At the ongoing FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week in Delhi, Chennai-based Kaveri Lalchand presents a tea party on the catwalk

Between ice cream cones, Kaveri Lalchand merges the romance of chintz, crochet and cyanotype printing on the catwalk at the ongoing FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week

Between ice cream cones, Kaveri Lalchand merges the romance of chintz, crochet and cyanotype printing on the catwalk at the ongoing FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week

Kaveri Lalchand likes to cut the cake. Even when it’s not his birthday. At parties and celebrations, she usually picks up the cake and cuts it into neat slices. This love of cuts is found in the clothes she designs.

Butterfly Bloom, Kaveri’s latest collection, features three types of hand-cut butterflies, which gives a 3D effect. Her Summer Harvest collection has pom poms and hand cut organza leaves with embroidery on them. These sub-collections including Rose, Pearls Please, Constellation, Oriental Artistry, Tropical Soul and Cyano (fusing cyanotype printing with the charm of chintz patterns, vintage Victorian silhouettes and crochet lace) are part of its main collection, Photographs and Memories, which she will be featured at the ongoing FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week in Delhi.

Kaveri in her shop in Chennai Photo: Ravindran R/The Hindu

Kaveri in her shop in Chennai Photo: Ravindran R/The Hindu | Photo credit: Ravindran_R

Nothing is digitally printed, says Kaveri, holding a beige tunic with lace detailing. Admitting design quirks, she says, “I’m obsessed with how to make something by hand and make it look like it was made by machine. We create handprints that look digital,” she smiles.

The Chennai-based designer launched her eponymous label in 2011. Over the years, she’s appeared on shows in Paris, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Dubai and London. This is the fifth time she has appeared at Lakme Fashion Week. “I first participated in 2019 and did the Spring Summer and Fall Winter shows, followed by the SS and AW 2020 shows. And I’m back this year,” Kaveri says.

Its main collection is called Photographs and Memories

Its main collection is called Photographs and Memories

After a phygital (a portmanteau of physics and digital) showing in 2020 (a format she admits is confusing), Kaveri is excited to return to physical shows. “I have just come back from Delhi where I met the directors, the LED technicians, the models. It was buzzing. Interacting with each other and putting things together in person is great,” she explains, adding that there was a bubble and the models were isolating themselves. “I had to show a negative RT PCR and do a Rapid Antigen test at the entrance to the site. During live shows, the seating capacity has been reduced to 50%. So instead of 400 something, I’ll have an audience of about 216 people,” she adds.

Fashion Week is offering two showcase spaces this time: Runway and Atelier. Kaveri chose Atelier because it gave him the ability to create a different layout for the ramp. “I’m creating a garden path and a tea set,” she says as she prepares refreshments in the store. A vintage ice cream maker in pink and white hums softly, taking pride of place among her pastel linen dresses.

As Kaveri fills one cone with orange ice cream and another with chocolate, she says, “I want my store to be a place where people can enjoy a moment of relaxation. Ice cream vending machines and old-fashioned fluffy cones bring back memories. Memories play an important role in creation.

There are eight sub-collections

There are eight sub-collections

Kaveri has just designed a line for children, which will be launched soon. There are adorable little linen dresses and shirts. “We have mothers, grandmothers and grandchildren wearing the same outfit from my shop,” smiles Kaveri.

She says she started drawing eleven years ago, for personal reasons. “I had a hard time finding trendy linen clothes in my size,” she says. This led her to create a brand that does not adhere to size stereotypes. “It has to do with personal body types. My styles are generous. I make clothes that make you feel good about yourself. One of the biggest compliments is when my clients say: whenever I’m down and want someone to lift me up, I wear your outfits.

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