Days before designer Manish Malhotras finale show at the PCJ Delhi Couture Week on Sunday night,he spoke about being inspired by the fashion sensibilities of the elite of the 30s India. We expected him to incorporate the regalia and the elegance that is so reminiscent of that time. However,not once did we think he would go all the way in creating an ambience and set that would take everyone on a journey to a town hall of that era. Vintage couches,chairs,tables,vases and lamps adorned the ramp that also doubled as a seating area for Malhotras guests. The show began with models walking down the ramp in long kurtas that resembled gowns,with vintage necklines. As old,scratchy records played in the background,Malhotras anarkalis,mermaid gowns and straight-fit,ankle-length kurtas with side slits in neon colours sashayed down the vintage ballroom-like ramp.
The colour palette also reflected this amalgamation of style and thought,with red and blue making several appearances. Malhotra used velvet and silk extensively and added a vintage touch to the ensembles by using Chantilly lace on blouses. For men,Malhotra stuck to short sherwanis in velvet with golden embroidery and teamed it with pants and tight churidars.
Malhotra added more oomph to his show by making actor Deepika Padukone walk the runway in a blue velvet lehenga with heavy gold embroidery. For the curtain call,Malhotra and Padukone were accompanied by Shah Rukh Khan,wearing a plain,black three-piece suit,sporting a pony tail,causing a frenzy among the women present. .
THE word couture,strictly in the Indian context,has become synonymous with bridalwear and over the years,we have come to terms with it. Gaurav Gupta,however,strengthened our faith in the future of couture with his latest collection titled Lightfall on Sunday,the last day of PCJ Delhi Couture Week. The range he created was probably farthest away from bridalwear among the collections we saw this season.
His forte lies in introducing new silhouettes and taking forward the story of the lehenga and the sari gowns that he is known for. Lightfall was no different. Gupta used fabrics such as jersey,georgette,soft mesh and lace,and colours such as moon grey,ecru,dull gold,champagne,teal and pop neons (that reminded us of his 2012 couture collection). The models walked the runway in fitted gowns with pallus,lehengas with chain work,see-through gowns with black shimmery patterns,and pleated sari gowns. Our favourites were the creations in white a one-shoulder gown and a sari with bright gold work on the blouse with sheer sleeves and a lehenga gown in red and orange with exaggerated shoulders.
Actor Kalki Koechlin looked resplendent in a thigh-high slit golden gown and a big smile on her face. While the ensembles spelt out couture just right,the innovative,big ear cuffs by Monica Sharma for Atelier Mon,which Gupta paired them with,also deserves a mention.
Bling It On
IT was halfway through designer Ritu Beris show on Saturday night that we imagined a rebellion of sorts. As singer Jasbir Jassi belted out Punjabi folk songs,we had a vision of the models getting rid of all the extra swathes of fabric that they were covered in and walking out. While this didnt happen,the couture collection titled Punjabi Rock n Roll was over-the-top,with unnecessary layering. Inspired by the traditional wedding rituals of Punjab,Beri seemed to have picked up all the fabric she could get her hands on to create this range. She used silk velvet,brocade,satin and net to create ghaghras,patiala salwars,jackets and sari gowns,in rich colours. Swarovski,zardozi and gota work,sequins and thread work added to the bling.
The colour palette was loud and boisterous with gold,blue,red,fuschia,orange,maroon and red. Veteran model Jesse Randhawa,the showstopper,smiled,walked and even danced on the ramp in what can only be called a layered gown.
Indian by Choice
It was a set straight out of a 70s Bollywood over-the-top dream sequence,where marriages are made in heaven and apsaras dance around the couple. Cardboard cutouts of bright red hearts,floating swans and bejewelled elephants and colourful earthen pots these were just teasers before Manish Aroras show on Saturday. The designer presented bridal couture from his label Indian by Manish Arora (launched in 2012),for the first time at the Delhi Couture Week.
Aroras inspirations from the Baroque era,Buddhist temples and Indian jewellery created silhouettes in the form of silk brocade lehengas,bandhgalas,anarkalis,kurta-churidars and saris. These were adorned with neon bindis,nose rings,jackets studded with stones,eye masks,mohawk maang-teekas and an occasional bridal mukut worn as a sideways head gear. Indian bride goes femme fatale? We thought so.