Last evening, Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week concluded in Delhi, and saw some of the country’s top designers showcasing their Autumn/Winter 2014 collections. We witnessed a medley of textures, drapes and delicate appliqué – all in beautifully crafted silhouettes that were both traditional and contemporary. Here’s a round-up of some of our favourite shows from the five-day fashion extravaganza:
Master couturier Tarun Tahiliani showcased his signature drapes with elaborate embroidery, highly reminiscent of the decadent Mughal period. We saw full flowing skirts, pleated swing tops, dhoti pants and draped saris, in colour palettes ranging from neutral ebony and ivory to vivid scarlet, indigo, purple and gold.
Anupama Dayal’s showcase was nothing short of an Indian bride’s dream trousseau. The collection started with pretty petal patterns on buttercup yellow lehengas and saris with delicate gold embroidery, progressing to richly textured saris, lehengas and suits in brilliant shades of tangerine and red. Her barely there cholis gave the otherwise pretty garments a seriously sexy twist.
Beautifully embroidered in a colour palette ranging from soft cream and eggshell to red, gold and orange, Vineet Bahl’s show was a visual treat for fashion enthusiasts. We saw the revival of old-world romance in his intricately detailed Kashmiri suits and full-sleeved saris, all in beautiful Benarasi handlooms and tussar georgette.
MYOHO BY KIRAN & MEGHNA
Another beautiful collection came courtesy Kiran and Meghna for their label Myoho. Bold colours and prominent print clashes were juxtaposed with the delicate fluidity of flowing silhouettes, creating a perfect balance in a line that was sophisticated yet extremely wearable.
In a myriad of weaves including silk and khadi, Vaishali Shadangule’s show was a testament to the versatility of Indian textiles. Shades of ivory, cream and eggshell were seen on contemporary silhouettes rooted in Indian tradition. We saw a mix of structure and texture combined with soft drapes and delicate pleating.
Anand Bhushan gave us a show that was strong on design and texture. Titled Broken, the collection tried to encapsulate all the little things that make us tick, celebrating the cracks and fissures that develop over time. Meticulous in construction, the collection was a testament to Bhushan’s creativity and design focus.
MY VILLAGE BY RIMZIM DADU
Rimzim Dadu explored depth of texture through the process of shredding. We saw traditional saris with not-so-traditional pallus made from shards of fabric, expertly woven together. We also saw detailed floral patterns in geometric and diamond shapes across cut-out dresses, pencil skirts and blouses. The striking showcase definitely made us sit up and take notice.
KALLOL DATTA 1955
Kallol Datta returned to the runway with a show that was breathtakingly morbid. Infusing his love for painting into his clothing, the prints on the runway were very personal (one of them being his decapitated head!). The dresses, tunics and saris were paired with blood red sneakers. All in all, we found ourselves in awe of Kallol’s artistic vision and approach to fashion, no matter how macabre.
Inspired by the native Maoris of New Zealand, Nachiket Barve’s collection was a definite break from the designer’s soft, feminine aesthetic. Strong, structured silhouettes with elaborate embroidery brought back tribal chic in a way that was alluring. We also loved the lazer cutwork on the foil skirts and the fringe detailing on some of the dresses.
This year’s winner of the prestigious International Woolmark Prize, Rahul Mishra’s show at WIFW was a highly anticipated one and it did not disappoint. Every piece was gorgeously crafted, with exquisite hand embroidery in merino wool. The silhouettes were chic and contemporary, and reflected the hours of detailed workmanship that Rahul has always proudly supported.
ABRAHAM & THAKORE
This veteran design duo took urban living as their inspiration and muga, tussar and eri silks as their canvas. Beautifully crafted pieces in dull copper and black silk were our favourites from the show. The designers used traditional silks in easy, layered silhouettes. Some of their stand-out pieces included the animal print garments done in an elegant language that is all their own.
FROU FROU by ARCHNA RAO
True to her brand name, Archana Rao’s collection was wispy, feminine and beautifully delicate. She took inspiration from vintage prints and an average family’s clothesline, including ginghams, rosette-embroidered handkerchiefs and sprinkled with nostalgia. She combined overexposed florals with sheer 3D florals in calf-grazing skirts, blousons, floor-sweeping skirts and little jackets.
PANKAJ & NIDHI
The designers were inspired by an ornamental deck of playing cards this season. Intricate motifs and card inspired graphic prints were emblazoned on bolero jackets, flared dresses, capes and high-waist shorts. The silhouettes, inspired by Spanish bullfighters, were flamboyant and theatrical.
Inspired by the Japanese kimono, Payal Pratap’s collection saw a variety of techniques on sumptous silks, satins, velvets and brocades. She explored traditional Japanese patterns in this collection, besides the native cherry blossom and floral motifs.
PERO by ANEETH ARORA
Cozy woollen throws and tunics in stripes and gingham checks were layered with scarves and beanies at Pero’s runway show. The silhouettes were slouchy and anti-fit, as per usual, and the colours muted.
RISHTA by ARJUN SALUJA
Arjun Saluja – who is by now synonymous with androgyny and crisply tailored garments – was inspired by the journey of a woman in a set period of time. He explored the concept of contradiction in this collection, and paid tribute to the Pakistani Khais technique using jacquard and heavy silk drapes.
MASABA GUPTA for SATYA PAUL
Masaba Gupta is touted as one of the country’s most talented young designers, and not without reason. The 20-something designer always deliver a crisp, well-edited collection season after season – be it for her namesake brand or for veteran label Satya Paul. The colour palette veered away from neons and into more into subtle rust, vivid blue, mauve pink and mango yellow this season, with accents of metallic burgundy. The digitally rendered prints were subtler too, and the print story indicates activity: a running tap dripping water here, the blooming of a plant there. We loved the streamlined silhouettes, the flared capes, the sharp panelled skirts, the dramatic peplum tops and the rich, printed saree drapes.
Namrata Joshipura presented the Grand Finale collection at WIFW this year. Titled elecTRON, the collection spoke of space-age, futuristic glamour and was captivating in its presentation. The models looked striking in metallic fabrics, sequin surface texture, and sexy sheer panels all in iridescent colour palettes of bright blue, onyx, red and molten gold.