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.