The Indian Wedding in Pastel Hues

India Couture Week-2018

The India Couture Week 2018 was a grand showcase of wedding wear. The one significant trend that it reinforced was the absence of the traditional bright colours of red, green, bright pink, magenta et al. Here were ten well known designers, whose ornate lehengas and snazzy band-gala achkans are their bread and butter, who paraded with pride their ivory and beige lines on the runway.

The Hindustan Times and Sunil Sethi Design Alliance’s India Couture Week 2018 by FDCI rolled out on a subdued note, despite the fashion week being peppered by the presence of half a dozen Bollywood divas as showstoppers. The opening show by Tarun Tahiliani set the tone for the rest of the five days at Taj Palace, New Delhi from 25-29 JulyGardens and flowers, traditional silhouettes, Swarovski crystal, and the dominant trend of subdued pastel hues. The grand finale by Rohit Bal, held offsite, was about his signature voluminous silhouettes, floral embroideries, the trademark colours. Six glamour queens from the world of Hindi Cinema played showstopper for assorted designers. Aditi Rao Hydari closed the show for Tarun Tahiliani. Anju Modi brought in the lovely Kangana Ranaut. Falguni and Shane Peacock picked Kareena Kapoor. Shilpa Shetti did the honors for Amit Aggarwal. There was Kiara Advani for Shyamal & Bhumika. Reynu Tandon flew down the lovely Yami Gautam. Gardens and flowers were all the rage. Tarun Tahiliani set up a wedding Mandap look with fragrant ‘mogra’ strings all around. Anju Modi’s diva’s sauntered around a beautiful European garden with wild rose creepers and potted greens. Pallavi Jaikishan limited it to a floral backdrop. Reynu Tandon turned the runway into a floral garden. Rahul Mishra created a canopy of green. In its entirety, this was a celebration of Indian textiles and weaves and craftsmanship.

DAY- 1

TARUN TAHILIANI

tarunThe designer presented his ‘Tarun Tahiliani Couture & Occasion Wear ‘18-‘19’ line on the theme ‘In Elysium – An Ethereal Lightness of Being’. The Indo-Western blend of silhouettes, in keeping with the prevailing aesthetic, was about juxtaposing iconic European construction with classic Indian styles and embroideries. A soft palette of colours, light fabrics of hand-knotted lace, Italian tulle, French lamè and sheer silk, embellished with classic Indian embroideries of zardozi, ari, gota-patti, chikankari, ari and shadow-work. Opals and Swarovski crystals soldered onto transferred fabrics. The bridal and cocktail lehengas, concept saris, gowns, jackets, and modern saris layered in multi-dimensional detailing of ribbon-twisted organza, chiffon couching, twisted sheer silk, laser-cut textiles, and applique work – in Elysium indeed.

The menswear line complimented the women’s wear with seamless constructions of fit and fall, hand-embroidered muted monotones. Ivory, mauve, powder blue and tea-rose solid colour-with ebony and burgundy. Contrast detailing in deep peach, ochre, orange and paisley on sherwanis, bandhgalas and bandhis, pleated long-line kurtas. Aditi Rao Hydari was the show stopper.

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ANJU MODI

anju-modiAnju Modi surprised us with her collection ‘A maiden’s Prayer’, inspired by the styles of the Victorian era. The designer’s thoughts and inspirations on the mood card read, “Sometimes, I secretly wish I lived in the Victorian era. It’s aesthetically pleasing art and architecture, classic literature, music and ostentatious fashion is the inspirational force behind our Couture’18 Collection.” A fusion line where blouses with peplums were teamed with layered skirts substituting for lehengas, high low peplum dresses worn over flared skirts, blouses with flared sleeves, capes, stoles, shawls, shrugs and boleros over long gowns.

Beautiful floral embroidery, lace, Swarovski, beads, on silk, sheer fabric, velvet, brocade, Anju Modi experimented with a new silhouette. The gorgeous KanganaRanaut was the showstopper, who looked stunning in gold silk blouse and skirt and a zardozi work maroon velvet jacket. There was men’s wear too.

Do hope to see the return to the old Anju Modi styles soon. Because she does ethnic silhouettes and collour combinations really well.

