With the majestic Qutub Minar at the backdrop, singer Shubha Mudgal’s live performance and Bollywood star Arjun Rampal on the runway, ace designer Rohit Bal brought the curtains down at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week with his Kashmir-inspired collection.
The line befittingly titled ‘Gulbagh’, was inspired by the rich and lush Mughal gardens of Kashmir and was the designer’s tribute to the beauty of the Valley.
Arjun, a former model and a close friend of Bal, was the showstopper of the evening and mesmerized the audience as he made his way from the Quila Khan tomb to the ramp dressed in a black velvet bandhgala and matching jodhpuri breeches.
The 41-year-old actor was quite overwhelmed by the magnificent, historical setting of the fashion show.
“I am walking the ramp after quite some time. I have done many shows but never something like this. I did not know that the setting was Qutub Minar until I came down here. When I was walking down the ramp, I felt as if I was transporter back in time. Everything was so perfect- the clothes, the music, the atmosphere, the decoration. It was very hypnotic and I felt very good,” Arjun said after the show.
Bal recreated the Mughal court on the ramp through roses and live music, which took the audience back in time. Models emerged from the tomb’s balcony as Mudgal began her rendition of classical songs of Hazrat Amir Khusro and Zafar Shirazi.
Peony, chrysanthemum, wild roses, lotus were the major flower motifs used in the line keeping in mind the spring-summer season.
The fabrics ranged from chanderi, fine mulmul, matka silk, voile, velvet. Techniques like hand block printing have been used with vegetable dyes and gold leaf embossing with a generous use of quilting and tilla hand embroidery in resham. The collection saw a heavy use of thread and metallic gold.
Ivory was the base of the colour palate which was teamed with embroidery. The use of brocade from Banaras added opulence to the otherwise understated collection.
Rohit Bal, who danced down the runway while taking the final bow after the show, was greeted with a standing ovation which left him in happy tears.
The designer was cheered on from the front row by French footwear designer Christian Louboutin, who was dressed in a red Rohit Bal design. Designers Rohit Gandhi, Rahul Khanna, Gaurav Gupta, socialites Charu Sachdev and Priya Sachdev among others also attended the show.