Mumbai, 1st February 2018: IMG Reliance collaborated with United Nations in India and created an amazing informative dialogue/show on the Northeast Region (NER). The Northeast designers will be supported by the British Council’s global ‘Crafting Futures’ programme, also in association with IMG Reliance and Fashion Revolution. The collaboration with the United Nations in India aims to boost the local sustainable economy of the Northeast Region.

Every season, the IMG Reliance Sustainable Fashion Day at Lakmé Fashion Week has been the most awaited, with the presentation of the glamorous textiles and crafts of India. At Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2018, the fabulous Northeast Designers presented by IMG Reliance at the North East Mojo enthralled the audience at the opening show on Sustainable Fashion Day. Six designers, a craft society and an installation unveiled the beauty and grandeur of fashion from Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Assam, Nagaland and Tripura as each state showcased its stunning traditional fabrics and crafts.


Jaspreet Chandok, Vice President and Fashion Head, IMG Reliance said, “We are glad that we have developed a platform to engage key stakeholders and work towards building the economy of the North East. To create a call to action for structuring collaboration models between the North East and the industry has greatly excited all of us. We are happy to initiate these meaningful dialogues and interventions, and to highlight the real and solid actions taken by industry leaders, as well as build conviction on the need to invest in the long-term sustainable development of the North East.”

He added, “We thank the United Nations in India for their support and are also excited about IMG Reliance’s collaboration with the British Council and Fashion Revolution to support a designer and her craft from the North East.”  



The ‘Sanskar’ label by Sonam Dubal has brought fashion with a Buddhist heritage to the forefront for 15 years. Working with recycled vintage fabrics, ikat, indigenous silk like Eri and wool, Sonam’s collections have been loved by Indians and international buyers. His “Majuli” collection of six gorgeous garments was an admirable installation that displayed the beautiful textiles of Assam. Majuli, a large river island in the Brahmaputra is known as the cultural capital and cradle of Assamese civilisation for the past 500 years.


The contemporary dresses, silk wraps, capes and embroidered jackets in winter shades of black, cream, red, brown, grey and beige were embellished with dori and woodwork. The Eri and Moga silk as well as cotton weaves with hints of ikat and Assamese Gamcha were turned into layered creations that merged perfectly into a single outfit or could be worn as separates. 


It was Daniel Syiem’s third showing at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2018 (earlier it was during Summer/Resort 2013 and Winter/Festive 2013) and the collection called “ShaKiLum” was a veritable feast for the eyes. Daniel focused on Ryndia (heritage fabric hand woven by local weavers of Meghalaya) and presented an arresting line of garments. Focusing on the hand woven organic fabrics from the RiBhoi District of Meghalaya, Daniel created an arresting look. Colours reflected the beauty of Meghalaya as turmeric, green, brown, and pale red were embellished with bamboo, wood and pinecones. The men’s and women’s looks were interesting with loose tunics, baggy salwars for men along with pleated pants, cowl cropped tops, baggy bundi and poncho/sleeved cover. For the women, the draped tops jumpsuits and neat, asymmetric, pleated, dress made an impact. The layered silhouettes reflected the beauty of traditional Meghalaya costumes. Quadruple collars were dramatically eye-catching; while slashed covers over slim tunics presented an almost puritan image. Tucks, drop shoulders and curved hemlines added to the garment construction technique; while spiked wooden necklaces completed the impact. The layering was imaginative, turning the multiple garments into a complete elegant story. 


Richana Khumanthem’s label ‘Khumantham’ started in 2014 and told a fascinating story of motifs and textiles. Showing the amazing craft of Manipur’s women artisans, each garment was hand woven and hand embroidered. Using Wankhei Phee handloom textiles, which are from white cotton created by the Meitei community in Manipur on a shuttle loom, Richana displayed the striking stoles with floral birds and gold Meitei motifs and turned them into dresses, tunics and skirts. The colours were pretty with white, nude, camel, khaki, black, taupe and beige in the forefront. Layering played a major role in the garments as the luxurious pure cottons came alive on the ramp. Opening with an ivory jumpsuit and stole, the show moved to lungi and bareback kurta, soft trench coat, layered-sleeved coat over a roomy checked dress and a tunic with slim skirt. The bell-sleeved tunic along with the kaftan inspired loose blouse were eye catchers.



