As each day of Amazon India Couture Week progressed, the production scales of the sets became more lavish. Day 3 wasn’t just about the flamboyant ensembles, but equal emphasis was placed on translating the designer’s vision into the sets.
From Persian folklore to boho luxe to vintage glamour, Anju Modi, Monisha Jaising and Varun Bahl all presented spell-binding couture collections infused with modern and traditional design sensibilities.
First up was veteran designer, Anju Modi whose costumes can be seen in director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next magnum opus, “Bajirao Mastani” releasing later this year. Prior to her showcase, Modi spoke of the experience she had on the sets of “Bajirao Mastani” speaking highly of actress, Deepika Padukone and how she drew a lot of inspiration from her. She also spoke about how immersed she became in the colourful Persian culture and how she wanted to delve more deeply into researching about its influences on India. These influences are beautifully reflected in her collection which is an ode to Persian art, architecture and the philosophies of respected poet, Rumi.
“Since it is an ancient civilization, it has got a lot of heritage, tradition, great art work, architecture and mughal motifs, which are slightly different from our usual Rajasthani and Gujarati designs. All this mixed with the India ethos has given me ideas to make it a contemporary line.” – Anju Modi
Her collection, aptly titled ‘Kashish’ (meaning “attraction” in Urdu), conjured up images of the Persian princess pining for her loved one. The enchanting royal courtyard captured the regality and opulence that is associated with the Islamic heritage with princes and princesses adorned with turbans and embroidered veils. It was like being in the presence of royalty.
Known for her respect of India’s design legacies, Modi has cleverly fused Persian influences with Indian design sensibilities. Her design aesthetics are a true testament to India’s rich textile heritage and this is evident through each garment with the use of intricately embroidered Mughal motifs hand woven on rich textured fabrics such as chanderi, dupion, khadi, organza, velvet and georgette.
In a beautiful intimate setting with romantic mood lighting, Modi presented an array of voluminous lehenga-choli’s, sharara’s, anarkali’s, multiple dupatta’s and classic sherwani and pyjama suits in gorgeous hues. There were pinks, reds, blues, yellows and teal as well as soft and subtle pastel shades.
Models wore romantic make up and hair looks with minimal eyeshadow, red lips and soft hair-dos adorned with delicate fresh flowers.
A number of pieces stood out, but it was difficult to go past the rani pink and mint green bridal lehenga layered with two dupatta’s and accentuated with delicate accessories. As for the menswear, the classic red and beige sherwani suit shone amongst the lot, accessorized with a matching printed turban.
‘Kashish’ exuded modern regal romance and elegance. Contemporary in appearance with subtle hints of regal undertones, these timeless ensembles are for the modern bride or groom who isn’t afraid to make a royal-like statement at their wedding. The juxtaposition of the contrasting colours add further appeal to those who love the idea of mixing and matching separates.
Marking 25 successful years in the industry, eminent fashion designer, Monisha Jaising presented an ambitious collection titled, ‘The Sailing Bride’ featuring a melange of luxury sportswear, resort and evening wear as well as some alternative bridal wear.
A relative newcomer to the world of bridal fashion, Monisha’s ensembles take a dramatic turn from the traditional wedding attire to showcase more modern, unconventional and eclectic bridal wear fit for the adventurous bride, more commonly today as the ‘boho bride.’ Relaxed, frugal, yet artistic in nature and one who does not compromise on luxury or comfort.
Monisha took her audience to the sea with nautical themed sets. A luxury private yacht full of sun kissed models and chiseled male crew men.
The show featured the likes of popular fashion icon and designer, Pernia Qureshi (who will also be making her Bollywood debut soon) and actress, Kriti Sanon. ‘The Sailing Bride’ encompasses a broad range of well crafted Indian bridal wear featuring lehenga-choli’s, draped sari’s, tailored jackets and pants and cocktail gowns in a variety of playful and sophisticated colours. The ensembles were stitched in unique surface textures such as luxe silk jersey material as well as organza, georgette, soft chiffon, velvet, cotton, fur, tweed, leather and neoprene.
Pernia Qureshi surprised the audience, opening the runway show, dressed in an ice blue, woolen off-the-shoulder gown embellished with delicate mirror embroidered patterns. The showstopper of the night arrived with Bollywood actress, Kriti Sanon strutting down the runway flaunting an incredible grey, sporty-like lehenga featuring panels adorned with traditional zardosi embroidered elements paired with a ribbed tank top, contrasting red dupatta, heavy jewels and embellished Converse sneakers. Representing the runaway bride, Kriti also sported rebellious yet tasteful tattoos.
