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For the Lady in Red

The unimaginable has happened — minimalist label Abraham & Thakore has gone bridal

Written by Namrata Zakaria |
March 10, 2013 2:50:25 am

Their fashion shows are the most awaited of all,at least for the fashion cognoscenti. David Abraham and Rakesh Thakore make you hold your breath for a whole year by skipping every alternate season.

So next week,March 15,the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in New Delhi sees the two gents present their only showcase this year. Their show is supported by the Ministry of Textiles’ Development Commissioner for Handlooms.

It’s tantalisingly called “Shaadi Redux” and makes us do a double-take: what is the minimal-mad,khadi-friendly label doing talking about a trousseau? “It’s something we haven’t tried,so why not,” laughs Abraham,on his lunch break between meetings. “It isn’t just for the bride but also for those who are going for a wedding,” adds Thakore.

Their handloom of choice this year is the most iconic and mainstream one — the Benarasi weave. “When you say Benaresi,the first thing that comes to mind is richness,paisley and peacocks. But we’ve tried to go against the grain,” says Thakore. There is also the lovely zari and badla within the warp-weft,and lots of reds,fuchsias,purples and gold,but the duo insists they’re all within their aesthetic for a “stripped-down,modernist bride”.

The two admit it’s hard to avoid the B-word (bridal,of course) when they are so exposed to the wedding culture in India,even among discussions with other designers. “We thought how would we do it if we were to do it,” says Abraham,adding,“It became a sort of a challenge.” Benaresi is so established in its look,they decided to try another take on it. They got in touch with Ekaya,one of the oldest and widest weaving centres in Benaras to do all the fabric for them. “Can you believe there is a seven-metre warp in existence? Only in India can you do this,” says Thakore.

The result is terribly interesting — a new long skirt instead of a lehenga,and even a bride in a brocade sherwani and brocade androgynous trousers.

Fashion shows and the A&T label — now at 20 years — have long had a love-hate relationship. It stayed away for too long,and returned only when it made commercial sense to its two designers. “The Indian fashion industry is so much stronger now. There is so much debate and discussion. The media has evolved too,fashion is popular culture now,” says Abraham. Their market has always been overseas,especially London stores like Selfridges,The Conran Shop and Liberty. But the new and mature India beckoned.

Putting together a fashion show is still something they don’t enjoy — as soon as one show is over,they promise never to do it again. But they are old faithfuls to their friends in the business,and are most looking forward to watching the parades of Rajesh Pratap Singh,Aneeth Arora,Kallol Dutta and Pankaj & Nidhi.

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