasgupta and Wajahat Rather's collection. 

The GenNext programme has been recognised for identifying and providing young and talented designers an opportunity to enhance their skills and take the centre stage in the fashion industry.  This season too, like the last, will give the rising stars the opportunity to showcase their ensembles to the world, virtually.

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