Makeup and hair looks were fresh with soft-tousled hair and matte finished lips in stunning dark red brick shades.
“The collection caters to the cool laid-back bride who wants to look luxurious on her special day yet prefers practical and fuss-free ensembles. We have constructed silhouettes which are easy to handle, as well as chic and trendy. There is no hassle of draping and pleating, making it a perfect choice for a wedding on a yacht.” – Monisha Jaising
ACTRESS, KRITI SANON
Kriti Sanon was undoubtedly the standout of the night dressed in that bespoke jersey lehenga complemented with the statement sneakers.
Resort wear has always been Monisha’s forte, but ‘The Sailing Bride’ has definitely added a new dimension to the term ‘modern Indian bride.’ A new era in bridal fashion wear, where haute couture meets hippie glamour.
Fresh, youthful, contemporary and edgy, today’s young and ambitious bride and her entourage want to be able to have the freedom to express themselves. These effortless and chic ensembles will no doubt redefine luxury for Indian women.
Glistening and ornate chandeliers, floral canopies descending from the ceiling, vine creepers and a runway lined ever so delicately with gorgeous red roses. The stage was set for a grand affair. Perhaps a lavish, high profile wedding? That indeed it was. Well, a teaser of some sort I suppose. It was the perfect platform and launching pad for Varun Bahl’s foray into the luxury world of wedding design.
Aside from the wedding venture though, designer, Varun Bahl’s ensembles identify with fashionista’s who love understated luxury. Opulent and extravagant in nature, his couture ensembles also strike a chord with lovers of romance.
Bahl has a penchant for florals. His collection aptly titled, ‘Song Of The Flower’ embraces age old, vintage handloom weaving techniques with garments well-crafted and intertwined with French inspired floral prints and patterns accentuated through every outfit. Pretty floral motifs were delicately woven on classic lehenga’s, sari’s, anarkali’s, blazers, wide legged pant suits, sleek sherwani suits, modern dhotis and flamboyant kurta pyjama suits.
The talented designer produced classic and vintage tailored couture exquisitely handcrafted with high quality fabrics such as tulle, georgette, plush velvets, satin and raw silks. The colour palette is infused with shades of romantic and sensual colours like ivory, pale pinks, rose reds as well as the more traditional and bold hues such as black and burgundy.
Varun’s silhouettes were reminiscent of the 18th century where fine lace detailing was used extensively to enhance the dress wear of men and women. The designer has cleverly drawn on European and Indian art forms to create magnificent ensembles. A beautiful representation of Varun’s design sensibilities and an ode to the modern bride or groom who lives for the moment and embraces beauty and romance.
“Couture is about the bespoke experience, both in make as well as concept.. Every piece of couture is like a work of art, created with great attention to detail with intricate handwork done on it.” – Varun Bahl
On the night, female models wore soft, understated romantic looks with nude makeup, elegant side buns, adorned with intricate and delicate silver and gold accessories.
The standout piece for us was the floral bridal lehenga which was beautifully complemented and balanced with a sheer net dupatta and slim high-waisted gold belt. As for the menswear, you simply couldn’t go past the slick and sophisticated black kurta pyjama suit featuring a red sequin embellished shawl.
Varun Bahl’s flamboyant ensembles will no doubt be popular amongst bride and grooms for the forthcoming wedding season.
Full highlights from DAY 3 can be viewed here —> http://bit.ly/1K5v1q7
What were your favourites from day 3 of Amazon India Couture Week?
DAY 2 was all about generation next featuring stunning collections from International Woolmark Prize winner, Rahul Mishra and trend-setting couturier, Gaurav Gupta.
We’re convinced that Rahul Mishra’s ‘Tree Of Life’ collection is one of the finest to come out of India Couture Week. Yes, it’s a big call and we weren’t there to see it in person, however after reading through several of his interviews in the past few days, we are incredibly awe-struck by his humble nature and his incredible ability to effortlessly fuse traditional Indian fabrics with modern, western aesthetics.
Originally from the Indian village of Chanderi (Madhya Pradesh), Mishra has reached great heights with recent presentations at Paris and Milan Fashion Week, earning him respect amongst the fashion elite around the world.
Mishra’s inspiration for ‘Tree Of Life’ was the fuss-free, multitasking woman. A woman who exudes strength and courage with a hint of fragility.
His inspiration was clearly reflective on the simple backdrop. Stage settings and props were kept to a bare minimum so as to not detract attention from the beauty and elegance of the ensembles.
Mishra hasn’t forgotten his roots though with elements of age-old handloom weave techniques highlighted beautifully in every silhouette. A tribute to the village artisans with nature-like motifs such as florals, stems and parrot detailing seen through structured lehengas, anarkalis, pant suits and gowns.
