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We love moments from Delhi Fashion Week & trends you should follow

Updated on: 17 April,2011 09:42 AM IST  | 
Shweta Shiware |

Sunday Mid Day sat through 43 fashion shows at the recently concluded Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in Delhi to bring you the brightest moments, and a reckoner of on-ramp trends that will be big this season. Shweta Shiware from front row

We love moments from Delhi Fashion Week & trends you should follow

Sunday Mid Day sat through 43 fashion shows at the recently concluded Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in Delhi to bring you the brightest moments, andu00a0 a reckoner of on-ramp trends that will be big this season. Shweta Shiware from front row

Fashion is tough business. Peel the glamour off, take away the heady rush of showcasing to an audience of fashion editors and buyers, exclude the frivolous air kissing and unhook the pain-inducing stilettos, and what you are left with is a handful of designers holding solemn promise. They delight the senses, venture into the recesses of dressmaking and tell stories of destruction, abstraction, celebration, and seduction -- that's their job, and they do it well.

Ikat woven from metal texture czarina: Rimzim Dadu
She has a psychic power over clothes. Dadu's painstaking surface texturing cajoles, excites, amazes and overwhelms, all at once. The little lady with colossal talent cast a spell using meshed metallic wires interwoven to form the hypnotic illusion of the traditional Ikat weave. "I didn't intend to revive Ikat in the modern context. I simply wanted to create a shaded effect," she said after the show.u00a0Black remained a permanent fixture in her line, pitted in striking contrast against magenta, mustard and blue. She continued her romance with sheath shapes and asymmetric hemlines while laser-cut floral work stirred up some drama. Inspiring. And she is only 24.

Ttrend tracker,Futuristic sari drape with waistcoats

Neeru Kumar,Abraham & Thakore,Sonam Dubal

Indian textile wears the crown First timer: Neeru Kumar
A silent force in a season-driven industry, Neeru Kumar isn't just a designer success story. She is the face of triumphu00a0-- of Indian textile, traditional technique and a celebration of colour. After graduating from Ahmedabad's National Institute of Design, Kumar began working with textiles (that was three decades ago), experimenting with craftsmen tucked away in hamlets of West Bengal, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. She built an enviable position for her brand, internationally and locally, along the way.

Kumar's belated fashion week debut, once again brought under the scanner wool, cashmere, linen, cotton and silk tickled by signature surface textures and consumed by modern, individual silhouettes. Statement jackets sought alchemy in shapes. Saris, shirt dresses, umbrella skirts, tunics, maxis, Jodhpurs and straight pants completed the presentation. Slim belts proving to be a welcome distraction.

It's sundown the embellisher: Namrata Joshipura
Undeniably one of India's most original women designers, Namrata Joshipura has inspired a new fashion vocabulary. One that doesn't dumb down but celebrates disparity and definitiveness that characterises the modern Indian woman. That's a duality she managed to tackle by looking at the mundaneness of everyday moments, moods and people.

The after-dusk colour palette continued to rule, with shots of teal and orange creating an orgasmic distraction on silhouettes taking the form of wide-legged trousers, jumpers, sheer shirts, dresses, overcoats, and boxy jackets. A seamless blend of voluptuousness and severity, her blouses and gowns carried plummeting necklines.
The sparkling spirit of her collection lay in its treatment and use of embellishment. She experimented with 3D felt embroidery, linear disc sequins and rectangular felt paillettes.

Opening a can of worms the odd one out:u00a0Anand Bhushan
Anand Bhushan has a twisted mind. And thank God for that. "Why do people freak when they see worms? Have you noticed how beautiful they looku00a0-- especially their textureu00a0-- when they huddle together?"

The NID graduate masterminded complex decorations on easy silhouettes, as linear shapes were seduced by painstaking textures resembling creepy-crawlies, realised by scrunching fabrics and zipper placement.
A dark colour story kept the mood somber, with bursts of neon pink gently saying hello. "Pink is the hottest, little bi**h of a colour!" he laughed.

Bhushan admits this was his most commercial collection yet ("I can finally pay off my debts"). Apart from money matters, it confirmed that he has finally found his ground. He already has a swagger. Now, he owns style too.

