2020 has seen Lakme Fashion Week transform like never before. Not only did the fashion showcase go completely virtual, more drastic transformations were in the works. The Lakme Absolute Grand Finale saw not one, but two fashion designers come together; namely Rimzim Dadu and Saaksha & Kinni. The biggest change however came from its celebrity quotient. For the very first time, Bollywood actress Mrunal Thakur walked the ramp as the showstopper for the Lakme Absolute Grand Finale and going by how successful it was, we're certain it's going to be the start of many more fashionable moments for the rising star. NDTV Swirlster caught up with Mrunal Thakur on her celebrity showstopper experience as well as with the Lakme Absolute Grand Finale designers themselves.
NDTV Swirlster: What are your thoughts on fashion going the digital way?
Mrunal Thakur: I, as an entertainer and actor, as well as fashion designers can inspire those at home. I'm happy that it's possible for a single click to deliver our work to the world.
NDTV Swirlster: How does it feel being the celebrity showstopper in a brand new frontier for Lakme Fashion Week and what was the most memorable part?
Mrunal Thakur: I'm overwhelmed! I've always dreamed about being a showstopper and I'm really happy Lakme gave me this opportunity. The most memorable part was that it felt nostalgic to wear Rimzim because I remember wearing Rimzim's design for the very first event of my life. I'll never forget the metallic silver outfit I wore.
NDTV Swirlster: Have your personal style choices changed post the quarantine?
Mrunal Thakur: Yes, yes, yes! My stylists made me realise that this is the time to dress for myself and not for others. As actors, we're always dressing for people, blogs etc. This quarantine has helped me try more colours. I used to prefer wearing neutrals but now I'm the person who'd like to experiment with more shades and colours. I feel bold with eye makeup too. I've become more surrendering, to my stylist, makeup artist and hairstylist, to go all out with my looks.
NDTV Swirlster: How important would you say it is to celebrate new designers?
Mrunal Thakur: It's very important to push new talent. I appreciate that Lakme always gives an opportunity to budding designers. Saaksha & Kinni as well as Rimzim Dadu started as GenNext designers. I'm also beginning my career with Lakme. I'm happy platforms like this exist; I'd always prefer wearing an artisanal outfit rather than a high-end designer.
NDTV Swirlster: Which is your favourite ethnic trend for the festive season?
Mrunal Thakur: I'm a big saree lover. Anything that's kanjeevaram or paithani with gold jewellery, maybe a nath. I'm a Maharashtrian and I love wearing nose pins!
NDTV Swirlster: Which fashion tips have you learned on the job as an actress?
Mrunal Thakur: Always have black and nude stilettos with you. Also, a cool pair of blue denims and white shirt with lots of drama around the sleeves. Finally, dress for yourselves, not for others.
NDTV Swirlster: Who are your favourite fashion icons?
Mrunal Thakur: I love Priyanka Chopra. She's the desi girl! I love how she carries herself and that she always accessorizes with a pair of shades or handbag . I also love how Jennifer Lopez dresses; she's my inspiration too.
NDTV Swirlster: What inspired your collection and what struggles did you face in the process?
Saaksha & Kinni: The inspiration behind the collection were the women of the Banjara tribe. During the pandemic, migrant workers had to abandon their homes, cities and travel back to their villages. This sense of losing your home affected us and we wanted to put the spotlight on Banjara women, who lead nomadic lives and yet work hard to preserve their incredible crafts and embroidery skills. The major struggle we faced was not being able to personally go and visit the tribe and their clusters to see the exquisite embroideries and colours they use in their garments. We had to rely on books and photographs taken by one of our favourite photographers, Natty Singh.
NDTV Swirlster: How did the digital showcase impact the way you display your clothes and how did it feel being part of a collaborative Lakme Absolute Grand Finale?
Rimzim Dadu: A digital showcase is a more elaborate medium where one can choose to tell their story in many creative ways. We wanted to bring the tactile quality of our clothes and materials through the digital showcase and play with an amalgamation of technology and art by using kinetic lights to mimic our weaves. It was a great experience to be a part of this collaborative showcase. Lakme's theme of spotlight works perfectly with our latest festive collection.