Couturier JJ Valayas exuberant finale that wrapped up the Autumn-Winter edition of WIFW,distracted from clothes that were showstoppers in their own right
Instead of becoming a more focussed event with each season,WIFW seems to diversify in intent and theme. Collegiate fashion by debutantes is shown alongside the work of veterans. On the one hand are worthy design collaborations like the one with Tokyo Fashion Week this time; on the other is a mix of social causes PETA and anti-human trafficking. By the end of it,the buyer and media event becomes a procession of colourful tableau. JJ Valayas show on Sunday evening was a culmination of this unedited jamboree. Being a finale,it was expected to rustle up a plus-sized spectacle with clothes that provoked loud exclamations. Valaya managed it all. He recreated the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul with trees,lights,architecture,artistes and craftspeople. There were five kinds of performance artistes a Darbuka player,a Kemenche artist,a belly dancer,an acrobat,a whirling dervish and celebrities,including his peers such as Suneet Varma and Rohit Bal,among other known faces of Delhi,to walk the ramp. Models were to die for even if Rohit Bal (in a brocade jacket,red printed Patiala salwar and chappals) looked the best of the lot.
But Azrak,the exceptional collection,got eclipsed by the fanfare. The choreographer had models strutting out alternated with a performance,leading to distraction. The first set of garments in Indo-Western silhouettes,jackets,blouses,shirts,breeches,leggings as well as saris in ivory,offset by deep blue and black velvet churidars,was a memorable one. More colours would come later with clothes fused out of Mother of Pearl inlays,designs of Iznik ceramics,paper,leather,wood,Turkish miniatures,exotic birds and royal robes. Despite a visible inspiration from Topkapi archives,the Valaya signature was loud and clear. There were lehengas and shawls,saris and jutis,beautiful jadau jewellery and lovely drapes. The clothes should have unquestionably been the showstoppers,but they were not. By the time Kangna Ranaut came as the showstopper,the excess of visual influences had left the audience dazed. Wow,they all cheered. But for what? The clothes? The artistes? Celebrity models? Sets? No one was really sure.