OVER the weekend, Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017 saw a steady parade of Bollywood showstoppers and front-row fixtures. From Aditya Roy Kapur and Jacqueline Fernandez, who walked for Manish Malhotra’s closing show, to ramp regulars Malaika Arora and Dia Mirza, who walked for newbie designers such as Ridhi Mehra and Kusum and Karishma Luharuwal respectively, a celebrity showstopper was the hottest selling news peg.
Every starlet worth her personal manager — from Aditi Rao Hydari, Ileana D’Cruz, Kriti Sanon, Bhumi Pednekar and Taapsee Pannu, to Diana Penty, Pooja Hegde, Nargis Fakhri, Vaani Kapoor and Eli Avaram — was present at Mumbai’s St Regis, playing arm candy to some designer or the other.
In comparison, the men were under-represented — by Randeep Hooda, Vidyut Jamwal and Ali Fazal. But the show-stealer was the inimitable Ranveer Singh, who may not have walked the ramp for Manish Arora, but created quite a flutter in a psychedelic rainbow-hued Arora jumper. The flashbulb frenzy at the venue made even the most seasoned of fashion watchers admit in self-defeat that Mumbai and its obsession with Bollywood will not be denied.
Manish Arora, undoubtedly India’s most famous fashion export, presented “Cosmic Love”, celebrating a decade of showing his work at the Paris Fashion Week. The Fall 2017 line, described by WWD.com as “a veritable firework display” took the atrium of Palladium Mall quite by storm with its psychedelic fervour and multi-coloured madness. African tribal influences met intergalactic patterns, shooting stars and peacock embroideries, as over 40 models descended an escalator directly on to the makeshift ramp — a frenzied spectacle only Arora can promise and deliver.
Where there is Bollywood, there’s bound to be glamour. The weekend saw designers pull out all the stops for collections that screamed glitz. The title of Malhotra’s collection “Tales of Indulgence” was self-explanatory as cocktail dresses in metallic hues were doused in pearls, tassels and feathers. His protege Arpita Mehta presented a coquettish festive line with bare shoulders, lotus motifs and lots of sheer styles. Ridhi Mehra played with fringe details, metallic tassels, bugle beads, faux feathers and plunging necklines to turn the heat up a notch.
While Shriya Som brought on a more vintage vibe with intricate lace, feathers, stones, sequins and crystals, Sonaakshi Raaj worked with embellished and gilded lace, shimmery thread-work and blingy fringe. In comparison, Nachiket Barve’s Greco-Roman inspired line was rich in colour, yet understated. With collections bordering more on the commercial rather than the abstruse, we won’t be surprised if some of the outfits displayed make the ramp-to-red-carpet transition even before we can say “Farewell, fashion week”.