Day 2 Highlights From Amazon India Fashion Week 2016
Another day in fashion, and it seemed like cultural influence took centre-stage this time around. Be it Samant Chauhan’s Indo-Oriental confluence or Viral, Ashish & Vikrant’s ode to Gujarat, Day 2 at Amazon India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2016 was spectacular in its own right. The modern Indian woman was who every alternate designer sought inspiration from, and why not! We’re inspiring in more ways than one, aren’t we? Read on as I dissect each designer’s collection keeping in mind the use of fabric, colour, cut, and style.
Fashion’s got this never-ending romance with period clothing, especially from the Victorian era. And if you had to glance through the silhouettes used at Kanika Saluja’s show for Anaikka, you’d notice that her collection Lock, Stitch & Gothic Twist was highly vintage in its approach. Kanika kept the raw and edgy appeal of the brand intact in this collection as well. The designer aptly interpreted an unknown aspect of society — gender balance. Through her clothing, she represented a time when man’s role in fashion was in focus until a queen rose to power after which women came to the forefront. To work this powerful theme, Kanika made use of rich fabrics like velvet and French lace with accents of leather and metal embroidery to create long gowns, peplum tops with skirts, and sheath dresses. She even used tweed and herringbone, and vintage prints were scattered evenly throughout. Shriya Saran, who walked the ramp as the showstopper, gave a very warrior princess vibe wearing an elaborate headgear. The eyemasks and thematic representation did remind me of the Emilio de la Morena 2016 collection. Nonetheless, if I’d have to spell what I love about this collection, I’d say that the theme would get a designer to drift away and lose focus. Kanika however, was successful in controlling the drama in the clothing.
Hauterfly Pick: A deep red front-slit gown with lace trimmings that give a ruffled look to the garment. Love the metal detailing embroidery throughout the outfit. But the highlight would be the gorgeous tasselled shoulder that in turn gave a cape-y look.
VIRTUES BY VIRAL, ASHISH & VIKRANT
From Gujarat With Love gave a very regal look. Flowy silhouettes, fabrics like mashru imparted a sheen to the clothing, and even the headgears attached with a nose ring worn by the models that are very symbolic of certain Gujarati communities added to the royal touch. The collection primarily showcased traditional lehengas similar to the designers’ Spring/Summer collection. There were also shararas, a peplum jacket with a skirt, and even sherwanis. We noticed a lot of layering such as floor-length jackets slipped over buttoned kurtas. Viral, Ashish & Vikrant used jewel tones like red and blue and even black with hints of brown, green and orange this time.
Hauterfly Pick: A buttoned wrap kurta with a flared hem and contrast sleeve that had rich floral embroidery on it. Viral, Ashish & Vikrant teamed this look with a heavily-embroidered skirt.
In a recent interview, Rimzim Dadu mentioned that her collection this season was going to be a very “signature Rimzim Dadu collection”. After a hiatus of 2 years, the designer was back on the ramp, and yes… the collection did emphasise the designer’s distinct style. In fact, if I recall, it is slightly reminiscent of her Autumn Winter 2014 collection (minus the use of rich colours like blue and red). What is unique is her use of newer techniques; apart from getting models go chicly tattered on the ramp thanks to her shredded fabrics, she’s worked with 3D applique work, created surfaces with metal wires and… wait for the best of it all… tied and dyed faux leather. What’s brilliant about her collection is the wearability factor; the silhouettes are ultra modern with a certain comfort factor involved. Frankly, I can’t wait to see who picks up these ramp pieces.
Hauterfly Pick: This twin set has such a work-to-party feel to it. The metallic wrap slit skirt does not look like too much shimmer for the day, and the black woven top imparts just the perfect contrast. LOVE!
Strutting on the ramp in nerdy glasses (way nerdier than the Gucci geeks), models garbed in Dhruv Kapoor’s collection were symbolic of the modern Indian woman. The winner of Vogue India‘s Fashion Fund kept his signature style of clean cuts and a muted colour story intact. Inspired by the coming together of the past and the present, Dhruv made use of fabrics like nylon, polyester, plastic and most of all, faux fur that was used in wraps, pockets, and more. Short skirts cinched with broad belts teamed with slit-sleeved shirts, long jackets with faux fur pockets, structured cropped trousers with a shirt and sleeveless cropped sweaters, bomber jackets among others made up Dhruv’s collection. It was an amalgamation of evening wear with sportswear, and faux fur hinted at the luxury factor of the line. I’d say there was a “confuse when you can’t convince” vibe to the end product. Nonetheless, it’s going to be an easy sell as there’s a certain edginess to his line that Dhruv is now synonymous with.
