The Usha Silai Project has empowered hundreds of women all over India by teaching and providing them with knowledge. At Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2019 the Usha Silai Project moved into the Kashmir Valley and launched a new Kashmir Cluster that undertook teaching the ladies to sew and thus, empowered the village women.
Usha Silai Project along with India’s top designer, Rohit Bal presented the work of Aliya Ali, the youngest girl in the Kashmir Cluster whose favourite task is cutting the garments. Along with her were Firdosa Jaan, Umilla Manzoor Sameena Rasool, a computer engineer who loves designing and Nushrat Khan from Srinagar who worked their magical expertise on the collection. The ladies were delighted to work with Rohit Bal and thrilled that their craft would now be displayed on the fashion ramps in India and in stores.
ROHIT BAL’S GRAND “GULDASTAH” OFFERING WAS A MEMORABLE, EMOTIONAL PRESENTATION OF KASHMIRI CRAFT
The Studio at Lakmé Fashion Week was turned into a mini Kashmir. Shikaras overflowing with fresh flowers were positioned strategically on a glittering glass ramp, which was covered with a carpet of chinar leaves, while waves of fabrics on the ceiling swayed in the breeze. The backdrop was a blossoming chinar tree and rows of Usha Sewing machines that were the basis of the show.
The show opened with three male models, clad in exquisite Rohit Bal creations as they welcomed the audiences with a shower of chinar leaves.
Using the most exquisite organic fabrics like cotton, silk blends, Chanderis, silk organzas, silks and velvets, Rohit Bal unveiled his memorable “Guldastah”, the Kashmir collection that revealed amazing Kashmiri craft.
Cleverly orchestrating his fashion symphony, Rohit presented motifs of magnificent flowers like the sunflower, poppy, tulip and peonies on a colour card that dazzled on the ramp against an ivory and black background, along with vibrant hues.
The intricate embellishments were a visual treat of timeless embroidery that moved from thread to gold wire and then onto the magnificent zardosi. The craft on the eye-catching creations almost resembled complex botanical paintings or works by the great Renaissance artists.
Long, full-flared, floor-length kurtas, stately jackets, short flared blouses, capes, tiny quilted boleros, mini kalidar kurtis came together in a flurry of beauty. Long maxi skirts swirled down the runway with giant blossoms blooming all around the hemline. Fluted-sleeved corset blouses, the Rohit Bal famous crinkled full-flared anarkali kurta and the dazzling regal traditional garments were a feast for the eyes as the audience watched with rapt attention and admiration.
Men’s wear was as ornate as the women’s, but with galloping horse motifs or line drawings of horses, on indigo bundgala jackets, some also embellished with outstanding embroidery.
Clever detailing is a favourite with Rohit as he used quilting and texturing in an inventive manner to give depth to his design sensibilities.
The finale was a touching end as Rohit Bal welcomed on the ramp, the wonderful, talented ladies of Kashmir who brought his designing dreams to reality with their expertise and craft. He thanked each of them with a red rose as the audience applauded the warm and caring gesture.
Rohit Bal, designer par excellence painted a fashionable, craft-oriented picture on the ramp with his “Guldastah” collection, which showcased the beauty of Kashmiri embroidery by the expert women from the Usha Silai Kashmir Cluster.
“The beauty look for Rohit Bal’s show was a classic matte look – a dark matte eye with strong kohl and a dark brown tinted nude on the lips”, Rosario Lakme Makeup Expert for Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2019.