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.
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.
“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.
“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.
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.