“Everything we do is by hand, it brings what I like to call an imperfection – in the sense that it’s like when you write a signature and you can’t repeat it exactly the same twice. It’s an imperfect beauty.” – Rahul Mishra
The sustainable collection had a monochromatic feel with soft whites and golds with a few pops of jewel-toned colours such as deep purples, blacks and golds. There were embroidered bomber jackets, sheer silk tailored capes, sheer overcoats, flowy voluminous skirts and and sophisticated gowns. The detail and craftsmanship were impeccable with ensembles featuring stunning fabric textures such as silk organza, metallic gold kasab work and resham embroidery threading.
Much like the sets, hair and makeup looks were demure with dewy tones, lightly glossed lips and models’ hair was slick and combed back for maximum impact.
Rahul Mishra’s collection is versatile and lightweight, suited for the care-free and modern bride who isn’t afraid to mix and match. The clever use of separates mean that they can even be worn after the wedding. Adaptable, comfortable, minimalist yet charming and stylish bridal wear.
The highlight of the collection was the gorgeous gold lehenga choli featuring the must-have wardrobe staple of today, a cape. Refreshing and ethereal, Mishra’s addition of a cape is certainly eye-catching and could well possibly become a wardrobe essential in the new-age bride’s closet.
Gaurav Gupta’s unique and trend-setting ensembles have earned him many accolades over the years and his collection at this year’s couture week is without a doubt bound for more praise.
The enchanted forest-like set conjured up a fantasy realm full of bronze-toned angelic, mythological goddesses with gold hair.
‘Silt and Cipher’ is an ambitious collection featuring dramatic statement silhouettes in subtle greys, dusty creams, soft pinks, ivory and champagne colours with a hint of autumn-like colours such as navy and burgundy.
Gupta is a master of innovative couture. In a recent interview, he stated that his inspiration is a “constant process” and that “monotony bores” him. He consistently re-invents his design style, producing contemporary Indian couture that has broad appeal in the east and west.
“For me if everyone is wearing the same thing it’s so boring, and when I came back to India I couldn’t do what was already being or had been done in Indian wear. It made no sense. I feel sometimes it’s almost as if I was a pioneer in global contemporary Indian couture. I like unusual shapes and I like things which are beautiful.” – Gaurav Gupta
He created luxurious and sophisticated body-con silhouettes showcasing sari gowns, overcoats, jacket lehengas, peplum cholis, mermaid skirts and pant suits most of which were infused with intricate zardosi threadwork. The showstopper on the night was Kalki Koechlin who waltzed down the ramp in an elegantly structured muted salmon pink gown with wide pleats.
Gupta collaborated with bespoke Indian jewellery label, ‘Outhouse’ which provided the models with exquisite metallic ear cuffs and headpieces.
Hair and makeup extraordinaire, Mickey Contractor gave the models sculpted and mystical looks using none other than MAC Cosmetics. Cheekbones were contoured, eyelids were glittery and the hair was spray painted, slick and tied back.
The collection stayed to true to Gupta’s tendencies to go beyond convention. Shades of extravagance and sensuality. Gorgeous wedding reception wear perfect for the bride who wants to make a statement. Provocative yet tasteful.
ACTRESS, KALKI KOECHLIN
The showstopper of the night for us was Kalki Koechlin’s stunning salmon pink, one-shouldered gown.
For Australian readers, please note that you have the opportunity of seeing Gaurav’s stunning ensembles on the runway at the Indian Film Festival, Melbourne Awards Night and Equality Fashion Show being held at the National Gallery of Victoria on Saturday, August 15th 2015. For further information on this exclusive event visit http://www.iffm.com.au/.
Full highlights from DAY 2 can be viewed here –> http://bit.ly/1Il0LHG
What were your favourites from day 2 of Amazon India Couture Week?
Fashion aficionados rejoice!
Day 1 of Amazon India Couture Week opened in a spectacular manner with one of the most anticipated runway events in recent years.
In a world first, one of India’s most acclaimed fashion designer’s and a favourite of ours here at The Maharani Diaries, Sabyasachi Mukherjee joined forces with red-soled shoe powerhouse, Christian Louboutin to produce one exquisite and unforgettable collection.
Social media was abuzz with bloggers, the press and audience posting regular updates throughout the stellar show. “Breathtaking,” “mesmerizing” and “decadent” were just some of the words being uttered.
