Supriya Lele: Ready-To-Wear SS22

“I wanted this collection to just be free, sexy and romantic,” said a confident Supriya Lele backstage at her show on Monday morning. It was 9am, and despite being given what some would call a graveyard shift, hungover journalists, beady-eyed fashion fanatics and a legion of die-hard Supriya Lele shoppers made their way to the designer’s first catwalk show in two years. The tone for the London shows this season has been defined by the young women designing for their own demographic. First with LVMH Prize winner Nensi Dojaka and her intricate LBDs, through to the ferocious femininity of KNWLS. Then there’s Lele, a master of sensual cuts, who collides elements of traditional Indian dress with sexy, nineties-inspired shapes.

Post-show, the designer said this season was about “riffing off stuff I’ve done before but really trying to push it forward, making it a lot more elevated”. The look was assertive, with Lele fashioning halternecks out of buttery leathers and slicing whispy blouses down the bust to create elegant cut-outs. Since her days at Fashion East, Lele has had a terrific eye for colour, and this season’s greens and raspberry pinks were particularly striking. Lele and her all-female team set about making clothes they want to wear, and feather-trimmed bodysuits, sheer-wrap skirts and cropped leather bombers approached the dichotomy of feeling both classic and youthful with ease. Lele’s design vocabulary is informed by bare skin; her clothes conceal and reveal it in romantic gestures. Netted shirts embroidered by Indian artisans and this season’s strappy short skirts and trousers frame the body in the most divine formations. Totally hedonistic, delightful in every sense, Lele’s wardrobe is ready to dress a post-pandemic world.

Photography by Chris Yates.