Aratrik Dev Varman from Tripura is a textile and fashion designer from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad whose label ‘Tilla’ started in 2011 in Ahmedabad. Aratrik has been creating waves in the fashion world. Focusing on Riahs, which are narrow Tripuri, breast cloths woven in a single strip on Loinlooms by women from prominent 19 tribes of Tripura; the collection was an innovative study of North East textiles. Creating women’s wear and home textiles, Aratrik used fine sheer fabrics like Chanderi, Khadi and mulmul with Kantha and Rogan block printed dots or patchwork. The woven strips and panels were hand joined for skirts and shawls. The traditional weaves were converted to create contemporary feminine clothing that was stunning in colour and form as glamour came on the ramp. From will-power gowns, drop waist engineered dress, slim white shift dress, black/white striped kaftan, off-shouldered jumpsuit and brown tiered maxi, the show ended with a glamorous red hot crinkled maxi.


The ‘Kuzu’ brand founded by Karma Sonam presented the Lepcha Weaving technique, which is the oldest form in Sikkim. Using 100 per cent natural fibres like Nettle, Organic Cotton, Yak Wool and Merino Wool, which were combined with the traditional weaving methods of Sikkim, the garments were inspired by the Bhutia and Lepcha tribes of Sikkim. The lovely rough weaves on card and Loinlooms were showcased in shades of beige, taupe, nude, blush pink, ochre, green and turquoise that offered striking silhouettes from the hilly paradise but in a contemporary mode. For men’s wear there were wrap pants, worn with wide-lapel, cropped, jackets, and giant external pockets for trousers with a layered coat. Women’s wear was stylish with kimono style blouse, cropped pants, tasselled sleeveless cover, a romper with blouse and lots of layering with jackets, blouses, pants, tunics and waistcoats.


The dashing appearance of ace footballer Baichung Bhutia in a mix of jacket, trousers, shirt all in an interesting weave, created a stir amongst the audience.




Designer Jenjum Gadi is no stranger to Lakmé Fashion Week. He was one of the stars of Lakmé Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2008 Gen Next show and created a major buzz on the catwalk. For Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2018, Jenjum returned after a decade with the Exotic Echo Society Nagaland started in 2008 by Sonnie Kath that has 200 members and 90 weavers. 

Creating the back strap weaving method called Loinloom from Nagaland, which is in cotton with natural dyes, Jenjum displayed a grand unisex look inspired by nature, tribal patterns and weaves. The creations exuded a marked organic feel with abundant texturing, fringes and weaves. Stylish tunics and feminine skirts with surface embellishments, vertical striped coat with fluid pants and a striped fringed cover were ideal summer wear. Men’s wear too was as detailed with tassels for coats, while a knee-length hoodie, frayed edged shirt and coat with a giant collar and floppy waist coat were stylish elegant offerings.


The show ended with the Tetseo sisters from Nagaland, who rocked down the ramp singing to some foot tapping music that brought the curtain down on the fantastic Northeast Mojo show.

Donald Simrock, Lakmé makeup expert chose 6 different looks for the 6 different designers to achieve an individual look for each collection. It was a fresh skin and dewy look with different takes on the eyes. The classic bead work with red, black and white under the eye was interesting. “It’s meant to be regal but a 1700’s regal,” he said. “You can recreate this with Lakmé Eyeconic white and red lipstick.” The eye makeup with a hint of colour in the corners of the eyes was a reference to modern art, while another designer had a focus on classic tyre work, which added a depth to the eye. Another stand out look was a classic gold and white eye makeup with an almost cashmere effect.


To further promote sustainability Lakmé Fashion Week has gone more Sustainable each season. This season all PET bottles from the Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2018 venue will be collected, and used to make the R | Elan™ GreenGold fabric. (100 per cent fabric from recycled PET bottles), TENCEL™ (one of the world’s most sustainable fibres) is used for central installation and will then get re-used by manufacturer.  All invites made of recycled paper.

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