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TOP Spring/Summer ’18 Fashion Trends from India Runway Week

The recently concluded summer edition of India Runway Week (IRW) 2018 brought together a stellar mix of renowned and ‘NewGen’ fashion designers who gave us a peek into the hottest fashion trends for the season.

Internationally-acclaimed designer Bibi Russel’s inaugural exhibit of exquisite handcrafted fabrics and voguish designs left everyone wanting more, whilst a riot of classic styles, modern twists, natural fabrics, soft and vibrant hues, elegant embroideries and so more that followed, too, held everyone spellbound throughout.

Apparel Resources brings to you some of the key fashion trends spotted at the three-day fashion extravaganza hosted by The Indian Federation for Fashion Development (IFFD) at The DLF Place Saket, New Delhi.

Tradition Meets Modernity

Creativity and experience flowed on the runway when Bangladeshi designer Bibi Russell gave IRW an astounding start with her collection ‘Rajasthali’ exhibited for the third time. Crafted from handspun and hand-woven fabrics, the collection brings all shades of black and white in cotton, ecological and khadi. Art and design interventions ensure it appeals to today’s audience. No wonder, it had a lot of tunics, wrap pants, harem pants and alike. Every piece represented by the veteran designer is handmade in Rajasthan.

On the other hand, Rohit Arora’s collection ‘A Day in the Garden’ under his label Ridha paid homage to India’s rich hand embroidery heritage of Aari, Zardozi and alike. The collection’s surface is ornamented with beautiful botanical patterns engraved on a delicate mix of colours like pink, blue, green, etc. Featuring the label’s signature silhouettes, the women-oriented collection celebrates the many sizes and shapes of beauty.

Varsana by Vandana Jaju & Aditi Jaju displayed ‘The Window’ collection, portraying the scenic view of a summer morning. A blend of classic silhouettes crafted with intricate colourful embroidery, the assortment comprised gowns, dresses, kurtas, lehenga, etc. The colour palette ranged from bright to soothing colours, ideal for summers.

Nature came alive in motifs of flowers, creepers, birds, foliage crafted on exquisite fabrics in Soniya Sanchi’s ‘Lucknowi Chikankari’ collection which spotlighted the classic ‘Chikan’ embroidery accentuated with a dash of almost forgotten ‘Mukaish’ work.

Nazila Sawhney’s collection ‘Cover Girl’ draws inspiration from ‘Afghan Girl’, a green-eyed orphan refugee girl from war-torn Afghanistan who graced the 1985 cover of National Geographic magazine, melting many a heart.

Meanwhile, Kavita Aggarwal’s bridal collection brought forth the verve of Pietra Dura, an ancient art form commonly referred to as ‘paintings in stone’. The embroidery in the ensembles came out as a novel replication of Pietra Dura motifs in aesthetic terms.

James Ferreira experimented with traditional South Indian ‘Lungi’ and North Indian ‘Gamcha’. Cotton and linen as a base, the collection is crafted with epoch Chinese brocade and hand embroidery kimonos to create a young layered assorted look.

Laidback Styles, Prêt and Luxury Galore

Ankita Yadav’s label Arkya’s S/S 2018 collection ‘Sehar’ (meaning ‘Dawn’) created a splash of subdued hues like sage, olive green, blush pink, mustard yellow and aqua blue, depicting nature’s empowering yet comforting effect on the soul. While floral designs insinuated conformity; the use of metallic rings, motifs of fences and abstract geometric leaves, hybrid silhouettes (as in panelled pants, ruched shorts/pants and asymmetric panelled pants), patchwork and appliqued organza lent a slight touch of quirkiness.

Designer duo Istuti and Vivek brought forth a collection that invoked love and care for Mother Nature. The ensembles, made from natural fabrics, exude a sense of ease and comfort. The collection has many different cuts and drapes for various purposes. A blend of western influence on eastern drapes spawned stunning silhouettes.

Udayan Dalmia’s fashion label ‘Sidh’ effortlessly blends craftsmanship with technology, with focus on minimalistic chic designs, utility and sustainability. The label’s S/S 2018 collection echoes its core values and is produced natural dyes and organic cotton, keeping the waste to the least. It caters to both western and ethnic sensibilities.

Different colours reflect different moods and emotions of a person. Sunidhi Garodia’s collection ‘IRO of life’ also took inspiration from varied colours and the connotation that each individual draws from it for their life.

