by Anjori Grover Vasesi
30-July-2018 | 7 mins read
The most awaited bridal couture event of the Indian fashion industry, India Couture Week 2018, took place in New Delhi at Taj Palace hotel from July 25-29, 2018.
In association with Hindustan Times and Sunil Sethi Design Alliance, the five day fashion marathon of ICW 2018, saw some of India’s finest and most respected couturiers setting milestones in Indian bridal fashion for the upcoming season.
Designers such as Anju Modi, Pallavi Jaikishan, Rahul Mishra, Reynu Taandon, Rohit Bal, Shyamal & Bhumika, Suneet Varma, Tarun Tahiliani, and debutants Amit Aggarwal and Falguni & Shane, presented trends that delineate the intermixing of traditional techniques with contemporary nuances for the modern day bride.
The most eminent fashion event in the domestic segment, India Couture Week allows the creative godliness of designers go unrestricted in terms of imagination as well as opulence. From such a plethora of grandeur, it is difficult to pick out limited looks that are trend-setters in their own regard. Hence, AR and FFT bring to you the top collections that stood out in terms of their creativity, innovation, relevance to the theme/concept and compliance with current trends for the Couture Season of 2018…
Master of glamour and tradition, Tarun Tahiliani presented his Couture & Bridal Wear ‘18-‘19, titled ‘In Elysium, An Ethereal Lightness of Being’, high on shimmering florals and weightless drapes.
The collection featured European constructions fused with classic Indian styles and embroideries, exemplifying an India Modern aesthetic.
For the womenswear collection, swathes of airy hand-knotted lace, Italian tulle, French lacè and sheer silk were rendered using the meticulous techniques of zardozi, ari, gota-patti and chikankari. Vivid bursts of three-dimensional florals created using ribbon-twisted organza, chiffon couching, twisted sheer silk, laser-cut textiles, and detailed applique were used to accentuate the panels of bridal and cocktail lehengas, concept saris, gowns, jackets, and modern saris.
For India Couture Week 2018, Tahiliani chose Aditi Rao Hydari to close the show in an orange peach, heavily hand embroidered and embellished lehenga. The menswear range featured contrast detailing in deep peach, ochre, orange, and paisley over sherwanis, bandhgalas and bandhis. Details such as pleated long-line kurtas, pre-fitted cummerbunds, and textured pin-tucking made the seamless constructions of fit and fall translate throughout the line of hand-embroidered muted monotones.
Amit Aggarwal is known to pioneer the exquisite engineering of modern and innovative couture inspired by nature’s awe-inspiring forms that seamlessly blend India’s rich textile heritage with a commitment towards environmental sustainability.
Dubbed Crystalis, Aggarwal’s 2018 Couture collection seemed to be seeking inspiration from the natural phenomenon of the formation of crystals at a molecular level and the enveloping of metallic chrysalis around a butterfly cocoon.
The collection featured hand crafted three dimensional embroideries in various crystalline and bio mimicked forms and motifs to lend a unique visual and tactile quality to the designs.
Sculptural, structural and dramatic, Aggarwal’s signature techniques such as sophisticated cording, plisse and topstitched fabrications explored the smooth juxtaposing of Indian and western silhouettes that accentuate the feminine form.
Shilpa Shetty posed as the showstopper for Aggarwal, donning a sculptural hybrid between a sari and a dhoti, suggestive of Aggarwal’s unconventional aesthetic.
Winner of the International Woolmark Prize 2014, Rahul Mishra is known to champion slow fashion with handwoven, hand-embroidered, and hand crafted traditional Indian textiles.
For his 2018 Couture collection at India Couture Week 2018, the designer explored the concept of ‘Maraasim’– meaning relationships in Urdu. The collection reconnoitered the connections between the past and present of the intricately opulent visual cultural history belonging to the finest Mughal architectural nuances.
The collection revived ancient visual expressions with the ingenious use of geometry and arabesque to achieve patterns that included intricate vegetal motifs such as chevrons and spandrels, complex florals, angled stars, and geometric diamonds, among others.
Delicate hand-embroidery over handwoven fabrics to create an eclectic mix of kurtas, bandhgalas & silhouettes inspired from traditional Indian ensembles such as lehengas and kalidars.
In collaboration with Swarovski, the collection incorporated unique lacquer crystals interpreted as morning dew drops over the covetable pieces.
FALGUNI AND SHANE PEACOCK
For their debut show at India Couture Week 2018, Falguni & Shane Peacock presented a medley between the queen of the French capital and the grand palace of Junagarh – Rajasthan’s cultural jewel.
Titled ‘Amour De Junagarh’, the collection replicated the intricate techniques used in the structural marvel and translated them over timeless silhouettes and cuts. Trails of floor sweeping ensembles bedecked with feathers and Swarovski crystals, were punctuated with dainty embellished veils. Bejeweled dresses, dramatic regal lehengas and frail saree gowns formed the opulent collection in a colour palette dominated by Persian violets, medieval blues, golds, plum purples, lavenders, ivory tones, and burgundy.
Closing the show for the duo, actress Kareena Kapoor Khan walked the runway in a desert dust and gold hued embroidered and embellished lehenga ensemble.
Revered for making Indian handloom popular as couture, designer Anju Modi explored new territories for her 2018 Couture collection at India Couture Week 2018.
Inspired by the classic art forms, literature and architecture prevalent during the Victorian era, Modi’s latest collection, ‘A Maiden’s Prayer’ saw her experimenting with luxe fabrics such as velvet, lace, tulle, and organza.
Dramatic tiered gowns, embroidered velvet corsets and embellished tulle capes in a jewel tone palette, evoked the romanticism synonymous with the bygone era.
Kangana Ranaut closed the show for Modi, bedecked in an ivory and gold lehenga complimented by an embroidered velvet cape jacket in ruby.
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