Drawing inspiration from the Indian hunting bird, the bater, Sabyasachi and Louboutin conjured up glamorous gothic vibes with a vintage, primitive like backdrop. The setting was an abandoned crumbling mansion of some sort with soiled windows, distressed fabrics hanging from the ceiling, mood lighting, smoke and creaky floorboards. If that wasn’t enough, the show began with the loud chirping sound of crickets. The stage was set for one mind-blowing theatrical production.
With references to India’s imperial royal hunts, ‘Bater,’ takes a dramatic shift from Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s previous work.
Sabyasachi and Louboutin took the audience to the dark side and this theme was reflected in the beautiful silhouettes and motifs in colours such as muted golds, blacks, gunmetal, ivories and hints of greens and blues. Of course, last but not least, in true form and rather characteristic of the two couturiers, they closed out the show in style with classic reds. And how about those iconic red-soled heels? Delicately hand embroidered Parisian footwear complementing Indian baroque, striking a perfect balance.
“Words that come into my mind to describe the collection are – dark, dangerous, and predatory. It is sexual. The historical references came from the royal hunts, which were channelised into shredded, burnt and layered textures.” – Sabyasachi
‘Bater’ was sensuous, ethereal yet edgy. Sabyasachi’s modern and contemporary line included oversized capes and jackets, bralettes, classic sherwani suits and lehenga-cholis, high neck sari blouses, figure hugging salwar suits and opulent 1920s style gowns with trains. The ensembles were beautifully complemented with fierce shoe wear and spiky clutch bags.
One may call ‘Bater’ too bold, too daring, too risqué and over the top, but in signature Sabyasachi style, he has managed to retain the old-world charm, luxury and opulence that he is so well renowned for. Understated and timeless elegance highlighted by impeccable craftsmanship and professional design elements. From the heavy and elaborate sequin embellishments to the gold and silver zari and resham embroidery, this was a carefully crafted collection that is bound to lure the fashion conscious bride or groom who dare to be different and are ready to make a statement.
In keeping with the dramatic theme, hair and makeup looks were also spot on with female models sporting intense makeup looks featuring slick low hair buns, hazel coloured lenses, voluminous lash extensions and marsala/deep red lips.
It was difficult to choose a favourite from the night. We certainly could not go past the radiant red lehenga-choli. This regal and sensuous ensemble could certainly become a favourite amongst Indian brides. Some what unconventional and bold, this classic and intricately embroidered red ensemble is perfect for the quintessential modern maharani who doesn’t wish to compromise her style.
This was one runway show that certainly lived up to its expectations. Both Sabyasachi and Louboutin are forces to be reckoned with in the fashion world. Their dream pairing is one that we’re sure lovers of couture will be talking about for years. The ‘Bater’ collection is a perfect amalgamation of traditional, Sabyasachi, old-world charm combined with new-age aesthetics and one that has added a new dimension to the more conventional South Asian bridal wear.
Exclusive highlights from the show can be viewed here –> http://bit.ly/1SoJ8Rd
Coming up on The Maharani Diaries, a full wrap up of DAY 2 of Amazon India Couture Week featuring more sensuous and modern designs from talented young designers, Rahul Mishra and Gaurav Gupta.
What were your favourite outfits from the Sabyasachi/Louboutin show? Let us know in the comments below.
Mid-way through Lakmé Fashion Week and all eyes were on fashion-loving, entrepreneur and wife of Bollywood star, Shah Rukh Khan, Gauri Khan. For the first time ever, Gauri lent her creativity to Satya Paul to make her foray into the world of fashion.
India’s first fashion brand and innovators of the traditional sari, Satya Paul are celebrating an impressive 30 years of designing. Known for their original, colourful and not so conventional designs, the designers have once again proved why they are a force to be reckoned with in the Indian fashion industry.
This year, Satya Paul collaborated with Gauri to present a collection of tropical inspired silhouettes. Titled, ‘A Tropical Wonder,’ they created resort-like ensembles that saw a mix and match of sheer kaftans, tunics and vibrant coloured saris.
A former artist, now interior designer, Gauri drew a lot of her inspiration from Satya’s past collections. They stuck to their signature vibrant, abstract luxurious prints. The saris were adorned with contrasting motifs and borders as well as poetic words. The watercolour tones and unique sari blouse designs were refreshing, refined and sophisticated. A perfect way to close out day 3 of the fashion festival.
GAURI KHAN FOR SATYA PAUL
“I was an artist and I love colours and Satya Paul’s collections always have some colourful outfits, so that’s what inspired my tropical collection.” – Gauri Khan.
Satya Paul by Gauri Khan highlights here: http://bit.ly/1Gp80w1
Are you a fan of Satya Paul’s unconventional sari’s? Let us know in the comments below.
*All images are courtesy of Lakmé Fashion Week.
