Tuesday 17th September

| BY Paul Toner

Supriya Lele: Ready-To-Wear SS20

Most of us have had an edgy phase at some point in our lives. It usually lands slap bang in the middle of your teens. The music you listen to gets darker, the eyeliner you plaster on gets heavier and an overwhelming fear of no one truly “understanding you” prevails. We think Supriya Lele might have been a bit of a goth back in the day. The NEWGEN designer spent her formative years devoted to Slayer and Black Sabbath; practically moulding herself to a battered leather trench from the 1990s which she wore religiously. That exact coat was the inspiration behind the opening look at Lele’s steller catwalk debut. The trench has now been reincarnated into a terrific rubber rendition, the same wipe-clean texture used to create a drop-shoulder biker jacket and razor-sharp pencil skirt. SS20 saw Lele dancing between darkness and light. The vivid hues that have become synonymous with her brand have gone through a “dirtying” process, introducing what Lele calls the “summer black.”

Traditional saris were distressed to whispy transparent overlays, dyed squid-ink black, peacock blue and medallion yellow; shadowing leather trousers and skin-tight dresses doused in Madras check. Elsewhere, low-slung sheer trousers in an Aaliyah cut were complimented by a delicate glass-beaded belt – reeking with club-ready sex appeal. She paired light as a feather button-down shirts under barely-there nylon bras that lavish in all their creases. “It all comes from the sari blouses, and all the unessorsary darts. There’s so many,” the designer explained post show. “But I think there’s something really nice about them, it feels really modern.”

This collection was the first in which Lele has designed with herself in mind. She took into consideration her own wardrobe favourites – merging the types of cut she enjoys wearing and the sort of fabrics where the feeling is nice to the skin, with her ongoing exploration of her British-Indian duel heritage. The skeletal sari silhouettes play a vital role in embodying Lele’s own complexities in wanting to distance herself from traditional Indian dress growing up; sombre ghosts of juxtapositions she once felt within her own diaspora. It was the next step in truly understanding who Lele is as a designer. A beautiful way to start the penultimate day of LFW.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.