18th September is going to be a super Sunday for fashion fans in India and Meghalaya designer Rupert Wanlambok Lynrah. The Shillong-based fashion designer will display his tradition-meets-modern collection at London Fashion Week. The five-day fashion gala, officially kicks off on Friday and is one of the biggest fashion events in the world.

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Lynrah hopes to promote ryndia, an indigenous silk from Meghalaya. The 37-year-old designer said his fashion house RWL Designs has been trying to revitalize the rich indigenous textiles of Meghalaya by featuring organic and eco-friendly ryndia and muga silks.

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“Weaving has traditionally been the main source of income for women in rural areas of Meghalaya. Weavers use a variety of loom – lion, backstrap and flying shuttle – but due to decreasing demand for these exquisite, labour-intensive creations, they are giving up their age-old traditions in search of other work,”

Elaborating on ryndia, he added: “Ryndia comes from a silkworm reared by rural people in Meghalaya. It provides warmth in winter and cool comfort in summer, like a natural product is supposed to.” But working on ryndia is a challenge, he said.

KHASI Collections

“If you give the fabric some twist, like an embroidery or a lace detail, like I have done, it can add value to a garment,” Lynrah said.

The designer’s efforts for almost a decade were rewarded and he came up with the Ethnicity with a Mod Twist collection featuring jainsems – traditional wraparounds that Khasi and Jaintia tribal women wear.

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The collection has a 1960s’ air about it. Lynrah would also be launching a Hollywood Glamour collection, an assortment of heavily embellished gowns inspired by stars of yesteryears such as Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and Vivien Leigh.