"Much like our culture, fashion is also changing."
India Couture Week is one of the most prestigious fashion events of the year.
Nine of the most popular designers from across the country showcased their version of the ‘modern Indian story’.
The annual event is the product of the collaboration between Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and Shree Raj Mahal Jewellers.
The fashion extravaganza kicked off with Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s collection named ‘Ferozabad’. The stage was set up as a luxury train and models were acting as passengers.
They sashayed in beige and peach sarees, teamed with high-neck blouses, anarkalis, lehengas and shararas. Male models walked the ramp in bandhgalas, embroidered trousers and khadi coats.
After the show, the designer said: “I wanted to do something with a lot of very bright metallic work that I don’t normally do because my work is quite toned down, and I wanted to do it on unusual materials, like lehengas made out of canvas.”
Bollywood celebrity Rani Mukerji, strutted on the runway in a beige embellished zardozi saree. After modeling, the actress said:
“I feel really emotional seeing his collection. I hope that’s a good thing. I really enjoyed watching his collection. One could see the hard work, the blood and sweat he has put into every outfit. Every show of Sabyasachi is different.”
Opening Day 2 was the Ram-Leela designer Anju Modi, who captivated the audience with sophisticated ensembles. He won the admiration of the critics by playing mix-and-match with the parts of the traditional bridal ensemble- lehenga choli and gharara kurti, thus creating a fresh looking hybrids of the styles of different regions.
The colour palette evolved from nudes, pastel pink and icy blue to deep red and navy, complemented with ivory. Models dazzled in dhoti pants matched with sherwanis, adorned with sheer asymmetrical hemlines. Superstar Kangana Ranaut was the show stopper, as she walked the ramp in a black lehenga and blouse, embellished with intricate resham work.
Two of the most cherished Bollywood beauties dazzled on the runway for Rina Dhaka’s show. Nimrat Kaur and Malaika Arora Khan looked divine in two of her outfits.
The designer’s collection was inspired by the iconography of the gota work of Rajasthan. The ensembles were embellished with intricate embroidery and layering. After the show, Nimrat Kaur commented:
“I am surprised with the way Indian garments are getting global appeal. You have so many different kinds of draping styles or how people wear things. Much like our culture, fashion is also changing.”
Opening Day 3 was Designer Monisha Jaising with a collection titled “World Bride”. She showcased alternative bride gowns, inspired by the French Rococo style in the 18th century.
Romantic ball gown skirts, fitted lehengas, leme saris, slinky dresses and cigarette pants were teamed with corsets, lace blouses, asymmetrical tops and bandhgalas. The rich embroidery was combined with leather detailing, which gave a modern twist to the romantic appeal of lace.
Designer Varun Bahl accentuated the feminine figure with sharp silhouettes, mesh sleeves and linear cuts, incorporated in cocktail dresses, anarkalis, lehengas and sarees.
The day closed with the collection of couturier Rohit Bal. He allured the female audience with exquisite sari with cape, voluminous anarakalis, bandhgala jackets and lehenga in gold and ivory. Male models walked the ramp in brocade sherwanis, shawls and turbans fitted with brooches in the same colour palette.
One of the boldest visionaries – Manish Arora, showcased his latest creations. His daring outfits were multi-coloured, embellished with neon sheer fabrics, Japanese chip embroidery and pearls, which symbolised the liberation of Indian women.
A major male Bollywood celebrities, actor Rahul Khanna, attended Gaurav Gupta’s fashion show at day 4. He commented on the event:
“Oh it’s good to be here in Delhi. I am coming back after quite some time, so yes, I feel good. Gaurav is a friend and I am glad I could make it see his show.”
The penultimate day featured Manish Malhorta’s collection. The renowned designee quickly established red as the top bridal colour of the year. His show featured an exquisite selection of sarees in ruby and beige, embellished with zari embroidery. Some of the intricate pieces took his team months to complete.
The show culminated in the appearance of Bollywood celebrity Alia Bhatt on the ramp, dressed in a bright red lehenga. Later, she said:
“It’s like a dream-come true for me to walk in Manish’s creations. Two years ago, I was sitting in the audience at his show and Kareena Kapoor was the showstopper and I wondered when I would get to walk for him.”
The finale on the last day was the Rimple & Harpreet Narula Couture collection by Shree Raj Mahal Jewellers.
This collection was soft and delicate in tones of beige, combined with nude and brown, highlighted with gold and silver. The designers were inspired by the Nomads of the Khyber Pukhtoon, Persia, Morocco and India and showcased subtle beauty.
Later in the day, the very last show was delivered by the Fashion Council of India presenting Shree Raj Mahal Jewellers. The collection was modelled by Muzammil Ibrahim, Aditi Govitrikar, Aanchal Kumar and Deepti Gujral.
India Couture Week showcased the collection of India’s most beloved couturiers. A constellation of A-list Bollywood icons took part in the grandeur of the 6-day fashion event.
The creative designs and the impeccable execution transcended the dramatic outfits in the realms of art.