Keep it simple, stupid,” says a design principle coined by the US Navy in 1960. And while there was no naval presence at Pragati Maidan, the venue for the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW), we did see some heavy-duty combat boots and a whole lot of embracing of the KISS principle on Day 3.
Ready-to-wear finally staked a rightful claim on the WIFW runway. Following in the firm footsteps of Aneeth Arora of Pero, Eka and Manish Gupta on the previous days, many designers presented fuss-free separates. Apart from Rajesh Pratap Singh’s exemplary crafted and superbly styled collection “Blue Blood” — a line of selvedge denim separates in pure indigo that reminded us once again why we were his “dye-hard” fans — there was Ashish N Soni’s well-tailored line of separates. “Plumage” teamed pret practicality with digital print placements in a Pocahontas-meets-power-dressing tableau. Soni’s feather prints covered slick single-button jackets, dresses with pleated collars, summer trench coats, embroidered sweatshirts, and pant-suits — plenty to mix and match. Sanchita Ajjampur drew inspiration from the “optimistic restlessness and dynamism of the sixties”. A medley of modern and vintage shapes collided with a zany line of day luxe yet utilitarian dresses, sweatshirts, and tunics.
Also lending his luxe collection a great deal of approachability was Nachiket Barve, whose collection “Kalahari” drew inspiration from Africa, but steered clear of theatrics and drama. He translated Africa’s Shoowa and Kuba textiles into embroidered and beaded patchwork collages and traditional Dinka beaded corsets found representation in wooden beaded embroideries. Yet, in no place did the surface embellishments overwhelm the pared down shapes of his separates — fitted jackets, palazzos, sleek slit skirts, cami dresses, even a pair of relaxed track pants. And while Western ready-to-wear lines were aplenty, the mix-and-match story also continued with Payal Singhal’s fusion pieces, showcasing an exhaustive array of dolman sleeve shirt dresses, printed high-low kurtas, palazzos, churidar skirts and more. But, perhaps, the biggest revelation of the day was debutante Sneha Arora, who presented a line of finely tailored shirts, printed dresses, linen blazers and trousers with endearing prints. Keeping it simple was never this sweet.