Sensuality on his mind the gentleman: Atsu Sekhose
Atsu Sekhose is a gentleman. He dresses like one, talks like one, and makes a woman feel special with his provocative yet self-assured clothes. It's about pleasing the senses, and he knows how to do it, starting with playing Adele's Someone Like You while at-ease silhouettes crafted from cashmere, wool, satin, organza and teasing lace, sauntered in.

He serenaded glamourous Hollywood sirens from the '40s, juxtaposing the era's tailored austerity with sensual drapes, allowing just-the-right-amount of embellishment and restrained sexiness to drip via lace.

Saris, blouses and jackets in sheer

Sabyasachi,Atsu,Tarun Tahiliani

Sekhose's women wore the ruffled bolero, the peplum skirt, satin drape blouse teamed with a sequined skirt, a nude hand embroidered blouse and a velvet jacket sparkling with sequined sleeves.

Beltsu00a0-- high, low and in between

Ankur & Priyanka,Varun Bahl,Anand Kabra,Alpana & Neeraj,
Tarun Tahiliani

A graphic novel way the newbie: Mrinalini
She carries the promise of becoming India's foremost avant-garde woman designer. All Mrinalini needs is a chance to showcase in a three-designer show instead of losing limelight in a five-designer slot.u00a0The 29 year-old graduate from NIFT, Kolkata (2002) worked for UK's underground label Maharishi and the thinking woman's designer Rajesh Pratap Singh before starting her own label in 2007. "Working with Pratap cleaned my sensibility," she says.

For her debut fashion week collection, she looked to graphic novels for inspiration. Mrinalini presented The Line, a cluster of 12 outfits capturing the comical character of fashion that's misplaced in the mad rush to sell clothes and attract wavering media attention. "Fashion for me is about subtraction." Indeed. While the shapes remained relatively simple (jackets and dresses), she pampered them with treatmentu00a0-- slashing and sculpting, without forgetting to have fun along the way.

A contemporary maze the structure gurus: Rohit & Rahul Gandhi
What do you say about a perfectly executed collection, reverberating with modern ideas held together by faultless tailoring and finishing? Dependable? Consistent? But that is an established tag that designer duo Rohit Gandhi & Rahul Khanna wear knowingly.

Their A-maze-ment collection offered extra impetus to the confident woman to invest in contemporary clothing choicesu00a0-- open waistcoats teamed with wide-legged trousers, an assembly of tough dresses separated by graphic geometric prints, sequins, colour blocking, and laser-cut felts.

They even gave her a reason to let hair down with a playful fringe dress, sheeted jumper and teasing halter shirt worn with a gunmetal sequinned overlap skirt. They played so safe that those 45 pieces could have easily walked off the runway, out of their stores and onto the streets.u00a0But as Oscar Wilde said, "Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative". It's time the two had some fun with their clothes.

When fashion is not pretty the prince of print: Kallol Datta
Kallol Datta is the restless voice from Kolkata, in a tearing hurry to change the "pretty face" of Indian fashion. Sometimes, it feels like a futile battle in an industry that's not entirely convinced about his unabashed non-adherence to form, embellishment or the ghagra-choli. Not yet, at any rate.

But he played his part, flaunted a frown and questioned the frivolity attached to fashion in a collection titled, Hazing. "In the inner circles of our industry, fashion is associated with cutting-edge design and art. But outside, it is treated as entertainment. Why can't fashion shows be exempted from entertainment tax?" he asked, during a moment backstage.

This insatiable quest for answers began during a residency in New Delhi this February, where fashion was explored as a concept. Barring the clock and paper plane prints that he called Sentinels of Fashion ("to make Mickey out of people and bring in an element of humour"), solids took a stand on top-heavy silhouettes frugally classified by drop shoulder shapes. Tassels and braid embellishments on dresses poked fun at the glamour associated with long, thick hair.

When Dutta sent outfits designed from utilitarian fabrics like combed cotton (commonly used to make towels) and Calico toils dunked in plaster of Paris, he did what he does bestu00a0-- ask a few tough questions about Indian fashion's obsession with glamour, and all that's safe and comfortable.

Show me your real face the statement maker: Anand Kabra
You can't Google a feeling, and get inspired," Anand Kabra said about an agitated mind that led him to design No More Masks. He wanted to make a statement against the few fashion folk who have built mansions out of "bull-sh*****g, and licking a**". But when in the house of God, Kabra believes, the mask slips. "During an aarti in a mandir and while you pray in a church, you are true to yourself."