The second day of Lakmé Fashion Week was a celebration of Indian handlooms and textiles. Designers paid homage to the diverse textile tapestry of India, with designs that push the boundaries of regular Indian wear.
Designer, Anavila Misra’s earthly collection aptly titled, ‘A Summer Stroll’ included beautifully crafted saris in plaid and batik patterns. Anavila took inspiration from nature and rightfully stuck to a neutral colour palette. Her main emphasis for the collection being on the rich and simplistic textiles used in each of the outfits.
The show stopping moment of the show arrived when beautiful Bollywood actress, Dia Mirza gracefully strutted down the runway in a signature Anavila sari.
Natural and earthy tones are popular for the summer season. The stars from Bollywood town are loving wearing Anavila’s lightweight ensembles.
ANAVILA’S SIGNATURE LOOKS.
Like Ananvila, Gaurang Shah’s presentation was inspired by Indian traditions, crafts and textiles. The inspiration for this collection was ‘Kalpavriksha,’ which in Hindu mythology translates to a wish-fulfilling divine tree. Shah’s perfectly balanced summer collection is woven by the Jamdani weavers from the Andhra Pradesh and Bangladesh regions of India.
The hand woven soft-toned saris were a breath of fresh air and actress, Vidya Balan shone in the show-stopping pink and gold sari. Gaurang’s collection was truly a celebration of the rich Indian heritage.
VIDYA BALAN AS GAURANG SHAH’S SHOW STOPPER.
DESIGNER, GAURANG SHAH.
“It is yet another presentation of Indian textile innovation by involving my signature technique Jamdani, a discontinuous extra weft art that is intricately handcrafted.” – Gaurang Shah.
What were your favourites from Indian Handloom and Textile Day?
*All images are courtesy of Lakmé Fashion Week.
Day 1 featured a mixed bag of tassels, neon prints and even frills, but all eyes were on the maestro, Manish Malhotra for the unveiling of his socially conscious blue themed collection.
Pallavi Singhee’s collection, titled ‘A La Suite’ featured stunning lightweight gowns in pastel shades. Her textured silhouettes had a summery feel to them with floral motifs and lots of interesting, bespoke lace detailing. There were midi dresses, culotte pants and crop tops.
Sagarika Gatke as the showstopper in an off-white organza sheer gown was a refreshing way to end the showcase. Sagarika’s open hair and black heels complemented her dreamy and free-flowing ensemble.
The youthful collection had a very western feel with delicate touches of Indian sensibilities. ‘A La Suite’ was Pallavi’s extension of her popular ‘Verb’ label which has been going strong for almost 10 years. It was another successful showing from the talented designer.
DESIGNER PALLAVI SINGHEE WITH SHOWSTOPPER, SAGARIKA ON DAY 1 OF LAKMÉ FASHION WEEK SPRING/SUMMER 2015.
A relative up and comer in Indian design and fashion, Yogesh Chaudhary showcased some beautiful bridal ensembles under his new collection, titled ‘Mithu.’
From the looks of it, Yogesh’s inspiration was evidently drawn from bird life. The delightful ensembles featured a vast array of different prints and materials. The hybrid sari-choli like ensemble was a real winner here. Another notable stand out was the understated, yet beautiful and elegant black sari.
DESIGNER, YOGESH CHAUDHARY.
Their designs often reflect a grunge like feel to them. However, on this occasion their garments looked anything but grunge. The 3D textures, monochromatic prints, floral motifs and frills were a standout. The bespoke collection featured contrasting colours and the addition of the textures to cotton and net fabrics was simply outstanding.
Manish Malhotra is a name synonomous with Bollywood and bridal wear. His designs have been flaunted by the best in Bollywood as well as some Hollywood stars.
On this particular night, Manish’s collection was all about gender equality. The message was presented in a unique manner with models holding placards reading “justice,” “equality” and “gender.” ‘The Blue Runway’ collection was showcased in association with WEvolve which is a global campaign challenging the issue of gender based violence.
The ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream‘ like setting provided the perfect backdrop for Manish’s beautiful ensembles which featured vibrant lehenga’s in cream, yellow and blue hues and intricate thread work, mirror work and elaborate floral embroidery.
A Manish Malhotra runway showing in India always brings out the Bollywood stars and this time they came out in force supporting not just the designer but a worthy campaign. Hollywood actress, Rosario Dawson was also present to lend her support.
DESIGNER, MANISH MALHOTRA WITH HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS, ROSARIA DAWSON.
“Fashion has a comprehensive and universal appeal and can thus, be a powerful instrument to raise awareness and promote action.” – Manish Malhotra.