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DAY – 2

PALLAVI JAIKISHAN

pallavi-jaikishanThe veteran designer presented a beautiful collection, aptly called ‘Nostalgia’. It was an amalgamation of her classic old designs revisited and modified. She has taken her two-decade old Chakra design and blended this with flower motifs and presented it in a new contemporary avatar. Known for her classic flowers done in French knots on saris, she embellished net saris that brought alive the 60s era.

The fabrics were mostly tulle, Georgette duchess satin and the highlight being a stunning translucent, fabric with a glass touch which has a complete old world look. French lame and tissue for a beautiful pleated line and French and Italian Brocade lehengas with embroidered dupattas and blouses. Pallavi also brings back old favorites like the Kabja to be worn on blouses teamed with lehengas and sarees. The tiered four circle gharara, shararas, jackets, saris, traditional silhouettes, sometimes reminded of a glamorous silver screen goddess from the sixties or seventies.

The colour palate of metallic tones in various shades of gold and silver.  The range of translucent glass in dove blue, old rose and silver oyster with a touch of pink, the French and Italian brocade in shades of cerise and cranberry Reds. Also a touch of mustard coloured sarees with the restored chakra motif. Couture by Pallavi Jaikishan this season is a beautiful juxtaposition of revived classics with new age silhouettes, perfect for the woman who treasures heritage and yet likes to be “on trend”!

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FALGUNI SHANE PEACOCK

falguniFalguni Shane Peacock unveiled ‘Amour De Junagarh’, a medley between the queen of the French capital and the grand palace of Junagarh in Rajasthan, set in supposedly the 13th century. The set was a little otherworldly, with giant slivers of moon and sundry stars, a black and silver wonderland. A mish-mash of silhouettes and embellishments of feathers, stones, crystals, embroideries, aptly described in the accompanying collection note as “ Channeling the spirit of a traditional mela, inside the palatial walls of the Juna mahal – Falguni Shane Peacock contrived a lustrous mayhem of all things under one roof”. Need we say more?

The colour palette of Persian violet, medieval blue, tinsel gold, plum purple, dessert dust, Pearl ivory, honey peach, lavender fog and burgundy Beaujolais are some of the vivid shades of the couture collection.

The prominent accessory teamed with this line was the Apple watch, blending technology with 13th Century apparel inspiration. The svelte mom Kareena Kapoor was the showstopper. The show was presented by Prakshi Fine Jewelry.

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DAY – 3

AMIT AGGARWAL

amit-agrawalAmit Aggarwal’s ‘Crystalis’ collection was inspired by two natural phenomena – the formation of crystals at a molecular level, and the enveloping of the metallic chrysalis around a butterfly cocoon.  In keeping with the designers speciality in engineering techniques, the collection showcase saw experimental textiles created using modern industrial materials applied through traditional Zardozi and Ari, a  range of hand crafted three-dimensional embroideries in various crystalline and bio mimicked forms and motifs imbuing the fabrics with a unique visual and tactile quality. Naturally, the colour palette was all metallic shades of rose gold, silver, pewter and light gold along with jewel tones of rose quartz, silver onyx, emerald, amethyst, topaz and sapphire.  The traditional Indian and western couture silhouettes morphed using plisse and top stitched fabrications, designed and crafted in-house.

The footwear designer Nidhi Bhandari, who had collaborated for this show, used a range of the Amit Aggarwal textile techniques to craft the shoes.  The Outhouse jewellery was crafted by jewellery designers Kaabia Grewal and Sasha Grewal.

The showstopper, Shilpa Shetty Kundra wore a flared lehenga, which may just be a little too offbeat even for a contemporary  new age bride. The 3D- set was designed by Abhhay Narkar and Aparna Nambiar.

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SUNEET VARMA

suneetBMW sponsered the Suneet Varma Couture Collection “Naintara“. The collection is a modern and Theatrical representation of the modern Indian Woman who lives in the today – yet embraces the romance of traditional Indian couture – which is like a sixtrh sense of seduction. It has its own vocabulary and language, like an elaborate braid entwined with history, myth and tradition. It may be modern, Whimsical or demure- but always magnificent and carefully crafted. The Mix of Traditional Motifs with Abstract artworks enhanced by the age old Crafts of India make for a Perfect – Feminine , Romantic and Modern Woman.

