From the monuments of Rajasthan to the caves of Ajanta and Ellora, designers travel a wide arc to create their latest collection for India Couture Week 2014 that opens today.
Her incessant travel inspirations make it to the ramp one way or the other, and her 2014 couture collection is no different. “The gota-patti work of Rajasthan and the beauty in the architecture are the focal point of this presentation,” she tells us at the Hauz-i-Alai monument in Delhi. Dhaka contemporises old embroidery techniques by using lace and velvet. There are also glimpses of Mughal splendour in prints of Mughal animal paintings. “There is so much to create after looking at these monuments. This range is one of the many stories that one can tell because of them,” says Dhaka, who has used bright hues in this range that comprises a mere 15 ensembles to be showcased at a special press preview
It’s always nature, always,” says Gaurav Gupta, as we walk through Jahpanah Forest in Delhi at 10 am on a weekday. The humidity and the scorching sunlight don’t deter him and he takes us to his favourite patch in the forest, where it’s all green. His collection called “The Wink of Nyx” is a fusion of influences from Greek mythology and his love for “trees and leaves”. The colour palette is reminiscent of the colours of nature — blue, red,white and gold — and he has used fabrics such as lace, tulle, jersey and brocade. “There is nothing more inspiring than nature. I am always intrigued by its one form or the other,” says Gupta, who will showcase a variety of jackets, gowns, sari gowns and lehenga gowns.
About seven months ago, the veteran designer picked up her camera and left for a holiday. The destination was the Ajanta and Ellora caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, and little did Modi know that this trip would define her latest couture collection titled “Manikarmika”. Burgundy, rose,charcoal and ochre are splashed across this primarily Indian range, with touches of fusion wear. “This collection is about reincarnation, bringing the past into the present. Manikarmika is a girl who is reincarnated in the present times. The carvings on the sculptures at Ajanta and Ellora are so intricate, mesmerising and inspirational,” says Modi. In the picture alongside, she is a tourist, a traveller, who is in awe of the beauty of detailing in the sculptures at Ajanta-Ellora. When this photo was clicked, Modi had already begun weaving “Manikarmika” in her subconscious mind.
Even the cushions at his Delhi residence reveal his love for the rose and “India Moderne”, his 2014 couture range too, is a continuation of this long-standing affair with the flower. Apart from this, the colour black, too, is an inspiration and makes a comeback for the third consecutive time. “The range is about how the modern Indian woman is willing to experiment, while keeping the traditions alive. She likes her pinks and yellows but loves black,” says Bahl. For this collection of saris, anarkalis and lehengas, the designer has used fabrics such as chiffon and georgette and also developed a shimmery black version of crepe. His living room, where we shot this photograph, is an example of how much he believes in the rose-and-black story.