This year is nearing its end and the western part of the world is busy unleashing trend after trend for 2016. Of course, we aren’t far behind either, with the recent Amazon India Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 unveiling what to expect next season. Held from October 7 – 11, 2015, in New Delhi, the event attracted the crème de la crème of the fashion world. The real highlight, however, was the focus on Indian traditional textiles. Some of the most talented names in the industry showcased their brilliant creations! I’ve got you covered with a low-down on the best of the best. Read on!
Sanjay Garg – I remember researching Sanjay Garg while working on designer profiles for a website. While his clothes are impressive on their own, reading about him and his journey as a designer turned me into an instant fan! The textile artist opened the fashion week by displaying three weaving aspects of Mashru silk; namely gulbadan (rose-like body), danedar (dots), and ashrafi (coin-like motifs). Dictated by clean lines and angled cuts, the collection came in interesting colour combinations; for instance, the use of rose pink with vermilion red and emerald green. The showstopper pieces were undoubtedly the elegant long kurtas worn with matching cigarette trousers and coats. His trademark sarees made an appearance too; each piece woven with stunning Mashru borders!
Shivan & Narresh – Resort wear aficionados (who also happen to be one of my favourite designer duos) Shivan Bhatiya and Narresh Kukreja turned to art for inspiration this time. Their collection drew influences from the work of 20th century Mexican artist and muralist, Diego Rivera (Frida Kahlo‘s husband), especially the cubism period of his career. Models sashayed down the runway in easy-breezy palm and cacti prints, perfect for a beach wedding or resort getaway! Geometric forms and sharp planes emerged in bright hues of green, pink and apricot. Whether it was risqué sarees and neoprene lehengas or colour-block bikinis and cool kaftan cover-ups, asymmetric lines and bold cutouts dominated the designs.
Gauri & Nainika – Dreamy romance, anyone? Sartorial sisters, Gauri and Nainika Karan, took us on a trip down fairytale lane with the help of diaphanous fabrics, high-low silhouettes, billowing sleeves, and delicate pastels. Nothing screams spring like shades of lavender and peach! The play of ruffles in soft hues with pops of red in intervals, accompanied by the abundant use of pearls, created the feel of old Hollywood, 1950s glamour. There was also a touch of royal drama seen in the form of high collars and flowing gowns!
Anamika Khanna – After styling various Bollywood stars and showcasing her work globally, Anamika Khanna displayed her first ready-to-wear collection at AIFW S/S ’16. With a vision to create the perfect fusion of western wear with Indian, her intention was to “modernize traditional shapes, embroideries and ideas.” Khanna infused a fresh new youthful and sporty personality into Indian silhouettes. Kurtas, sarees, and bandhgalas came in forms that could easily be taken from day to night. A long silk kurta was paired with striped track pants while a saree came draped with a crisp collared shirt. Baseball caps and white sneakers were used to accessorize the ensembles, adding to the “glocal” appeal of the collection.
Payal Pratap – Payal Pratap celebrated the 1950s with romantic florals, stripes and polka dots, which came in the form of fit and flare silhouettes, pleated skirts, and structured dresses. Created keeping the modern woman in mind, the collection emitted a contemporary feel whilst retaining the element of vintage glamour. With a colour palette that ranged between pastels in tonal variations, Pratap’s signature cross-stitch embroidery created a stunning 3D effect on fabrics like dupion, chanderi, crepe and georgette! Leather footwear made in ivory nude, winged eyeliner, and black accessories completed the look.
Nida Mahmood – Designer Nida Mahmood drew inspiration from B0mbay (now Mumbai) in the ’60s and the independent women of the era. The collection, titled ‘Junglee Billee,’ also paid homage to her own cat. Created in collaboration with Adidas Originals, the presentation boasted a vibrant and colourful line of bomber jackets, shift dresses, and sarees draped over jeans. Fabrics like crepe, satin and net in shades of blue, orange and green dominated the runway. The laid-back, sporty looks were accessorized with über funky headgears, cat eye sunglasses, and platform sneakers; along with some other unconventional props, such as cameras and radios!
Manish Arora – King of kitsch, Manish Arora, was part of the set of 16 designers who presented a fresh take on Benarasi weaves across Western and Indian looks for the grand finale. While each designer presented a stunning display, making this a fitting end to the glorious week, Arora’s anarkalis and lehengas were pure eye-candy! The rich Indian garbs came in luminescent golds and silvers with Benarasi brocade and intricate thread work. The entire grand finale paid tribute to the age-old beauty of the city, with the likes of Sabyasachi, JJ Valaya, Tarun Tahiliani, and Abraham & Thakore contributing to the showcase.