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Day 1 Highlights From Amazon India Fashion Week 2016

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From no-fuss clothing to high-octane glamour, the first day of Amazon India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2016 featured a bevy of designers who worked their sartorial aesthetics brilliantly. We witnessed them blending contemporary silhouettes with traditional techniques and a strong emphasis on layering, which is perfect when you think of fall. Pussy-bow blouses, cold-shoulders, pleats reigned supreme as far as trends are concerned. Read on as I dissect each designer’s collection keeping in mind the use of fabric, colour, cut, and style.


Varun Bahl Lead image_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Varun Bahl

Taking inspiration from the modern Indian woman isn’t a tough feat. But through his opening show, designer Varun Bahl (whose collection marks a return to RTW after a hiatus of five years) captured the bohemian soul of the Indian woman. Titled Nocturne, the show projected a prim-and-proper woman succumbing to her gypsie instincts, with the designer creating a collection using fabrics like neoprene, handwoven silk, crepe and tulle boasting intricate patterns and hand-embroidered motifs like owls, pomegranates, and flowers. Borrowing from the colour palette of tropical forests, the hues ranged from ivory to pale rose with glimpses of gold and black. Despite the theme, the silhouettes were classic — simple sheaths, and A-line straight hem dresses working their way into frills, tunics teamed with slim trousers, fish scale shift dresses, embroidered bombers teamed with pleated sheer dresses — and made for a dreamy escape.


Varun Bahl 1 Gold Dress With Bomber Jacket_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Hauterfly Style Tip: Varun Bahl’s collection gave us some great style cues on how to work shimmer during the day: Team a sequinned gold dress with a bomber jacket in a complementing colour and you’re…well…golden!


Akaaro by Gaurav Jai Gupta Lead Image 1_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Akaaro by Gaurav Jai Gupta

Akaaro showcased a collection that did perfect justice to its theme. Titled Mumukshu (which means someone yearning for liberation), the garments were fluid and easy-going and the presentation was a perfect blend of modern and traditional. We loved the sheen imparted to the garments thanks to the use of fabrics like silk (both tussar and matka) and chanderi. Other fabrics used included merino wool and hand-woven cotton. Sheer capes, oversized jackets over silk trousers, kurtas teamed with trousers and long coats, culottes with quilted tops, and more were what this collection was about. Gaurav also made use of zari in his collection and it was projected as a striped pattern on the clothing.


Akaaro by Gaurav Jai Gupta Zari Sari and Sheer Wool Blouse_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Hauterfly Pick: A metallic zari bondage sari, draped over a long-sleeved sheer silk wool blouse. Love the styling where he used fabric belts on the wrists.


Hemant & Nandita Lead Image 1_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Hemant & Nandita

Exuding a bohemian vibe, A Dark Enchantress was an extension of Hemant & Nandita’s Paris line. Large botanical prints were diffused on garments that showcased everything from cropped jackets to coats, V-neck dresses with flounce sleeves, accordion-pleat skirts and button-down slit skirts, kimono style jackets, and more. While the fabrics used were heavy jacquard (perfect for fall), the designers added a touch of dabka, gold zari and appliqué to the garments. Fur faux collars was also a recurring sight. I loved how the entire collection had such a luxe, ’70s vibe.


Hemant & Nandita pussy Bow Dress_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Hauterfly Pick: The pussy-bow, accordion-pleat dress teamed with a voluminous black coat featuring floral applique.


Not So Serious Pallavi Mohan Lead Image_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Not So Serious by Pallavi Mohan

Pallavi Mohan’s collection titled Synthesis was about the evolution of handcrafted techniques that are synonymous with her brand. Making use of rich fabrics like soft velvet, woollen tweeds, satin and silk organza, she created a rather understated collection. Ruffles on the neckline, pussy-bow and peter pan collars, and shingle panels were some of the detailing the designer kept as constant. Even the defined pockets on tunics made quite an impression. From culottes to jumpsuits, long coats and dresses, Synthesis looked like a perfect winter wardrobe upgrade.


Not So Serious Pallavi Mohan Culottes With Top_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Hauterfly Pick: A pair of blue plaid culottes teamed with an olive peter-pan collared shirt. Love the ruffle detailing placed across the shirt.


Shantanu & Nikhil Lead Image_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Shantanu & Nikhil

Keeping an old-world charm intact throughout their collection, Shantanu & Nikhil’s The Last Walk was about flowy gowns and billowy-sleeved dresses. The designers worked with a neutral palette that extended to rust and red. Cropped gilets slipped on draped gowns, ruffled gowns in tulle and lace were some of the highlights of this show. I love how dreamy the entire collection looked in terms of colour and cut — very Victorian in its approach. Also used were slender leather belts to cinch the waist, adding a modern touch to the collection.


Shantanu & Nikhil Lace Gown With Leather Detailing_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Hauterfly Pick: A white laced gown with billowy sleeves accentuated with contrast detailing on the collar, and a leather band cinching the garment just below the bust.


Silver by Kiran Uttam Ghosh Lead_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Kiran Uttam Ghosh

Celebrating maximalism on the ramp was Kiran Uttam Ghosh with her collection Silver. The garments displayed a dual quality: they were structured and fluid at once. Taking inspiration from Tibetan, Mongolian and Central Asian silver jewellery, the opulence projected via the clothing was a visual treat. We saw asymmetry in the form of kaftan saris and angarakhas. Wrapped dresses and resort-y kaftans with dhoti pants were also part of the collection.What was exquisite was the silver accenting on every garment, be it on hemlines, collars, and as embroidery. The collection also had saris, plunging-neck kurtas that were brocade-accented and teamed with skirts in deep hues of red — perfect for the new-age bride.


Silver by Kiran Uttam Ghosh Blue Kurta with silver work_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Hauterfly Pick: An emerald green angarakha with heavy silver work on one side of the bodice, teamed with a neutral skirt.


Rina Dhaka Lead Image 1_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Rina Dhaka

Knitwear was the highlight of Rina Dhaka’s A/W 2016 collection. Traditional ikat and chinar-like edgings were knitted with Lurex to create modern silhouettes such as sheath dresses and jackets as well as off-shouldered dresses. The designer also used jacquard and tussar silk as part of her collection. Bardot dresses mixed with the cold-shoulder trend were a highlight.


RIna Dhakka Chinar Dress with jacket_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Hauterfly Pick: A voluminous jacket draped over a plunging V-neck dress, both with chinar motifs on it.


Gaurav Gupta Melt Lead Image_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Gaurav Gupta

The final collection of the day was Melt by Gaurav Gupta, which was inspired by the theme of climate change. Spreading awareness about being eco-friendly, Gupta’s collection (as he mentioned) was zero waste, where he draped the entire width of the fabric on some garments. The collection was high on evening wear with decadent gowns and nouveau drapes, and I won’t be surprised they become red carpet hits on muses like Deepika Padukone and Aditi Rao Hydari. Using fabrics like neoprene, jersey and silk, Gupta showcased twisted bows on cocktail gowns and frock coats.


Gaurav Gupta Melt White Gown_AIFW AW16_Hauterfly

Hauterfly Pick: A body-hugging gown in white with exaggerated shoulder detailing.


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