By Anupam Dabral
Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) recently concluded its 10th Couture Week at a week-long extravaganza in Delhi, and as expected, the biggest couturiers of the country lined up to showcase their pieces.
The good news was that you could spot some impeccable embroideries, a vibrant colour palette and an overdose of glamour. The bad news was that, except for a few sparks of innovation, it mostly felt like déjà vu. Beautiful, but more of the same thing.
Taking his much preferred royal route, designer Rohit Bal showcased ‘Khush Posh’, his latest couture line featuring decadent pieces inspired from India’s rich royal past. He also stuck to his favourite colour scheme: red and gold, with a few sensual versions of greys and whites.
Manav Gangwani showcased his edgy side with a collection called ‘India @ 70’ which was certainly not for the faint of heart: Kanjeevaram lehengas paired with corsets, belted blouses and intricate embroideries on saris.
‘Twinkling celestial bodies’ served as inspiration for couturier Tarun Tahiliani, as he created pieces dipped in Swarovski crystals. Floor-sweeping net veils, extra-flared voluminous lehengas and saris with flirty blouses summed up his collection.
Woolmark Prize-winner Rahul Mishra’s commitment to Indian craft, his play with silhouettes and ability to give Indian fashion an international tinge makes him a one-of-a-kind designer. His couture collection ‘Parizaad’ was a medley of playful hues, classic silhouettes, paired with lightweight lehengas with floral and parakeet-inspired embroidery.
Mumbai-based fashion baroness Anita Dongre may be just two seasons old at the couture week but her understanding of high fashion stands out. Her collection ‘Tree of Love’ was inspired by Rajasthan’s Khejri plant. Mushroo and hand-embroidered tea-length dresses shared the stage with exquisite gottapatti lehengas and her polkii-jadau jewellery.
Anju Modi’s couture collection was inspired by 16th century Rajasthan, especially Kishangarh, having been introduced to the intricate embroideries and vibrant colour scheme of the region by Princess Vaishnavi Kumari of Kishangarh herself.
Varun Bahl took inspiration from Czech painter and artist Alphonse Mucha for his couture show. The magnificence of Mucha’s ‘art nouveau’ was reflected through intricate embroideries and stone work.
Photographs by Pallav Paliwal