Like a bird eyes the sky from within her cage, with visions of a utopian life, Anju Modi’s presentation ‘Seeking Paradise’, gave a glimpse of a wonderland abundant with ethereal beauty. Inspired by intricately carved arches and Jaali windows, the ensembles brought together different kinds of craftsmanship into a collection that was elegant and very wearable.
The ambiance: The audience was welcomed with the sounds of soft piano melodies and chirping birds into a set that had cut outs of trees on either side of the runway entrance and jaali windows on one side. One could picture an old Haveli in the middle of the peaceful woods. As the lights dimmed, the mood became dark and frightening under intense music, as a model ran helter-skelter like a scared bird hiding from a hunter. Bright lights and upbeat music followed and lifted up the mood as models took to the runway and brought all eyes onto the beautiful garments.
The clothes: There was a harmonious mix of structured and flowy silhouettes, long tunics and short, tailored jackets worn over sarees and lehengas, while layered long dresses on women contrasted with men’s sharp suits and bandhgalas. Arched jaali windows in tonal as well as golden Khadi print, formed the core motif, with delicate flowers printed and embroidered on the fabric. Juxtaposed with ombre colours, the motifs got an extra dimension.
Starting with white, light grey, pale pink and touches of red, the collection moved on to peach and powder blue, and as the tempo of the music increased, the colours turned to deeper greys and coral reds.
Though there were summer layers in lightweight fabrics, the workmanship ensured that the pieces could be worn for glamorous occasions on sultry summer evenings.
Attention to detail: While models carried clutches and bags in the same print story, the jaali window and floral designs even reached the shoes that were as covetable as the clothes.
The look: The models wore their hair brushed high on top with a feathery effect. And with their faces adorned with delicate, doily like floral patterns on a strong base of white and deep pink, it seemed like fascinating creatures of the sky had descended to float over the ramp in their exquisite plumes.
What we loved: The tasseled tie ups on Angarkha style jackets and long anarkalis with asymmetric prints layered with snug koti-jackets were among our favourites for women. As for men, the tonal prints on tailored suits were a refreshing new look for dressed up evening wear.
Final word: Malaika Arora Khan twirled down the runway in an embroidered layered gown, to the sounds of ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ giving a fitting conclusion to the show. Over the rainbow, indeed, is where the exquisite collection transported us to with the perfect mix of grandeur, grace and versatility. No more seeking paradise, we found it right here, right now.
Rajat K Tangri
If one is to describe Rajat’s collection in one word, then serene is the word that first comes to mind. The designer captured both summer-cool and evening-glamour in his work. In breezy-cool shades like gold ochre, dove grey, vintage mint with neon peach, the clothes seemed to be beckoning the sultry weather. There were several winning pieces like linen blazers in half sleeves and muted colour suits with colour-popping shirt for men. For women there were gowns in striped pleats and belted dresses with thigh high slits. The intricate metallic grey sequins work on a pastel palette turned pleasing to the eyes. Rajat’s ‘Garden of Eden certainly had a handful of flowers worth plucking.
“My inspiration came from the actress Ali Macgraw, a typical American girl who suddenly hit super stardom overnight with her films” says Shehla Khan. The designer’s words came alive when Nargis Fakhri with all her superstar glam took to the ramp wearing a magnificent corset gown. Other elements that justified the mood were bell sleeves in net, embellished slip dresses with sheer cape, sheer paneled dresses and sheer layered maxi skirts. All the intricate embellishments were done on soothing pastel shades. Tresmode nude pumps accompanied this designer’s creations.
Shantanu and Nikhil
Speaking post their show today, Shantanu and Nikhil explained the fundamental reference point of their work was their muse, Vanessa who has experienced multiple mood changes from the time of partition to post Independence. The designer duo absorbed all these mood reflections in their creations and the results were intriguing. The most compelling elements were colours and drapes that gave meaning to the creations. From so-afterdark maroon, scarlet, brown to pale powder peach and cream, the collection seemed gloomy yet fierce.
Sophistication was heightened by the music played during the show. The end title from Cloud Atlas and Kesselring successfully echoed the mood of the collection.
