The yearly fashion extravaganza ‘India Couture Week’ presented an ensemble of luxury fashion. The five day fashion marathon of ICW 2018 saw some of India’s finest and most respected couturiers setting milestones in Indian bridal fashion for the upcoming season. Designers Anju Modi, Pallavi Jaikishan, Rahul Mishra, Reynu Taandon, Rohit Bal, Shyamal & Bhumika, Suneet Varma, Tarun Tahiliani, and debutants Amit Aggarwal and Falguni & Shane, presented trends defining the concoction of traditional techniques with contemporary nuances for the modern day bride.
A fashion extravaganza
Master of glamour and tradition, Tarun Tahiliani presented his Couture & Bridal Wear 2018-19, titled ‘In Elysium, An Ethereal Lightness of Being’, high on shimmering florals and weightless drapes. The collection featured European constructions fused with classic Indian styles and embroideries, exemplifying an India Modern aesthetic. For the women’s wear collection, strips of airy hand-knotted lace, Italian tulle, French lacè and sheer silk were rendered using the meticulous techniques of zardozi, ari, gota-patti and chikankari. Vivid bursts of 3Dl florals created using ribbon-twisted organza, chiffon couching, twisted sheer silk, laser-cut textiles, and detailed appliqué were used to accentuate the panels of bridal and cocktail lehengas, concept saris, gowns, jackets, and modern saris.
The menswear range featured contrast detailing in deep peach, ochre, orange, and paisley over sherwanis, bandhgalas and bandis. Details such as pleated long-line kurtas, pre-fitted cummerbunds, and textured pin-tucking made the seamless constructions of fit and fall translate throughout the line of hand-embroidered muted monotones.
Inspired by nature
Titled Crystalis, Amit Aggarwal’s 2018 couture collection was inspired from the natural phenomenon of the formation of crystals at a molecular level and the enveloping of metallic chrysalis around a butterfly cocoon. The collection featured handcrafted 3D embroideries in various crystalline and bio mimicked forms and motifs to lend a unique visual and tactile quality to the designs. Sculptural, structural and dramatic, Aggarwal’s signature techniques such as sophisticated cording, plisse and topstitched fabrications explored the smooth juxtaposing of Indian and western silhouettes that accentuate the feminine form.
Winner of the International Woolmark Prize 2014, Rahul Mishra has championed slow fashion with handwoven, hand-embroidered, and hand crafted traditional Indian textiles. For his 2018 Couture collection, the designer explored the concept of ‘Maraasim’, meaning relationships in Urdu. The collection reconnoitered the connections between the past and present of the intricately opulent visual cultural history belonging to the finest Mughal architectural nuances. The collection revived ancient visual expressions with the ingenious use of geometry and arabesque to achieve patterns that included intricate vegetal motifs such as chevrons and spandrels, complex florals, angled stars, and geometric diamonds, among others. Delicate hand-embroidery over handwoven fabrics to create an eclectic mix of kurtas, bandhgalas & silhouettes inspired from traditional Indian ensembles such as lehengas and kalidars. In collaboration with Swarovski, the collection incorporated unique lacquer crystals interpreted as morning dew drops over the covetable pieces.
Blast from the past
Debuting this year, Falguni & Shane Peacock presented a medley between the queen of the French capital and the grand palace of Junagarh, Rajasthan’s cultural jewel. Titled ‘Amour De Junagarh’, the collection replicated the intricate techniques used in the structural marvel and translated them over timeless silhouettes and cuts. Trails of floor sweeping ensembles bedecked with feathers and Swarovski crystals, were punctuated with dainty embellished veils. Bejeweled dresses, dramatic regal lehengas and frail saree gowns formed the opulent collection in a colour palette dominated by Persian violets, medieval blues, golds, plum purples, lavenders, ivory tones, and burgundy.
Bringing handloom to the spotlight, designer Anju Modi’s collection was inspired by the classic art forms, literature and architecture prevalent during the Victorian era. Her latest collection, ‘A Maiden’s Prayer’ saw her experimenting with luxe fabrics such as velvet, lace, tulle, and organza. Dramatic tiered gowns, embroidered velvet corsets and embellished tulle capes in a jewel tone palette, conjured the romanticism synonymous with the bygone era.