PRAGATI MAIDAN on Sunday night resembled a fortress with guards everywhere,passes were double checked,and one part of the venue covered in black,as if concealing a secret. It was after all the grand finale to the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn-Winter 2013 and it was truly worth the wait. We were awestruck for all the right reasons.
The Main Stage Area 2 had a long (and slippery) black ramp in the centre,a side stage for a live act by the Hilight Tribe from France and a big white screen to the right. I was at the Burning Man , screamed bright and bold on the screen. Photographs from the experimental,self-expression festival that takes place at Nevada,took us through Aroras trip. The psychedelic tunes of the Hilight Tribe set the tone for the show and models sashayed down the ramp to hoots and screams in the designers autumn-winter range.
Truth be told,we expected the collection may not hold much ground before a dramatic presentation but Aroras signature genius stood out. Visuals from the festival found themselves as prints on the clothes. His numerous silhouettes included peplum dresses and skirts,sweatshirts,jumpsuits,jackets,trench coats,pencil skirts,fitted pants and turbans. The colour palette included pop pink,florescent orange,mustard,neon green,black,and navy blue.
He played with fabrics and juxtaposed them to create his line. So there were lurex sweaters,cotton velvet skirts,Saga fox fur on collars and other materials such as silk crepe,nappa leather and quilted neoprene.
His collaboration with jewellery brand,Amrapali,had dresses with long chains. He also included an accessory range with printed totes,hobo bags,corset belts and scarves. When he walked the runway,many got up to bow down to the master while some applauded and others danced to the trippy tunes of Hilight Tribe.
Remember how fascinating it was to watch clowns with fat red noses,jugglers and hula hoop dancers at a circus? Delhi-based designer Aneeth Aroras show on Saturday brought back those memories. Models walked the red-and-white striped ramp to circus-like music. With bright red noses and rosy cheeks,donning Mad Hatter hats they had balloons in hand,giggling and laughing for the audience.
Layering is Aroras USP short checkered dresses paired with shorts and jackets; striped shirts under jumpsuits paired with jackets and knitted dresses under pullovers the silhouettes were plenty and their styling,genius. Models wore bows around their neck,and had backpacks with red circus prints. She used merino wool,cotton,khadi and cashmere in tones of red,green,mustard,turquoise,blue,purple,black,grey and beige.
Her hand-stitched hearts,a Pero (Aroras label) signature,were on display this time too. There was a sense of repetition and we wondered,when does layering get boring?
Payal Pratap Singh
Last season,Payal Pratap Singh was the opening designer at the WIFW and this season,she had a sponsored show at the same venue. In less than a year,the Delhi designer has come a long way and her clothes tell of this success. Boho-chic defines her protagonist and fusion defines Singh. This collection brought together the romanticised vintage prints from her grandmothers trunks and the busy and chic look of the modern day woman. Dhoti kurtas,dhoti dresses,peplum jackets,wraps,shirts,kedia blouses and saris walked the ramp with thin,brown belts. She has an affair with colours gold,purple,wine,blue,black,mustard and used them without hesitation. Singh added the winter in the range with velvet,wool and silk and put some zing into the clothes by adding shimmery stockings. Her bold rose prints and cross-stitch patterns on the saris stole our heart.
Do not be fooled by Rahul Mishras innocent smile and his previous feel-good and easy linen collections. There is a devious side to him that brings out the devilish glamour that sashayed down the runway as he showcased his autumn-winter collection titled The Baroque Tree. But before the clothes did the talking,a violinist took centre stage and a laser-musical performance followed.
Trench coats,short jackets,slim-fit pants,dresses and shirts formed the collection that found inspiration in Islamic architecture,especially intricate jaali patterns. Mishra played with silk satin,lurex,chiffon,merino wool,silk jacquard and khadi in off-white,black,grey,red,ind igo and multicoloured hues. Flowers such as the oriental lotus and trees were some of the printed motifs in the range. This new version of Mishra has us excited and we eagerly await his next experiment.