The fashion juggernaut is set to roll starting October 8 with the 24th edition of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW). The Spring-Summer 2015 edition will see 55 runway shows by the country’s leading fashion designers, who are already hard at work giving finishing touches to their new seasonal line-up. Be it their travels to exotic locales or the world of art, designers have found inspiration brewing at home and in different parts of the globe. Here is a look at some collections that caught our attention:
The splendour of Mughal gardens of Kashmir will come alive in couturier Rohit Bal’s collection “Gulbagh”. A six-garment preview held in Delhi last week gave a glimpse of the range that will close WIFW this season. Peonies, lotuses, roses and chrysanthemums rule the garments (for both men and women) as the gardens come alive. Bal has used fabrics such as chanderi, mulmul, matka silk, voile, brocade and velvet; there’s also enough hand-blocked printing, gold leaf embossing and tilla hand embroidery. It’s always a delight to watch him do what he does best; and looks like this season will be no different.
Food for thought
Old parsi eating joints that dot Mumbai have an inviting old world charm, one that reels you in and takes you to a different time zone. Delhi designer Nida Mahmood is attempting the same with her latest spring-summer line called “Good Luck Irani Café”. Quirky prints and old school silhouettes will take over the ramp; as will an elaborate set with all Parsi essentials in place. Mahmood reveals little except that it will be a nostalgic trip with obvious over-the-top elements that have become the designer’s hallmark now. It’s after several meals at Irani cafes across Mumbai that Mahmood has created a line that aims at portraying the many interesting people and stories she has encountered.
Art and Soul
When Tarun Tahiliani first saw the works of the Singh Twins, contemporary artistes based in the UK, he says he went into a “hypnotic trance”. “It was a novel and intellectual take on patterns, layering and with such wit and finesse that I could not wait to put a collection of ready-to-wear easy pieces together,” Tahiliani says in his collection note. Using artworks by the sisters — Amrit and Rabindra — the designer has created prints on fabrics that will be presented in his signature style of drapes and cuts. The vibrancy of art is matched up with an equally bright colour palette that brings in hues like peach, lemon, yellow and orange.
It’s a sweet homecoming for Roopa Pemmaraju’s signature label. Though the Bangalore-born and Melbourne-based designer won’t be able to travel to India for her show (on October 11), the excitement in her voice is hard to miss. Having made her debut at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2012 in Sydney, Pemmaraju works in collaboration with indigenous Australian artists and Indian weavers. Her Spring-Summer 2015 collection features artwork by aboriginal Warlukurlangu artists, along with those by Rosie Napurrurla Tasman from Warlpiri culture and Reko Rennie, whose art incorporates his association to the Kamilaroi people. “My work is the coming together of two cultures as the fabrics are Indian handlooms sourced from Varanasi, Karnataka and Maharashtra,” she says. The luxury ready-to-wear collection has dresses, tunics and kaftans in silk, cotton and linen, created at her Bangalore studio.
A few months ago, Urvashi Kaur decided to accompany her father, a historian researching a book, to China. Taking a detour from mainland China, Kaur visited Xining, located on the Tibetan plateau. “It’s a mystical place with a rugged terrain and these nomadic folk lead lives that seem untouched by the modern world,” says Kaur. Her journey to this faraway land is the inspiration behind “Ziran”, her Spring-Summer 2015 line. The wanderer spirit of the people of Xining reflect in the silhouettes with frayed edges as well as the use of batik in the collection. “While I’ve been using tie-and-dye techniques, I noticed the use of batik in their clothing and decided to incorporate that as well,” says Kaur.
Shivan and Narresh
Artistic inspirations are not new to resortwear specialists Shivan Bhatiya and Narresh Kukreja’s repertoire. For Spring-Summer 2015, Shivan & Narresh celebrate the kinetic aerodynamic works of American sculptor Alexander Calder. Credited for being the originator of the mobile — a sculpture made with delicately-balanced components that move with wind flow — Calder’s works inspired the duo’s “precariously crafted” summer line. “Bathed in vermillions, safari greens, azure blues and ecstatic prints, the collection sets a lyrical mood that exudes luxe splendour for holidays and honeymoons,” reads the collection note.