Every season of fashion week comes with its share of hits and misses, this edition of FDCI Wills India Fashion Week SS’14 was no different. A few hits, quite a few misses. Firstly a big thank you to FDCI, things always run smoothly because of all the hard work your team puts in. After weeks of discussions, reading reviews by veterans I’ve divided my week into days, giving you glimpses of what I thought (I could be wrong, you’re most welcome to point out my mistakes).
Ps: The post is a bit too long and late (weeks of hard work), feel free to scroll down to the day and designer you wish!
Stepping into Hall Number 18 Pragati Maidan always gives me a high. There’s too much hustle bustle, the outside world thinks that inside there’s a glamour party starting for the next five days, though it’s not a continuous party, it’s a lot more serious. There’s real work happening. One thing I would want to say about the Fashion industry is that it is serious work, we just make it look a lot better, than boring boardroom meetings.
Masaba Gupta is the GenNext Designer. I remember how excited I was when I got myself my first Masaba Hand Print Sari. Masaba is an icon for the youth. So when I learned she was opening for Wills, there was a sense of excitement, it was my first ever Masaba show, but somehow I was left wanting more. Masaba for me means quirky yet classy. It means prints, neons and fun! While the mix of Benarsi embroidery with Chandragupt meets sporty chic was an idea with potential, but the silhouettes reminded me of Shivan Narresh (Sari Drape) and Nikhil Thampi (Ankle Length Sari), it was different, maybe a step forward, and thumbs up to her for trying to break barriers, but I miss the old Masaba, the one I eagerly await to throw a collection our way which was always sold out before I log on to the net!
Nachiket Barve read surprise! Structure, Subtle and Stunning! Barve broke barriers, there were no more neons, flowing silhouettes and ikat! (Not that I didn’t love that) What we saw was like never before. He was back on the ramp after a season’s break and oh boy what a growth. His inspiration “Fossil” translated in the most literally way. The structured jackets with detailed embroidery were breathtaking. The finishing was impeccable and the Red Cape just made jaws drop! I really hope to see it soon in an editorial on my favourite Sonam Kapoor, perhaps?
Malini Ramani presented a fun collection as always. She does things her ways and has no qualms about it. Her collaboration with Outhouse was the cherry on the cake! Tribal prints, metallic and shimmer, it was your fun vacation wear. I was in love with the blouse Malini wore to take her bow.
The day started super late for me, and left me sad at missing Akaaro by Gaurav Jai Gupta. I made up for it by venturing to Gaurav’s stall and having a chat with him. He’s more of an artist than a designer, his knowledge of weaves and textiles is inspiring, and that reflected in his collection.
I barely made it to Shivan and Narresh in time, missing Pia Pauro (a designer I swear by). While Pia’s collection always makes me shop more, the great thing is, every year Pia ventures out to a new destination and draws inspiration, it was South Africa this time, and that Giraffe print maxi is on my wish list for the summer ahead, some cool earrings and bags, and eye-catching footwear completed her show.
Coming back to my favourite boys Shivan and Narresh, inspired by Lucio Fontana’s Spatialism, and they did it well. The boys never disappoint. They never stray away from their brand essence and values. One of the things I have learnt while studying Brand Management is, if a customer can see the product and recognise its brand, they have hit the jackpot, that’s what the boys have done! Great resort wear, no fuss, a different colour palette than the usual and a slash exactly where required. The finale dress, well what can I say, was jaw dropping!
Day two actually started getting things going. AM:PM was another great show, the graphic prints and the lip accessory were stunning. I would call it the clean show of the season.
But my favourite show of the day and eventually my favourite one from the season was Pankaj and Nidhi. If two designers know how to put a great show (You can checklist garments, detailing, finishing, colours, music, choreography, make up, you name it and they’ve paid detail to it) are Pankaj and Nidhi. Every garment was a proof of their hard work and labour. The collection left me mesmerised. The appliqué detail work on the jackets and blouses and after on dresses with the digital printed skirts, dresses and shorts were stunning. Yellow, a least favourite colour, has become a sudden favourite, I pretty much wanted everything. The digital printed bags, the clean make up, and song Yellow by Coldplay playing in the end. If you’re showcasing a collection on the ramp, let your garments be the showstopper, and everything eventually will fall into place, something other designers can pick up from Pankaj and Nidhi! Though I missed Rahul Mishra’s show, he is a designer with the perfect know how of his textiles, of what I heard it was a good collection. Some of his pieces were an absolute delight to see!
