by Meher Castelino
The dazzling dozen at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2014 were the eye catchers on the ramp and will give fashion directions during the coming season.
Her creations have always had a great traditional feel with modern touches. Her “Noir Jahaan” collection played with three colours – black, grey and taupe, added some hints of men’s wear for the sensuous lace, chiffon, satin, crêpe and lamé. With a fabulous feminine line the crafts and prints Nupur used, revolved around chikan Kari, scallops and abstract prints for the “U” kurta, jumpsuit, egg shaped maxi dress, the sari shirt dress, kurta dress and sari skirt. The collection had a perfect blend of exotic sex appeal and effortless comfort.
This is the second season for Ashdeen at Lakmé Fashion Week and his experiments with the Parsi Gara embroidery have thrilled connoisseurs of the craft. This season his “Orient Express” collection was a study in immaculate construction, finish and embroidery that left one breathless with admiration. Inspired by the Hollywood actress Anna May Wong, the oriental touches emerged for saris, dresses, gowns, blouses in body con creations with glittering metallic work. The floral and peacock embellishments were the eye catchers in shades of cream, fuchsia, mandarin orange, black, ruby red and gold. Chantilly lace, organza, crêpe, brocade, satin and gold lamé gave the cheongsam or quipao a contemporary look.
She has always followed the Zen like intricate construction route for her collections and this season too her line called “A Perfect Fit” was a lesson in mix and match natural luxurious fabrics in jewel tones which were geometrically draped and pleated. Skirts, wrap skirts, wide palazzos, dresses, tunics and white shirts were teamed with a variety of creations in hues of deep blue, turquoise, magenta, orange, sun yellow, red and maroon. The saris were colour blocked perfectly to present a very sophisticated and elegant offering with the specially woven fabrics from Bengal.
For extreme creations very few can compete with Gaurav Gupta whose “Memphire” collection inspired by Egyptian futuristic drapes was an intense study in construction. Colours played a rich role as gold, copper, black, anthracite, flame orange and teal were used for metallic jersey with gold and black shimmering sequins. The many construction techniques included Carbon Lattice, Isis, Serpent Wave and Diagonal Murmurs. The gowns, jumpsuits, dresses, togas and cocktail wear some with endless trials were stunning visions on the runway. It was collection that could have appealed to Egyptian goddesses who long for ultra-glamour.
It was her debut at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2014 and Anju Modi who dazzled the audience with her Bollywood film “Ram Leela” costumes created magic with her collection “Seeking Paradise”. Her colour choice was powder blue, cream, and coral for the luxurious fusion line. Tailored dhotis, long sleeved cholis, boleros over flowing angarkhas, lehengas, gowns, tunics and kurtas had rich embroidery featuring carved arches, filigreed windows and flowers. The dream like and ethereal collection was predominantly formal wear. Anju also introduced a men’s wear line of jackets and sherwanis in prints or ombré effects with embroidery as placement highlights on sleeves, collars and hemlines.
RAJESH PRATP SINGH
Inspired by the Lakmé Absolute Illusion range the collection was a clever play of contrasts between sheer fabrics in pastel colours and solid black. Metallic yarns were in unison with glass weaves that finally ended in silver highlights. The fabric innovations included silver, stainless steel, paper, aluminium, hand woven and spun khadi silk and linen. Rajesh had his white shirts as well as the churi sleeves and bundi vest along with structured jackets. The final black line of shimmering cocktail dresses and gowns dazzled with mirror work. The intricate construction of the garments made the collection a perfect Grand Finale offering.
“The Shadows Within” was the title of the designing duo’s collection inspired by the architecture of the pre-independence era. It was a line of floor length gowns that created an old world charm on the ramp. The beauty of the delicate laces and discreet embroidery on fabrics like organza, raw silk, rayon blends and poly jersey was the highlight of the line. The colours were softly feminine with dusty rose, beige and mint green followed by flaming red and chocolate brown. Peplum jackets were an integral part of the collection along with lehengas, lace blouses, cropped jackets, long skirts and sari gowns. This was a trans-seasonal collection of formal wear that can be quite timeless.
She has worked with traditional textiles from different regions so this time Vaishali selected the tribal khadi fabrics created in the hinterland of Assam. Her collection called “Ravayat” was a brilliant study of construction which did not disturb the warp and weft of the fabrics but allowed them to fall naturally. Ecru, grey, purple, navy, black and green were part of the colour palette for the asymmetric tops, shorts, pleated full pants, tie up kurtas and fitted draped dresses. Double breasted maxis and flared panelled gowns gave an Indo-West touch to the collection.
Working with and promoting various Indian textiles from different states, Krishna Mehta’s; collection called “Magic Woven in Maheshwar” was a symphony of colours, weaves and embellishments. It was a perfect prét line of summer wear, which could be layered to perfection with boleros, flared skirts, pants, blouses, comfy tunics and swirling scarves. The sari too was given innovative weaving touches. Prints and weaves were combined with appliqués, Shibori and embroidery to create an amazing line of men’s and women’s wear. Smocked long sleeve tops, panelled printed dresses, tulle over prints for pyjamas and gowns were ideal ready-to- wear.
This designing husband and wife duo are known for their heavily embellished glittering bridal wear but this season their collection called “A Mystical Garden” was a subdued line of romantic bridal creations inspired by the Edwardian era with marked Gothic touches. Raw silk topped the list of fabric with tulle, satin, Dupion and georgette in floral lines of peach, rose, beige, dusty aqua, moonlight and Beaujolais wine. The silhouettes revolved around lush voluminous skirts, flared maxis, intricately embellished bodices and corsets. Their embroidery was muted with pita, shimmering sequins, pearls, zardosi and zari jaal work. The detachable slip-on sleeves were the USP of the collection.
Relaxed ready-to-wear resort creations were in sorbet colours with European chintz, Bidri work, jamavaar and abstracts as the highlights of the collection. Cotton, sushi voiles, chiffon were embellished with chikan work, ombré shades, while kimkhab kurtas in sheer silk were outstanding. The kurtas with attached dupattas along with fashion directions like drapes, asymmetrical cut-outs and high slits were interesting. The prestitched Indian handloom saris and dupattas were introduced to revive the beauty of the heritage weavers.
“A Summer Affair” was the title of Manish Malhotra’s collection which opened the Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2014 season. Moving completely away from bling, Manish used white embroidery to highlight the creations in a mélange of fabrics. Chantilly lace, translucent georgette, sheer organza, cotton tulle were seen in shades of pinks that ranged from blush to pale. In addition beige, white, navy, grey and black completed the colour spectrum. Zips played an important role in the prestitched saris, while pleated palazzos, the dress-kurta sheer tank tops were ideal summer wear. Print-on-print appeared for men’s and women’s wear with the shirt-kurta being a favourite for men.