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The thrill is back: Designers Ujjawal Dubey, Gaurav Khanijo

The thrill is back: Designers Ujjawal Dubey, Gaurav Khanijo
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New Delhi: Fashion designers Ujjawal Dubey and Gaurav Khanijo on Thursday said they are delighted to present their respective collections at the on-ground edition of the FDCI X Lakme Fashion Week, two years after the COVID-19 pandemic struck the country.

The fashion gala is underway in New Delhi for the first time as opposed to its go-to location, Mumbai.

Dubey, the founder of the label Antar Agni, said chaos is instrumental to all artists, including designers.

"The thrill is back and we crave for that. We are the kind of people who survive on chaos," the designer said at the post-show press conference here.

Khanijo, who showcased his clothing line 'Cirque du Soul' for his eponymous label, said nothing matches the live wire energy of the physical shows.

"We have been missing this rush for the past two years. That's why I really wanted to get back on the ramp. Digital (shows), I don't get it," he added.

The colour palette of the Antar Agni apparel ranged from whites, burnt orange, greys to blacks as the designer drew inspiration from a moth that flew into his studio one fine day.

Describing his designs as neat and liberating along with moth-inspired eyewear, Dubey said the whole idea was to evolve "the label and ourselves".

Both men's and women's lines were all about easy, layered silhouettes. While there were trousers, jackets, kurtas, fluid salwars and new age 'shackets' for men, the women's wear was populated with skirts, dresses, Baggy pants, oversized coats, midi skirts with over shirts and trendy kurtas.

Dressed in a casual black ensemble, actor Shruti Haasan turned showstopper for Antar Agni.

Haasan said she was excited to walk the ramp and be around people after such a long time.

"All of who have been locked down have been catwalks from the living room to the kitchen, to the bedroom. So, it's amazing to come out after two years, be among people and celebrate this wonderful day at Lakme Fashion Week," she said.

Later, Khanijo recreated the memories of the circus on the stage with his menswear 'Cirque du Soul'. The designer took it a notch higher as he paid homage to the 'circus of life', referencing the unpredictability of life during the pandemic.

Dressed in a pink jacket and red striped trousers, a model opened the show as he carried a bunch of red and black coloured balloons, an image reminiscent of the joker.

With violins and drums playing in the background, it was a riot of colours on the ramp as models walked decked up in playful blues, reds, browns, whites and greys.

Surface texturing revolved around intense spiral machining for a jacket with edged lapels. The collections comprised Joggers' pants, kurtas, biker's jackets, pleated shirts, double-breasted jackets and knee-length soft overcoats.

As a tribute to the animals that used to be part of the circus, the designer crafted bags with elephant, horse and tiger motifs.

Both Dubey and Khanijo unveiled their collections in association with sportswear brand Adidas on Sustainability Day at the gala.

Dubey said it was a seamless collaboration with the brand as sustainability is part of his label's DNA, something that Adidas is also working towards.

"It also works well with our silhouettes and ethos as we all are (environment) conscious labels," he said.

Antar Agni showstopper Haasan said the famed brand taking a step towards sustainability is extremely important.

"Especially after the pandemic, people have regained the understanding about how the pandemic is changing around us and how to be conscious in what we wear."

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