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Khasi-Jaintia creations storm London

A model wearing one of Rupert Lynrah's Khasi-Jaintia inspired creations
A model wearing one of Rupert Lynrah's Khasi-Jaintia inspired creations

The sleepless nights and groundwork all paid off for Meghalaya fashion designer Rupert Lynrah, whose first international show during London Fashion Week saw a tremendously positive response in the UK capital over the weekend.

Lynrah, through his label RWL Designs, displayed two capsule collections, the highlight being ‘Ethnicity with a Mod Twist’, which featured ryndia and muga silk from the North East with a twist, inspired by the 1960s’ mod era. The second collection, ‘Hollywood Glamour’, comprised beautifully elaborate formal gowns.

“The feedback was overwhelming,” Lynrah said on Tuesday. “People came personally to congratulate me and really appreciated the collection, like the vintage take on my ethnic line and the ryndia silk, the pride of our state,” he added.

Fashion industry insiders, fashion bloggers, journalists and editors, as well as other designers at the show were all impressed by the collections’ scope.

Melanie Jones, a spokesperson for the organisers of the off-schedule show, Fashions Finest, said, “Both of Rupert’s collections were beautiful and well received by the audience. The intricate beading and embroidery stood out along with the immaculate finish of each piece. RWL Designs’ delicate evening wear delighted guests with its soft colours and airy flowing designs.”

The 37-year-old, who has more than a decade of experience in the fashion industry, has exhibited his creations at fashion shows in India before, but this was his first international event.

The foundation of his ethnic Spring/Summer 2017 line was to promote the traditional weaving skills of Meghalaya while making them approachable for an international audience.

Ryndia and muga silk are organic, eco-friendly and examples of sustainable material. The public is increasingly drawn towards sustainable fashion and by broadening the appeal for ryndia Meghalaya has a chance to revive its village economy, as weaving is a traditional source of income for rural women.

Fashion shows are part of the process of promoting new designs, but the sheer costs involved present a hurdle.

“Up till now it’s been my family who has supported RWL financially and some friends, but you actually need a team of sponsors. The media and public back home have also supported me and my story all the way and I am so thankful for that. I hope that financial sponsors who really believe in promoting, supporting and reviving our state’s traditional, indigenous textiles also come forward in future after seeing the positives that came out of the Fashions Finest show,” Lynrah said.

Destinations

Songkal Wari, Rombagre, West Garo Hills
East Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya
West Jaintia Hills, Indo-Bangla-border
South Gario Hills
Shillong