At the Princess Dock in Mumbai, the Arabian Sea was quiet, and the ocean breeze was mellow. But at 5 pm in the evening on Saturday, as the sun put up a spectacular show of yellow, orange and red, on ground, fashion designer Payal Singhal and her models were readying for a picnic. It was a set-up in which Singhal showed her Indian athleisure collection while guests drove in right to the ramp, parked their cars on either side of the runway and watched from their vehicles, in line with the social-distancing norms as Covid-19 cases spike across the country.
Part of the five-day FDCI X Lakme Fashion Week that ended Sunday, held, true to the times we live in, as a phygital, seasonless fashion week, and the show was one of the six shows that were held in a physical avatar. The others were Manish Malhotra, Masaba Gupta and Bodice by Ruchika Sachdeva, 6 Degree and Ajio Outright.
All the others, including these, were shown virtually, and presented a mix of western, ethnic, casual and couture, while some were inspired by the pandemic, whether it be living with it or getting away from it.
Here are some of the ways in which the pandemic made its presence felt in the fashion week.