THE grand finale of any season at fashion week is always a hyped (rightly so) and much looked forward to event. But lately, the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) has made it a rather crowded affair by inviting a bevy of designers to showcase together with capsule collections. While a heavy duty line-up can add to the excitement of the finale, we found the idea limiting at the Autumn-Winter 2016 edition of the Amazon India Fashion Week (AIFW). The line-up included design stalwarts such as Anju Modi, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Abraham & Thakore, Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna along with the new brigade — Rahul Mishra, Amit Aggarwal (AM.IT), Aneeth Arora (Pero), Samant Chauhan and Pankaj & Nidhi.
The theme ‘India Modern’ made for a perfect choice. The signature style of each of the designers was hard to miss — the sheer wizardry with weaves by Rajesh Pratap Singh and Aneeth Arora, Anju Modi’s play with textiles and delicate embroideries, the racy silhouettes and shimmer by Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna, intricacy of design and fresh take on traditional Indian embroideries by Rahul Mishra and Amit Aggarwal’s quirkiness with drapes, but (yes there’s a but) it all rose like a freshly baked cake in the oven, where you can smell the delicious aroma, only to fall flat when it’s pulled out early. That’s exactly the feeling we got looking at the sumptuous array of clothes at the finale. Limited to five garments each, it was all over in a flash. One wanted to see more of the hand-dyed indigo jackets with gold block printing by Pero, more of the copper hued kedia tops with hoods and gharara skirts by Abraham & Thakore, more of Mishra’s extended Paris Fashion Week line, more of Pankaj and Nidhi’s ikat print skirts and tassled stoles and definitely more of Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna’s fun take on graphic design, especially in menswear. The two used Jaipur’s iconic Hawa Mahal as a print and styled contemporary garments that were befitting examples of the ‘India Modern’ theme. The show did good to highlight our strengths with textiles and silhouettes that have become staples in a modern Indian’s wardrobe, but it was just a sneak peek.