Research for his Autumn/ Winter collection led him to images of the stained glass interiors of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and Spanish architect Gaudi's fragmented mosaic structures. Both inspirations found their way into a collection that hung on the purity of form, without crumbling under the weight of layering and transparency. Mirrorwork, cutwork and Ikat tied the thought together in easy-to-slip-into tunics, salwars, cholis, saris and palazzosu00a0-- all walking to REM's Losing My Religion.

Trend tracker,Dominant shoulders, and the absence of

Sabyasachi,Arjun Saluja,Anand Kabra,Kallol Dutta

Dangerous footwear

Gaurav & Ritika

Abraham & Thakore

On a mission to save the veteran: James Ferreira
Mumbai heritage precinct Khotachiwadi's favourite crusader, and fashion's dreaded poster boy, James Ferreira is undoubtedly India's most underrated designer. He gets along famously with fabrics, and never forgets to tweak them with inherent wit and wisdom. And humour; mostly at his own expense.

The veteran's autumn/winter 2011 line used the Aesop's Fables iconic story of The Tortoise and The Hare as a driving inspiration to tell a tale of his trying journey as a designer. And while he was at it, he made a case to save India's depleting tortoise population. "Just like cricket overshadows all other Indian sports, the tiger has overshadowed other species nearing extinction . Isn't the tortoise endangered too?"

Ferreira worked with Italy-based Verytas Foundation started by Stefano Pilati, creative director of Yves Saint Laurent, and Filippo Binaghi, MD of silk-weaving company Lorma SRL. Binaghi specially developed tortoise shell fabric for the collection.

Outlining but never gripping the body, Ferreira's garments once again displayed his effortless authority over drapes, as flattering dresses in teal, moss green and champagne teamed with black jackets shimmied on ramp.

He used rabbit fur to create neckpieces and brooches, much to PETA's ire, we presume. "I'm doing my bit for the eco-system. Rabbits multiply rapidly, causing stress to the environment. And I've used rabbit fur frugally, as neckpieces and brooches," he shrugged. It's a collection we enjoyed, as much as we did watching him try killer moves while taking a bow to Sheila ki jawani.

Going around in circles the tailor: Arjun Saluja
How to take a singular circular form and create variations without tiring or duplicating the central theme? Arjun Saluja's collection was a lesson in tailoring, in breaking down complexities of structure, and surrendering to a powerful emotion called vulnerability. The Delhi designer is presently in a place where calm dwells alongside restiveness. The change in his personal universe has managed to let fresh ideas pour onto his design canvas.

Saluja couldn't be bothered with gender classification; he'd rather have raging volume interact with disproportionate lapels, disjointed shoulders, piping and pleats, or leave it breathless in drapes. Though sinister in its soul (black, grey, purple), the line had a few hints of white and brown.

This cordial conflict reflected in silhouettes too -- tuxedo jackets were paired with wide-legged trousers, and seductive blouses met teasing skirts. The new approach to design worked, with one of India's leading fashion boutique chains buying one of his lines in glistening whites for a capsule collection.

Shape of things to come drape teaser: Gaurav Gupta
Gaurav Gupta is feeling content and rather adventurous. "With this collection, I really didn't feel like stopping myself. It was a sort of liberation ufffd" he admitted. This season, he rediscovered silicon. He spent time in the mundaneness of ink dripping on paper, milk foaming in a cup of tea, pirouetting cigarette clouds -- and found himself "feeling emotionally inspired" to create an autumn/winter 2011 collection that quietly confirmed his authority on drapes.

The line also introduced a new Gaurav Gupta who is unafraid to take a risk. Digital prints capturing the incredible lightness of being -- flames, fish fins, and smoke partnered with the fluidity of drapes over dresses and gowns. Unlike his past collections, where he let fabrics dance around body contours, here, he moulded cuts, broke shape, allowing leather, metal and jersey embroidery to create an illusion of abstraction.

Geometric motifs in 3D style

Rajesh Pratap Singh,Pankaj and Nidhi

He ended the show with the Ek Chidiya Anek Chidiya track that the Doordarshan generation associates with national unity; a throwback to the innocence of basic form, and fitting music to play when a garment splashed with a bird-wing print walked the ramp.

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