The Bold and The Feminine

The ABIL Pune Fashion Week had a good start on Day.

Written by Nupur Chaudhuri | Published: April 13, 2012 1:31:29 am

The Future Is Here

The Pune Fashion Week opened with Swapnil Shinde’s show. If invitees complained about the hour-long delay,they also raved about the collection just as much post the show. The young designer showcased his Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2012 – very futuristic,very avant garde,especially for this city where the fashion market has just stepped into its adolescent years. The Pune market is at a crucial stage where its thinking can be moulded; it can be taught what to like and experiment with. Perhaps that’s why Shinde’s collection – with its tribal,80s Madonna and sci-fi influences and visuals – made people think and believe that this was the future of fashion.

The designer used leather,satin,cotton and crepe and a colour palette that ranged from metallic gold and red to ivory,black,and nudes. From flowy gowns to coiled and moulded tops,the construction of the designs was imaginative and bold. We also loved the flashing neon light footwear.

Men in Skirts

A champion of Bhagalpuri silk and its master weavers,Samant Chauhan presented the fabric in all its richness with real gold zari in every second wrap. This he fused with kora cotton silk,lending a light,summery feel to the designs. With Rajasthani music playing in the backdrop,the models gracefully walked the ramp in Chauhan’s Rajputana collection,which dwelt on the Victorian influence on Rajasthani gharanas. It included cotton silk sarees with Chauhan’s signature work on the blouses,short and long dresses with Victorian motifs on the yoke,figure-hugging tops with flowy skirts with thick gold borders,and accessories ranging from talwars to metal matka-shaped hand bags. The line was very relevant to the city because of its wearability – nothing was over-stated.

What also stood out was the menswear collection which had long kurtas,bandhgalas teamed with fluffly ghagras and crinkled skirts. This may not translate into orders for the designer,but it was nonetheless lauded.

Pin-up design

The models entered with oiled,tightly pulled back hair; dark kohl-lined eyes and nude lips. The first sequence had only black gowns but this led to a burst of colour as flowy ghagras,ankle-length anarkali dresses,layered and frill-bordered anarkalis,and knee-length balloon dresses swished along the ramp. Instead of chudidars,they were paired with sheer black stockings,lending a very contemporary feel to the ‘Nomad Princess’ collection of designer Joy Mitra. The collection was about wanting to run through the streets and be a vagabond. This came through well in the colours – cream,gold and black were made livelier with fun reds,dull greens,peachy pinks,sunset orange and pretty purples. Some of the pieces spoke of nothing new,but if one looked closely – the use of safety pins on jackets and tunics added novelty to the collection. The bridal wear had a lot of jewel colours – perfect for a Great Pune Wedding. The menswear line had tussar cotton and khadi trousers teamed with jackets. We liked the heavy key challas attached to some of the ghagras – “I love the sound of keys – very beautiful and feminine,” Mitra said.

In Short,Summery

Right from the start – as the models let loose and laughed with each other on stage – the show spelt fun and glamour. Raakesh Agarvwal presented a very sexy resort wear line – laser cutwork short dresses thrown over bikinis,cutwork long jackets teamed with the 2011 trend of high-waist,belted palazzo trousers,dresses with thigh-high zipped slits,and some with abstract lined patterns. The designer’s inspiration was the Taj Mahal meets barcode motifs. The colours progressed from nudes to whites,champagne,canary yellow and dull and electric blues. He worked with all possible fabrics for this line – from chiffons,silk voiles,cotton,linen and lots of lace and chikankari embroidery. Though Agarvwal has showcased this collection at other fashion weeks,for the city,it was new,refreshing and a very crisp,summer line. Last season,he showed a couture line,but this time,with his ready-to-wear spunky collection,he is expecting a 200 per cent rise in orders. “I am so happy with the response here that I would give my right and left arm to always be a part of PFW,” he quipped post the show.

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