Using pendulums as muse, Shefali Dhaka Sirohi created a collection that featured asymmetric balance silhouettes. Panelling and pleating techniques ensured equilibrium between the asymmetry. Even drapes and embroidery motives reflected the theme. Use of rich silks, chanderi weaves, organzas and chiffons signified the two extremes of the pendulum, while subtle tones were enhanced with hints of brighter shades.

Inspired by blooming sparkling flower, Shivaanii Singhania’s Pe’tillant Fleur collection comprised draped gowns, peplum styles, fitted trousers and layered full-lengths. Silhouettes, florals and layers of femininity together instil a modern outlook. The collection is crafted using soft and sheer fabrics like organza, tulle, satins and fused with overstated embroideries for a balanced look.

‘Saaj’ by Ankita collection presented vintage-contemporary bridal wear. A delicate mix of varied weaves and a rhapsody of colours, the unconventional collection is accentuated with flower motifs, progressive patterns, watchfully deconstructed lively hues and vintage wall art-inspired embroideries in luxurious silk thread. Each ensemble exudes sheer lavishness.

Handloom, Textiles Hog Limelight

Jharkhand-based social startup Banka Silk and designer Poonam Dubey teamed up to showcase an affordable luxury collection of contemporary outfits with Indian influences. The range, made with handloom weaves of the state, is inspired by flora and fauna and commemorates the feminine community’s reverence for nature. Modern silhouettes and sensibilities, uplifting colours, hand-block prints present a blend of exceptional Indian artistry and modern feel. Sustainable fabrics in silk, cotton and linen further enhance its appeal.

Daniel Siyem showcased the textile traditions of tribes of Meghalaya through his collection ‘ShaKiLum’. It’s a slow fashion, deconstructed and gender-neutral theme that brings to light the exclusive tribal spirit of Meghalaya within a modern and edgy collection. Deconstructed garments are made using organic fabrics of various tribes, and the USP of these fabrics is that owing to an exceptional thermal property they are apt for winter as well as summer.

Hyderabad’s Shravan Kummar highlighted the textiles of Andhra Pradesh in his collection that is organically dyed and all handcrafted.

Jenjum Gadi found his muse in cotton yarn to produce ‘Phrozuh’, a collection that uses the fabric woven from cotton yarn. The collection strives to balance masculinity and femininity and most of the silhouettes are inspired by these elements and are gender fluid or unisex.

Innovation and Imagination

Shravan Gajam’s ‘Indigoberry Ikat’ S/S 2018 collection showcased an innovative fusion of hand-woven warp-faced denim fabric and traditional Indian weaving technique ‘Ikat’. Abstract Ikat motifs are used with varied hues of Indigo and off-white colour (Vat dyes) on the denim fabric. The collection is made with premium denim and comes in varied fits – slim fit, loose fit, straight leg, relaxed fit, casual top, jacket, dresses and skirts. It brings forth the season’s popular trends like ripped, stretched and distressed jeans. Denim Ikat is a mix cotton and lycra, notably.

Shradha Goenka’s label Vagmi presented ‘Walk in the Sky ‘ collection crafted with Egyptian cotton and muslin silk fabrics. It caters to strong, new-age woman who appreciates tradition, nevertheless. The garments feature bold and playful silhouettes, while asymmetric cuts, ruffles and bold back detailing are accentuated with the elaborate use of ‘zardosi’ embroidery.

Aditya Panchal’s collection, an enthralling mix of design elements inspired by Indian heritage, featured beautiful embellishments inspired by architectural explorations – all handmade in gold and silver ‘zari’. Made with tulenet, velvet and raw silk, the collection stands outs with atypical cutworks and ‘Abla’ (mirror) embroidery.

The monochrome fashion trend is quite popular nowadays. Ashima showcased varied applications of this theme in her collection ‘Misty Monochrome Hues’ that celebrates the bold and elegant new-age woman. It comprises stylish monochromes along with a symbolic reference to the blacks, whites and monotone hues that depict the odds and evens faced by the women even today.

Modern fashion trends marry traditional couture in ‘Bloom’ collection by Vaani Raghupathy. The collection is crafted with alluring fabrics along with their pleasant and invigorating pastels in a blend of organza, chiffon and weaves of silk from Kanchipuram. Design elements like the natural shape and colour of fruits, flowers, birds, add to the summer chic.