Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Delhi fashion week: new kid on the style block
The clash of catwalks spurred mixed emotions in the build-up to Delhi’s hosting of not one, but two fashion events this week.
The intriguing question was how would this new fashion week be received? Would its debut have models leaving their footprints on the hearts of fashion fanatics? Or would the established Wills Lifestyle India fashion week wash them away?
Sure, there may have been teething troubles for the new fashion week, which has over 20 designers on its rolls. Sumeet Nair, its main organizer, told Reuters that although it has been stressful and there was some negativity, in the here and now there is a positive atmosphere.
Over the first three days, the ramp has seen a cocktail of colours, textures, prints, layers, drapes, embroideries and shimmers all incorporated into the latest fashion trends. But what has really stood out is the garments’ wearability.
For designers like Muzaffar Ali, wearability is the key factor and anything too different becomes nothing more than a “fancy dress”.
Wearability, however, does not make for a plain showcase of collections. In the heart of India, the spice is high.
Designer duo Lecoanet and Hemant, wanting to look at something outside of what’s going on in the world, used a rocket launch countdown to propel the models onto the runway adorned in a variety of neutral shades and fluorescents mixed with metallic fabrics and sequined leggings.
With an international craze for Indian glitz, we can’t help but mention Abhijeet Khanna — he’s my personal favourite. He made the fusion fashionable. With a line of simple cuts, his use of bright coloured silks garnished with sparkle created a masala mix of eastern and western elements, which is his forte.
Khanna, who trained under renowned Indian designer Manish Arora, has been popular in Europe and his creations will be hitting London’s Harrods in January.
The fun didn’t really stop there. Day three at the fashion week really boosted the energy levels. The opening show, 11.11 by CellDSGN stimulated a standing ovation as the choreographers took the ramp to another level, with models walking the runway backwards.
The atmosphere only heightened further in anticipation for the day’s final show — by renowned designer Rohit Bal. Spectators filled the room like no other show this week, eagerly awaiting his collection.
The ramp was covered in pink feather-like tissue paper. The lights dimed and all eyes turned to the catwalk. As the music built up, what happened next was the unexpected.
Buried beneath the pink paper, a model elegantly and artistically emerged from the floor and took to the ramp. The vibrant oranges and pinks, the vast flower embroidery and the extravagant ruffles, layers and collars, made for a bold and powerful collection.
Overall, here at the Emporio Mall, optimism and a certain coolness resounds.
“Everything is well organized and all is running smoothly backstage. It’s nice for the models.”
But a fellow reporter couldn’t wait to get to the India Fashion Week — he claimed it was “more buzzing”.
I don’t know. I haven’t been there yet. But being different may not be a bad thing — perhaps any diversity would only strengthen the Indian fashion industry and widen its international horizons.
I am yet to see what “vogue voyage” the runways of the Wills Lifestyle India fashion week will take me on in the next few days.
I’ll keep you posted.