Hyderabad designer Archana Rao’s ‘Sun and Moon’ with a hint of floral at Lakme Fashion Week


Archana Rao (centre) with models showcasing their creations at Lakme Fashion Week 2024.

Archana Rao (centre) with models showcasing their creations at Lakme Fashion Week 2024. Photo Courtesy: FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week

At designer Archana Rao's studio in Hyderabad's Banjara Hills, a marigold yellow gown with floral surface detailing and a voluminous trail commands attention. This satin-organza gown is from their Fru Fru Bride collection. In contrast, her Sun & Moon collection showcased at the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Spring-Summer in collaboration with the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) stands out in some black and white with power dressing-inspired silhouettes. A few feet away is a showcase of frocks for young girls. The display gives visitors an idea of ​​the fashion label's diverse collection.

The Sun & Moon collection marked his return to LFW after three years. This absence was due to his studio commitments as well as designing costumes for director Nag Ashwin's science fiction Telugu film, Kalki 2898 AD, “This year I was determined to exhibit at LFW; The concept was ready ahead of time and we completed it amidst all our commitments,” says Archana.

make way for black

Models present Archana Rao's Sun and Moon collection

Models presented Archana Rao's Sun and Moon collection. Photo Credit: FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week

As always, Archana opened her showcase at LFW with a white ensemble, then pastels and finally a black ensemble. Although Archana is fond of wearing black clothes, this is the first time that she has designed outfits in black for a fashion week.

Their collections are season neutral in terms of fabric usage and color palette. Dark colours, which used to be associated with the colder months, are no longer disliked by the fashion fraternity and designers experiment with lighter fabrics. Archana designed the black garments to be breathable, using lightweight leather and silk. The padded shoulders give a structured silhouette and amp up the power dressing quotient.

The specific style of offering floral ornaments varies according to the inspirations of the Sun and the Moon. She also uses larger beads for some collars. “Using a hint of bling in the structured silhouettes helped lighten them up,” she explains.

designing for cinema

Some of the films designed by Archana: Costumes for Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Dulquer Salmaan and Vijay Deverakonda greatness, Some sarees for Mrunal Thakur Sita Ramam; Shruti Haasan in short film directed by Nag Ashwin in Anthology pitta kathalu,

Upcoming Movies: Kalki 2898 AD (Director Nag Ashwin's film starring Prabhas, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Haasan), Lucky Bhaskar (Title by Dulquer Salmaan)

all the flowers

Her fascination with flowers dates back to her childhood when she would pick fallen flowers from her aunt's garden. “I will use flowers to add color and the pigments will give different textures. I will also put flowers among the books. Pressed flowers and 3D floral surface details became my signature style when I started designing.

Archana debuted at LFW in 2012 in the Gen Next category and gained attention for her feminine wear in contemporary Indo-Western silhouettes, which primarily caters to a young clientele. He gradually expanded his focus to sarees (in collaboration with Ekaya and eventually through his own label), bridal wear and children's wear. “With age and maturity, I started designing for women of all age groups,” she adds. Some of their sarees are for young women who do not habitually wear sarees. Think pre-draped sarees and zippered sarees.

make it official

The Sun & Moon showcase also included some costumes for men. This officially marks her first menswear collection at Fashion Week, although she has been designing for men for years. “When I returned to India I started my career in a menswear company (Archana is an alumnus of Parsons School of Design, New York). We make a lot of custom-designed menswear in the studio but I've never shot a lookbook or showcased this aspect of my work at fashion week. It started when female customers realized she also designed for men and wanted something for their spouses.

She explains how she incorporated some of the learnings she learned from designing menswear into her collections for women. “In menswear, the details are mostly subtle. For example, you may not even notice a French cuff. Men's clothing also has a flawless finish, which I have incorporated into women's clothing.”

As far as women are concerned, although Archana is known for her pastel pinks, off whites, mauves and mint greens, she has got women asking her for designs and silhouettes in wine reds, midnight blues or mustard yellows for weddings. Was requesting to repeat. “Unless there is a European-themed wedding or a destination wedding, Hyderabadi clients prefer darker colours. Sometimes, the choice comes from the need to match their jewellery.

So the Frou Frou Bride collection features flowy pants with crop tops with big bows, leotard-like fitted double net sheer tops with a long skirt, or pre-draped sarees, all in shades ranging from ivory white and pale pink to teal. Are. Blue-green and hibiscus red.

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