Says Suneet” I believe Fashion is the politest way of speaking about sex- But i like the subtle unspoken word, left to the imagination of the wearer. The glamour and sensuality in this collection comes through the use of sheer and lucid fabrics, the delicate placement of embellishments, the drapes and the unexpected details- and what they reveal or conceal.”

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DAY- 4

SHYAMAL & BHUMIKA

shyamalThe new Hindi Cine star Kiara Advani was the designer’s ‘Muse of Mirrors’ at The India Couture Week, who made her debut on couture runway.

Shyamal & Bhumika’s couture collection presented layers of eco-friendly matka silks, raw silks, fine crepes, Georgette; with diaphanous tulle and organza. Fragile embroidery techniques of aari, zardozi and pitta on elaborate drapes and structured. The romance-inspired collection used vintage rose gold zari and silk embroideries on exaggerated floral and scalloped hems, over layered with sequins. A mélange of vintage colors of English rose pink, ochre, moon grey, dusty mint, muted ivory, champagne with vivid shades of midnight blue, emerald green and crimson reds create a sight to behold.

The collection is inspired by the regality and romance of ancient palaces, with their ornate archways, painted ceilings, silk upholstery and baroque carpets.

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RAHUL MISHRA

rahul-mishraInspired by Mughal aesthetics, Rahul Mishra presented a collection titled ‘Marasim’. The collection note begins with a beautiful couplet by poet Rumi.  Maraasim signifies relationships in Urdu, and this collection is based on connections with the past and the present; of monumental architecture, sumptuous textiles, and miniature paintings of Mughal elegance. The collection revives ancientvisual expressions with intricate vegetal motifs, with chevrons and spandrels from the rich decorative vocabularies of an earlier era. “The Mughal aesthetic was not the invention of any single artist, nor of any particular group of artists; rather itwas a blend of artistic practices of Persia, European influences of passing traders and missionaries, and the richindigenous traditions of India. Nothing can be created in isolation, it was the cross-pollination of ideas thatresulted in an entirely unique and unified aesthetic that were all expressions of a genuine delight in the creation ofbeauty” explains Mishra.

The designer unveiled Menswear too. Delicate hand-embroidery fused with handwoven fabrics to create an eclectic mix of handcrafted kurtas, bandgalas & silhouettes inspired from traditional Indian ensembles add to the lehengas and kalidars of Womenswear. The collection also welcomes a collaboration with Swarovski, with the incorporation of unique lacquer crystals. The key highlight of his work is the blending of his trademark embroidery with the weaving in of Swarovski crystals.

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reynu-tandonDAY- 5

REYNU TAANDON

Presented by Rajnigandha Silver Pearls, Once upon a Dream by Reynu Taandon, collection was a blend of pastel tones & tender flora, intricate detailing and surreal sequin work of rich luminous hues.

It is a collection that draws its inspiration from the contemporary bride, a girl that re-conceives fashion with all that’s modern and minimalist with a classic twist. For Reynu Taandon, this season is all about taking a leap into a clashing kaleidoscopes of colour. Bollywood actor Yami Gautam was the showstopper. The Jewelery Partner was Archana Aggarwal.

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ROHIT BAL

rohit-bal-ifwDesigner Rohit Bal’s GULDASTAH collections was an  ode to the magnificent beauty of flowersof Kashmir …Sunflowers, Poppies, Tulips and Peonies .

In this collection the designer has tried to recreate their beauty through different techniques, from thread embroidery to gold wire and zardozi. The floral embroideries are inspired by botanical paintings and works by some of the great masters of the renaissance period, giving a vintage fee on on both, traditional and contemporary silhouettes. The fabrics used are all organic, cotton silk blends, chanderis, silk organza, silks and velvet. The base colours are ivory and black with bursts of vibrant colours coming alive in the form of large and oversized flowers. The trademark Rohit Bal technique of quilting and texturing has been used extensively to give the collection depth and a sense of structure.

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