One gets to see vestiges of the Mediterranean and Monaco, experience virtual reality from a London art gallery, and witness an ancient form of karigari that could be traced to the Byzantine Empire — at the Fashion and Design Council’s (FDCI) India Couture Week (ICW), which begins today at Delhi’s Taj Palace Hotel. The seven-day event is a slight departure from its earlier avatars of four/five days, and on at least three days this time, there is only one designer showcasing her designs. “A couture show is extremely expensive and time-consuming, given the elaborate clothes, jewellery and sets involved. Each ensemble showcased at ICW takes months to create. FDCI makes every effort to give each designer as much time in the limelight as possible. Every venue hosts only one show a day; it’s the only way to give the designers their due,” says Sunil Sethi, President, FDCI. The line-up includes Rahul Mishra, Tarun Tahiliani, Suneet Varma and some new entrants in the couture game, with designer duo Pankaj and Nidhi making their couture debut.
Light and Line
Amit Aggarwal, who in the past has turned to symmetry present in nature and infused it with his sharp silhouettes, invokes the interplay of light and structure in the opening show, ‘Lumen’. “I stumbled upon a virtual reality experience at Saatchi Gallery, London, called ‘We live in an Ocean of Air’, which illuminates the invisible but fundamental connection between the human and natural worlds,” says Aggarwal, who’s hosting the show at One Style Mile, Mehrauli. One can expect Aggarwal’s edgy silhouettes, blended with a lot of layering — a first for Aggarwal. “We’ve gone with a vibrant jewel colour palette of emerald, petrol, purple and plum, and moved into neutrals of gold, blush, silver and ivory with a mix of neon tones. The garments have been enhanced by sheer drapes and layers creating an illusion of colour through a play of light,” he adds.
Given their stellar show earlier this year at the Lotus Make-up India Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2019, expectations are high from designer duo Pankaj and Nidhi, who are presenting their first couture show. They have created ‘Mosaiq’ as a tribute to the ancient eponymous art — where tiny pieces of wood, glass or ceramics are put together to form a complete design — by designing garments in satin, tulle and organza to create the perfect couture outfit. We will see a lot of 3D hand-cut applique and inlay work on metallic fabrics in shades of citrine yellows, sapphire blues, molten gold and silver.
Pretty in Pink
Having dressed the ilk of Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Rita Ora in their feathery, flared creations, Falguni and Shane Peacock are geared to dress the Indian bride, “who wishes to look like Beyonce”. After having made their couture debut last year, they are back second year in a row with ‘Bonjour Amer’, a tribute to the architecture, ornamentation and aesthetic of the Pink City. One will see their signature trains blended with lehengas and gowns that won’t look out of place on the wedding day. Feathers, sequins and beads have embellished outfits in muted shades of lavender, pewter, fog green and vanilla.
Embellished and How
A 72-piece collection by Tarun Tahiliani seems like the perfect way to close the extravaganza. “I wanted my collection to be the exact representation of how society has evolved. ‘Bloom’ is for the young, spirited bride, who is looking to be herself, be free and wear clothes that will help her feel beautiful as she dances the night away,” shares Tahiliani. The highlight of the collection, he adds, is the kasheeda embroidery. “You’ll see a lot of kasheeda or fine resham work that helps us make the garments feather-light. There is classic tone-on-tone work with Swarovski crystals sprinkled through the veil, and French-knot detailing,” he says. The collection — in sedate pastel shades, a departure from Tahiliani’s usual colour tones — comprises lehengas, concept sarees, shararas, jackets, anarkalis and sherwanis.