While we’ve been caught up in Eid exhibitions and collections here at home, India just completed its annual Bridal Fashion Week and is currently on to its next most significant fashion week of the year, PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2013.
We’ve always held the view that Pakistani luxury fashion houses are much more adept at bringing a contemporary flavour into tailoring and silhouettes and that a traditional cut hardly poses a challenge or proof of design innovation, even if it is bridal wear.
However, after witnessing coverage of the six-day event, we’re forced to alter our initial generalised view — while we, as a group, may be much more receptive to exploring modernism in tradition, there lies an ocean of talent next door.
To be fair, Indian designers allow themselves a lot more freedom of expression, while bridal fashion weeks for us have largely been reduced to playing out a ritual rather than an evolutionary process.
Filtering out the trends that spoke, or rather sang to us, the best one had to be the incredible array of jackets that replaced the trailing tapestries over lehengas and even saris.
Shantanu and Nikhil
Shantanu and Nikhil did it leaps and bounds above the rest introducing a pleated, gold brocade, closed jacket with an Elizabethan standing collar over a fitted hip full pleated skirt.
The fall was impeccable, and for us, it was love at first sight. The team did a few different versions of the style and each one was a knock-out with the folds resting perfectly.
JJ Valaya also played brilliantly with waistcoats and cropped jackets as did Rohit Bal among an assortment of other players.
Elizabethan structured pleated collars and bandaged sleeves were a much more popular theme at India Bridal Week than you would expect.
Rohit Bal played extensively with the Shakespearean fashion genre, pairing it with rich velvet for an added effect. He poured the poetry of intricate gold handcraft, inspired by Mughal royalty, onto a Victorian aristocratic canvas and it worked.
However, the collection was by no means restricted to a single page. Rather, it kept flowing like a book with lots of white and gold Kashmiri touches, and even Shibori tie-dye.
Falguni & Shane Peacock
A little bit of peplum as well as laced collections showcased at Jyotsna Tiwari and Falguni & Shane Peacock.
While we’re not too crazy about the trend even for Western wear, it added an interesting feature into the mix as cute corset tops.
Who says there’s no place for black in bridal week? Designers set their own rules with plenty of mysterious darkness seen at the shows of Falguni & Shane Peacock, Rohit Bal and Suneet Varma.
Some were contrasted with romantic gold, others with popping pink, while most flew solo. It seems almost blasphemous to say it out loud, but could black be the new red?
Tarun Tahiliani, Adarsh Gill
Remnants of the Gatsby fashion fever were felt at Adarsh Gill and Tarun Tahiliani with the models sporting the characteristic headbands, vampire red lips and dark retro waves.
They were dressed in shimmering ivory deconstructed drapes at Tahiliani and all disco black and silver at Gill. The move would have made a marked impact six months ago but, by now, it’s all a bit been there, done that.
Our own Bridal Fashion Week is coming up in October and we hope our immensely talented designers will not be afraid to let their true colours shine behind red and pink glittering traditional ghararas and shararas alone.
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Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2013.
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