Ruchika Sachdeva is a designer I look up to. Bodice as a brand has grown, and never wavered from its essence! Three words crisp, structure and perfection! The androgynous mix in her collection is something I always look forward to, and this collection didn’t disappoint either. The colour palette was extremely understated with greys, light pinks. The nerd look was cool, accessories such as round retro sunglasses, leather clutches and platform heels made it perfect to the T. While Jenjum Gadi presented a collection which got appreciated by many, I just could not get myself to even think of myself ever being seen with all the bugs, I wish there was something, anything other than ants or dragon flies, maybe butterflies (call me cliché if you wish to!). The other show worth a mention on Day three would be Rohit Gandhi & Rahul Khanna, they aren’t boys, they’re men, quite glamorous ones themselves. The collection was a pure celebration,the thigh high slits, the red carpet glamour, I can already see celebrities strutting down adorning in these ensembles and that blue, never been fond of it, but couldn’t help but lust over it! I have just one thing to say to other designers who attempt glitter and shimmer, learn it from these two, oh boy they know how to do it well!
The only little complain I’ve is ramps with screens on either side, it makes it nearly impossible for one to look closely at a garment, and sometimes one just misses a garment.
A power packed day, was what I would call Day IV of WIFW. Started my day with Surendri by Yogesh Chaudhary. Yogesh loves prints, and oh boy he loves them! After the great success of the pacman sari, the prints this time didn’t disappoint. The swimwear with the big TVC hats, and TVC heels were an instant hit, I am sure all of us want at least one of those hats for our summer adventures. The saris, the crop top and pants, it was print overload, but it didn’t kill, it was fun just the way it was supposed to be. Hemant and Nandita’s collection was called “She’s a Flower Girl”, and it was exactly what they claimed. Pretty, cute and chic girly ensembles strut down the runway. Long frilly skirts, polka dot printed palazzo pants, sexy hot pants, lace cocktail dresses, floral printed sheer high waist skirts, it had it all. Next was designer Pallavi Mohan’s label Not So Serious, I had never been a fan of any sort of work on denims before I saw her show, I liked how there were little details in lace on the cute denim shorts, skirts and more. The collection titled “Board Walk Grit” had a great amalgamation of chiffon, cotton and linens with denim. The ombre dying and patchwork caught my eye. A collection to beat the summer hues. Péro by Aneeth Arora is a brand, you just can’t ignore. There’s something so appealing about the demure yet warm Aneeth. Her show is always a story being unfolded right in front of one’s eyes. You just get so absorbed. The collection titled “Labour of Love” came with small bundle of diaries with fabric cutouts and a bag full of pink and white customised Péro M&M’s. She interpreted the simple ‘Dot’ through various textile techniques. The polka dots were prominently seen! Aneeth known for hand skills, used Kantha work this time. She used local techniques and made it a global collection. Every season I eagerly wait for two designers, Rohit Bal and Wendell Rodricks (this year the former did not showcase but the latter did). A Wendell Rodricks show is not just another fashion show, its an experience. It gives you those slight goosebumps. Wendell is a designer who has never strayed away from his design aesthetics, sensibilities and principles, which makes his label so flawless. His show titled, ‘A Source of Youth’ saw signature Rodricks silhouettes, great emphasis on music, minimum makeup and finishing. It’s nearly impossible for me to ever find a flaw in his collections. I just sat there and gushed.
As much as we all crib about Fashion Week, Day V is a day when we all just don’t want it to end. My day started with cheering for two new designers Josh Goraya and Shweta Kapur!
Josh Goraya, well all I can say is a breath of fresh air! He did sports wear, and he did it so well. I still can’t help but want that backpack! Macaroons are a weakness, and well who doesn’t want one, 431-88 by Shweta Kapur started my day with a sweet note, and how! A perfect fun summer prêt collection! I actually can use perfect, fun, summer and prêt in the same sentence, that’s how fun her show was! With her e-shop, just about to launch, she needs to know, she’s found a client in me already!
We all look forward to the Grand-Finale’s, it is the big show of the season, and everybody is fighting, begging and stealing for passes! A Big Thank You to Malini Agarwal for getting me mine! Ashish Soni did a grand finale like never before, when I say never before I mean, he didn’t have a stall, so nobody really knew what the collection was about, we barely saw Ashish himself, and there was anticipation and eagerness in the air!
Inspired by the 50’s era, Ashish Soni is known for his bespoke fine tailoring and he made sure each garment emphasised that. His inspiration lead to a glamorous stage, live Jazz music, and vocals by Vasundra. It was mesmerising. Women strutted down in tuxedo’s and big bows, flamboyance of the 50’s in the air. It reminded me of the era of Christian Dior and Jeanne Lanvin. It was picturesque and perfect, with a red backdrop, black and white ensembles, polka jots and all the gushing when Anil Kapoor walked in as the showstopper, usually not fond of Bollywood showstopper, but somehow Mr.Kapoor just fit in so well.
And my week ended on a sweet note, thanks to Missisippy Ginger Lemon Cookies, and Roshni Sindhwani (for all the pictures).
Till next time,