Two designer shows on day 2 of Lakme Fashion Week x FDCI urged wearers to enjoy the thrill of your situation—dress as whoever you want to be and embrace all your happy-sad-angry emotions
Two Point Two by Anvita Sharma
It is easy to obsess over the perceptiveness and subtle wit of a Two Point Two collection: it is where the generic meets the sublime, the commercial makes peace with the experimental, and the past confronts the future. Anvita Sharma, the label’s designer, sought to unpack the notion of genderless fashion at the moment the Indian fashion industry is blinded by big shiny names and lehengas with their big buck investments. Sharma’s collection titled A Warrior’s Journey said sod-off, but with such exquisite barb that you had to sit up and notice. That the models wore shades that were almost blinded by scribbled floral print screens, should have been our first cue.
The core inspiration was the Shu Ha Ri philosophy of Japanese martial arts, and also Japanese streetwear culture, which were then translated into wearable streetwear staples; boxy denim jeans, jackets and tracksuits, roomy hoodies with bulging pocket details and puffa co-ords. Rather than discounting gender in fashion, taking away all the gender constructs, the designer played with them. Juxtaposing motifs traditionally worn by a man (Samurai warriors and impassioned faces of Kabuki dance theatre performers) or a woman (floral prints) while repurposing standout Madras checks along the way, Sharma gave us a freedom-for-all, do-what-you-please individual dressing option in a winking, witty way.
Antar-Agni by Ujjawal Dubey
We are living in an era when “mindfulness” has gone mainstream, with fashion brands co-opting and reducing the term in the service of the larger “sustainable” sales pitch. Alas, what most miss out in their zealous efforts are the delicately private existential questions of tedium and despair that runs deeper in this mental rumination.
Portuguese modernist writer Fernando Pessoa picked up on this emptying mental rumination and thankfully, offered us a different approach: “accepting that dreams needn’t be converted into achievement”. Decades later, Ujjawal Dubey picked up a copy of Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet, and all the grim and grating questions enveloping the “meaning of life” and anxiety that he felt on an individual level made sense somehow.
And he turned this personal disquiet into sartorial ideas as if to suggest introspection as an antidote to a moment of material excess.