Hauterfly Pick: This plunge V-neck gown with slit sleeves, a cinched waist and a thigh-high slit was quite a stunner. Love the duality in fabric, with that shimmer panel at the centre. Also, the faux fur accent can work as a wrap. Quite a classic piece for fall.
Samant Chauhan sure has a way of bringing a confluence of cultures through his collections. Last season, he was inspired by the Indo-Greek cultural exchange and for this season, he decided to trace the silk routes of Nepal, China and Tibet, thereby saluting the grit of those who made their way through it. I must say this, season after season, the designer has managed to make a fan out of me. Rajputana as a collection can be rightly called Indian in approach with an oriental shadow cast on it. Also, it was trademark Samant Chauhan. He used silk, net and cotton silk fused with embellishments and work like zari, dori and dabka. Front-open gowns with turned or fur collars, peplum gowns, A-line dresses, kaftans, coats and trousers was what Rajputana comprised. One word: WOW!
Hauterfly Pick: This grey off-shoulder peplum dress that has silk-thread and dori embroidery work on it.
Inspired by Supernova but not a collection of outfits that burst into a series of shimmer and shine like the evolutionary bright star, Malini Ramani’s collection was her interpretation of what happens when east meets west. The line was inspired by the modern Indian woman who possesses a star-like quality (hence the name). Using white, gold, nude, black and grey, Ramani showcased sarees and saree gowns, ponchos, and off-shoulder dresses in fabrics like silks, chiffons and stretch jersey. One noticed high-low dresses, gowns with twisted bows (as seen in Gaurav Gupta Day 1 show as well), sheer blouses, churidars and even dhoti pants. A salient motif that featured in this show was the peacock; it sure was subtle yet arresting.
Hauterfly Pick: This monochrome wrap dress with fabric trimmings at the sides teamed with an ethnic overlay.
Ultra-feminine with a bohemian soul, Nikasha Tawadey’s collection titled Noor cast a modern influence on ethnic attire. Just a step away from rightly being called fusion wear, I love how she used only three colours — Kasum red, Thar black and Chaas khadi. The fabric used extensively was khadi, and Nikasha used antique beads, cowry shells, kantha embroidery, mother of pearl buttons, coral beads on hems, across the outfit and even on the neckline. One saw the traditional hand block print in her collection as well. Even her signature hand-crafted tassels made an appearance on everything from pleated and ruffled voluminous tube tops to short and long sleeveless kurtas, pants ruffled at the hem, sleeveless jackets with a train, harem pants and more. The one detailing that stood out was the antique printed lining.
Hauterfly Pick: This twin set of a wrap dhoti pant teamed with a pleated and voluminous sleeveless top with handcrafted tassel detailing on the sleeve and the neckline.
ANITA DONGRE GRASSROOT
Through her uber-feminine pieces that make for great mix and match ensembles, Anita Dongre laid out the perfect pretext of sustainable fashion through her show Earth Song for the label Anita Dongre Grassroot. The colour palette ranged from cream, pearl, fawn, granite and indigo, and was reflective of the inspiration the designer sought-for — autumn as seen in the forests. Dongre is known for her use of Indian weaves and this time too she worked with Bhujodi, Bhagalpuri, Shibori and even hand-tied Bandhani. Block print and kantha embroidery, and prints like Dabbu, Bagru and Arjak were extensively used as well. One could choose from classic separates to clinched shirtdresses and shifts, wide-legged jumpsuits and even pinafores apart from draped overlays and structured jackets. If you’ve seen Grassroot’s earlier campaigns, you’ll spot that Dongre maintained the ethos of her brand.
Hauterfly Pick: This mustard wide-legged jumpsuit that is layered with a green gilet.
RAJESH PRATAP SINGH
You know when they say they save the best for last? As cliched as that may sound, that statement holds true for Day 2 of AIFW AW 2016. Because Rajesh Pratap Singh’s The Gold Rush was a spectacle of sorts and also the best show of the day. Not sure if you’ve noticed this, but the most impactful creations are the ones that are subtly dramatic. And Rajesh Pratap Singh aces that; his simple pieces inherit a semi-ostentatious feel. In case I’ve failed to explain that right, his sartorial genius rightly translates in his collection. Shades of white and black gave way to metallics, and obviously gold (like the name suggests). Using satin and cotton, the designer created pieces that included a white and gold pantsuit (the opening piece of the collection), satin culottes and jacket in silver with a tucked-in shirt, billowy trousers with a contrast coloured wrap jacket among others.
Hauterfly Pick: A floor-length wrap dress in white that had uneven pleats, with gold splatters across it.