The India Couture Week, which kicked off on Wednesday evening in Delhi, couldn’t have asked for a better dream pair — couturier Tarun Tahiliani and Bollywood favourite Anju Modi — to kick off the annual bridal extravaganza. The opening show was started a bit late, with surprisingly a few empty seats in the show arena, which can perhaps be attributed to the late monsoon showers in the Capital. Fashion week regular Tahiliani presented a mega collection titled ‘In Elysium – An Ethereal Lightness of Being’, which invoked the mythical Greek concept of the afterlife in paradise.
Wire mesh was used liberally on stage to make arches and pillars blending the Middle-eastern aesthetic with an Indian one. Tahiliani’s collection, which leaned heavily on lehengas, sarees and gowns, and layered bandhgala shervanis for men, had a liberal use of sequins, gotta-pati, Swarovski crystals and gold thread embroidery — all of the designer’s staples. One could also spot bits of chikankari on the clothes. The colour palette started with a warm beige, cream gold and less bling, and graduated to much louder reds and pinks. Showstopper Aditi Rao Hyadri wore a rose pink off-shoulder gown, with a net train, bedecked with flowers on the hemline. There were some interesting colour choices such as seafoam, pista green and dusky blue, which helped break the monotony. There was something for every bride — those looking for bling or otherwise.
From the mythical Elysium, the viewers were transported to a vintage parlour in the Victorian era through Anju Modi’s collection ‘A Maiden’s Prayer’. Modi has been a regular on the FDCI calendar, and expectations were high.
With ‘A Maiden’s Prayer’, she did try new things. Modi bought in a lot of busy prints, used chiffon as opposed to her favoured khadi silk, and came up with some bold designing — with several backless and off-shoulder ensembles.
One saw asymmetrical pleated hemlines and caped sleeves but nothing we haven’t seen on the runway before. The collection, which has both menswear and womenswear, seemed all over the place. In an attempt to recreate a throwback to the Victorian era — when voluminous skirts and puffed sleeves were in vogue — Modi’s panelled skirts, printed blouses and gowns with clinched waists ended up giving a Sarojini Nagar vibe. An all-white gown, replete with a veil, was an aberration in the otherwise very colourful collection.
The menswear had bandhgalas and panelled jackets paired with pants and churidars. In what was perhaps an attempt to create drama, many pieces here had capes on the side, and featured draped kurtas with the drape extending from the shoulder to the hemline — reminiscent of Shantanu and Nikhil designs. Kangana Ranaut, the showstopper, wore a beige lehenga and blouse — a bit ill-fitted though — paired with a dark maroon cape, embellished with silver thread embroidery and stone work. Nothing worthy of a mention here.