Shantanu and Nikhil create an experience. Everybody wants to attend a show by them at least once in their lifetime. I’ve been lucky enough to have attended a few, and each time this duo has enamoured me. This time was no different.
The duo presented “The Shadows Within”, the story of Vanessa, for the autumn-winter edition of Wills India Lifestyle Fashion Week. A blend of the Indian culture with western sensibilities, we saw Vanessa narrating her story.
Vanessa has travelled through time, her journey includes the pre-independence era, to the moment this nation gained its freedom. She is elegant, she has seen the times, the ups and downs, she might be slightly conservative, but she’s moving ahead with the changing times. There was a sense of Victorian influence in the collection, yet not compromising on its Indian roots. This being their most muted collection till date, saw lycra saris, cocktail dresses, jumpsuits, high collared blouses, maxis, lehengas with jackets and drape inspired menswear. We saw the use of muted 3-D tonal embroidery, and observed the paisley motif, which added a charm of its own.
This highly toned down collection, saw a an absolutely spectacular colour palette for autumn-winter, which included mostly ivory, dusty pink, and spicy red, which in all added a very soothing feminine feel to the collection. I loved how they incorporated leather, something they had done for their last collection at Wills too, this time going a step further and inducing it more. Shantanu & Nikhil’s garments are for keeps, their finishing was impeccable as always, and you couldn’t spot a thread out of its place. I saw a clutch or two, but what caught my eye were the finger-less gloves, giving a very boudoir feel. With flowy silhouettes, and a mix of silk and cotton, the collection was highly feminine, making women lust, and men clutch on to their wallets tightly. The Mehra’s never let the men go disappointed, their menswear has always been a strong point, infusing the Indian tradition with modern sensibilities this time, we saw some absolutely gorgeous achkans and more.
The duo stepped out of their comfort zone, making this my and many others most favourite show of the day, and one of the best this season. There wasn’t an elaborate set, and there was no showstopper, their creations spoke for themselves, making jaws drop every five seconds. It was literally poetry in motion.
My only little regret is that I couldn’t see the collection up close and personal (for me meaning touching, and feeling an outfit, inside out), because they sold out on day one itself, and by the time I made it to their stall on day two, they were in the process of wrapping up.