An impressive exhibition ‘Paris, New Delhi: From Haute Couture to the Technologies of Elegance’ was held at Bikaner House, Delhi, where award-winning designers Hemant Sagar and Didier Lecoanet (the duo behind the brand Lecoanet Hemant) showcased their unique handmade work. The exhibition was held to mark 36 years of the ace designers Lecoanet and Hemant in the fashion industry.
The designer duo narrated their story of the fashion journey during the exhibition. They shared their thoughts about many things including their designs, changes in the fashion industry from early Paris days to now and their journey in an exclusive interaction with Luxe Café.
Recognized as a couture house in the eighties, Lecoanet Hemant initially worked from Paris with a flagship store in the heart of the aristocratic Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, (considered the Paris Mecca of luxury fashion and Haute Couture) and featured on the couture schedule. When asked how has been the journey from Paris to India so far, the gratified Hemant gladly stressed that “it was really great so far.”
Talking about the difference in the business of fashion from their early Paris days till now, the designer said that he has seen a lot of difference and had also achieved a lot. “We have expanded a lot in fact. Earlier, we used to cater to individuals but there is a huge transformation now. We are catering to shops today.”
Lecoanet Hemant created 33 collections with the ultimate aim of transitioning from artisanal to semi-industrial. When asked about the approach they follow while designing clothes, he emphasized that for Lecoanet Hemant, the comfort and the identity of the wearer are all that they keep in mind while designing a piece.
In 2000, the multi-award winning designers moved their business metaphorically from couture to ready-to-wear, and also physically, from Paris to New Delhi. When asked if re-inventing a brand is important to survive in a world where there are already so many other brands existing, Hemant with poise stated that, “Yes, it is important because it’s about reinventing yourself.”
Hemant also talks about the changes he has seen in Indian fashion since the time of their launch and laughingly said that the most recent major change he has seen is demonetization. “Well, demonetization is the only change I have seen lately.”
When inquired what impact does demonetizations has on the fashion industry, the designer quipped, “Earlier the money used to come from under the mattress so people used to have a huge budget. But now, it is coming directly from the bank, so the people have a limited budget these days.”
When asked what does luxury means to Leconat Hemant, he quickly responded, “comfort, shape, size, the proportion of the wearer is the luxury for Lecoanet Hemant.”
Through this unique exhibition, the designers aim to spread awareness about the need to invest in research and design that can be instrumental in placing India on the map for Global Fashion. The show demonstrates the intrinsic research that goes into developing certain designs by hand and how the same idea has been re-developed to become an exceptional commercial product.
When asked one style that he would like to put an end to, he put his finger towards a piece of design from his display – a simple elegant dress that he had designed in the 90s and was more like a modern sari and said this is the style he would like to put an end to.
At the exhibition, there were more than 70-80 creations on the display; some made in Paris (1984-2000) and the other half at their Gurgaon Atelier (2000-2017). “There is a sense of fashion nostalgia, a celebration of artisanal excellence, an ode to our labor of love that we hope to evoke.We see a promise of a pragmatic future that beholds Indian fashion,” added Hemant and Lecoanet.