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.