That said, the details of the ensembles were equally soulful, pleated cape collars, cowl hemline kurtas, lace, peplum saree and paisley motifs were a hybrid of old and new. So those who have a thing for rich colours and royal drapes, Shantanu and Nikhil should be their go-to designers.
homage to the rich heritage of traditional Indian textiles, Anita Dongre’s show, aptly titled Varanasi Weaves, transported the nomad at heart to the banks of the holy Ganges, with a deft hand that blended indigenous fabrics with modern designs. The collection was ethereal and flowy – a romance of cloth against skin, that oozed elegance and timelessness at every stitch. Keeping the ramp bare, the designer preferred to let her clothes do the talking as Geetu Hinduja’s live vocals set the picture in motion. An ode to the hues of summer, the colour palette was restricted to a bare minimum —– whites, creams, powder blues and shades of pink dominated the canvas, as Anita masterstrokes gave form to her organic thought process.
Showstopper: Dia Mirza, an epitome of grace and beauty, a pillar of courage and commitment when it comes to promoting sustainable fashion. A social figure known for her classic sartorial choices the star channeled part glamour-part cool.
Front row: It was a motley crew —- Shabana Azmi, Mughda Godse, Vidya Malvade and Sagarika Ghatge who kept the spirits high from the sidelines. While Vidya and Sagarika hung out next to each other, perhaps reminiscing their Chak De! India days, Shabana was a picture of poise, gently smiling at those who stopped by to exchange pleasantries with the thespian.
What we loved: No surprises that the designer picked ramp regulars Nidhi Sunil, Riki Chatterjee, Archana Akhil Kumar and Soni Kaur to breathe life into her designs. The clothes lent themselves like a dream, accentuating every inch of their willowy frames.
The theme: Tracing back to the roots from where the handlooms of India originated, Anita Dongre’s garments were soaked in the richness of the country’s vast heritage. Geometric patterns were plenty, with silhouettes loose and flowy, hemlines meandering from midi-length to the floor. Clean separates were united in a blissful marriage with embellished bottoms, every garment springing the possibility of being hailed as a hero piece. Summer jackets for men threw up a window of possibilities, the fabric footloose and fancy-free, flouting the very norm of a fitted form.
The music: The soulful and earthy music – live vocals by Geetu Hinduja – was a perfect backdrop for the organic story of weaves woven by the designer. A mix of Hindi and English tracks, the fusion was resonating through the clothes as well – a consummation of the relationship between Indian textiles and global designs.
Hero piece: We picked a piece in old rose with an uneven hemline and geometric prints running down the body with a hint of glimmer at the waistline. A yoke detail in sheer (sheer is here to stay!) added an extra dose of allure to the garment in jacquard cotton that deserves an outing on every occasion.
Hair and make-up: Keeping the overall look clean and fuss-free, it once again drove home the issue of sustainable fashion. Models had their hair ironed flat on either side of a pronounced middle parting to reflect the easy-breezy style of the garments.
End notes: A gratifying finale to the Indian Textile Day, Anita Dongre proved yet again why Indian craftsmanship still remains unrivalled around the world.
ith cheekbones to die for and never ending legs, Rikee Chatterjee frequents the runways of Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2014.She has walked for the likes of Bibhu Mohapatra and we caught her during a break for a quick chat.
Fashion Week Routine: “We are here from early mornings for back to back fittings, and once the Fashion Week starts, it becomes even more hectic with back to back shows. You have to look beautiful all the time.”
Skin care: “When the skin goes through so many makeup changes, it gets rashes. I don’t go to dermatologists, I just do home remedies for my skin. I spray rose water on my face every half an hour, even when my makeup is on. It keeps my skin fresh and smells nice too.”
Personal Style: “I have a very bohemian and tomboyish style – loose clothes, boots…”
Favourite designers: “Sailex and Nupur Kanoi. Nupur’s clothes are very relaxed and comfortable.”
Plans post fashion week: “I have shoots back to back after which I have to go for Wills. I love traveling… I just do a Google search and go backpacking so I’ll probably take off after both the fashion weeks are over.”