By Meher Castelino
Talk about summer fashion or resort wear and the first thing that comes to mind are flowing fluid kaftans, pareos, sexy bikinis and swimwear along with shifts, voile sack dresses and lots of minis. Well now think again, since at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013 the garment category that made headlines was the gown/maxi in all its glamorous avatars. That’s right, Red Carpet entries are the order of the day this summer and it seems that designers are favouring the gown too since summer is the time when the social calendar is full of glitzy events that need that extra dose of style and elegance, which only gowns can provide.
The look for the gown this season is either form-fitting or luxuriously voluminous. The fabrics favoured are net, satin, silk, crepe chiffon, georgette and of course jersey. Colour wise the sky is the limit with black being the most popular choice amongst most designers. Embellishments play an important part for gowns with sequin sheeting being one of the easiest to add dazzle on the garments. Beading with pearls, crystals and sequins work was also a must have on the gowns with the bodice being splashed with glitter or at times some placement embroidery used to highlight the construction of the creation. But it is the silhouette that is the most important part of every gown. A slinky look with clever drapes works well but the asymmetric hemline is also an apt choice. The mermaid and fish tail skirts give the gown that seductive sexy appeal which most buyers love.
THE DESIGNERS’ OFFERINGS
The designer who made the most impact with his all-black collection of gowns was Rocky S for his “Rocky Star” line. It was ultra-glamour that was unleashed on the ramp at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013 as a line of gowns dazzled the audience. This dark shade of the night was a favourite of the 19th century romantic bards and considered Red Carpet glamour during the last century.
Showing a stunning collection of superbly crafted black and zinc coloured gowns, the creations were a fashionable assault on the senses. Black net, lace and silk was transformed into ethereal ensembles.
Opening the show was a black tulle gown bedecked with 3D flowers and a tantalising flowing trail. The cleverly pleated one with a high slit and embroidered bodice, the multi folded skirt with bead work and the black midi with crystals and net ruffled sleeves took the audience’s breath away.
Diamantes and crystals glittered either as select placement embellishments or covered the full garments. Rouched skirts, fan shaped multi layers for slim lean gowns and panelled perfection added to the grace and beauty of each creation. Beaded fringes were used lavishly for necklines, shoulders and even the full dresses. Fish tail maxis floated down the catwalk, while mermaid silhouettes with peplum blouses were stunning and elegant. The final majestic creation was in buttery cream, magnificently embroidered on net, worn with a giant ruffled stole.
Taking the cue from Rocky S, other designers too brought the gown to centre stage. Komal Sood’s softly elegant toga draped gown in ash grey was a dream like creation. Rajat Tangri went totally glitzy with his brown sequinned sheeting long sleeve number with a provocative slit. The designer played with a melange of deep toned shimmer for the bodice combined with slinky black jersey for another seductive floor kissing creation. For one more gown, Rajat used organza for a long sleeved creation with placement sequinned glitter on the shoulders and bodice.
Designer Ritika Bharwani offered luxurious lace in a shaded format of cream and orange for a Victorian inspired entry that had a moulded bodice that flared out into a lavish skirt. Pretty baby pink was the colour designer Sonaakshi Raaj selected for her form-fitting pleated gown with beaded shoulder interest.
Shehla Khan who has been dressing the Bollywood stars with her formal wear had a delicate fragile tulle will-power gown in off-white with a cascade of black flowers d own the front and a pale pink satin lining adding to the feminine look. But Shehla’s short-under-long tulle strappy gown gave the best of both silhouettes to the wearer with the sheer/opaque story.
Designer Sougat Paul had two very dramatic offerings. One was a grey silk entry, which had an intricately embellished bodice for the one-shoulder gown with a net flare. The second one was a white asymmetric layered gown lined in gold with a pearl beaded cut away shoulder bodice. This creation has already appeared on the Red Carpet soon after the show worn by Bollywood beauty, Taapsee Pannu at the premier of the “Chasme Baddoor” the movie she starred in.
With Indian designers getting very creative with the gown and offering many options to the wearer this summer, the sophisticated elegant ensemble is the first choice of fashionistas and the Bollywood brigade when it comes to making an impression for a very formal event.
Meher Castelino is a leading fashion journalist in India. She has been consultant to several corporations, fashion weeks and visiting faculty at fashion schools. Meher also has the distinction of becoming the first Miss India.