Every year post the annual Delhi Couture Week, I draw out the top couturiers amongst those who showcased. This year too after much deliberations and revisiting the high-resolution images of the creations showcased by the couturiers at the just concluded PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2012, I have drawn out ‘My’ Top 3 Couturiers. The list is in ‘alphabetical order’.
Anamika Khanna’s collection was an absolute treat to the eyes. Her ensembles were not typical Indian Wedding Wear (Wedding Wear dominates our Couture Week) but a nice blend of traditional and modern styles. I loved the intricate texturisation, innovative silhouettes, great assortment of fabrics, amazing colour story and of course perfect tailoring. Scalloped lacy jackets over lehengas and dhotis, the high-collars, the sari-gowns or the magnificent floor-duster coats – all gave a modern touch to traditional Indian ensembles. Sheer Salmon pink dupattas or layerings over ivory coloured ensembles livened up the look dramatically.
Manav Gangwani impressed me with his gowns – be it the monochromatic ones or the more dramatic red ones. I loved the OTT detailing, which I look forward in a Couture show, liked the shapes and above all the fit that is so integral to a couture piece. A couture ensemble has to fit on the model immaculately! The sheer fishnet gown with embroidery concealing the vitals did shock some of my fellow scribes but in a couture show that is more than permissible. The Indian styles were ‘Blingy’ but then that is something Gangwani’s clients love.
Varun Bahl was the first to establish that the ‘colour’ of the season’s gonna be Indigo. The sheer net bodices were absolutely sensual and the placement of embroidery was imaginatively innovative. One look at Varun’s collection and you would understand how vital ‘placement’ of embroidery is. Gradient shading – lighter shades blending in to darker ones – was beautifully used on saris and the contrast coloured embroidery on them beautified them further. I heard the saris are already taken. The use of the colour black gave an uber-chic look to Bahl’s beautiful collection. Classy is the word to aptly define it!
The Day 1 of PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2012 was totally unadulterated fashion. Neither ‘drama queens’ fighting for front-row seats nor ‘Bollywood Stars’ sending the shutterbugs on a frenzy, distracted us. Personally for me it was an ideal atmosphere to enjoy fashion.
Varun Bahl opened the PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2012 and must say it was a nice show. Varun Bahl established the fact that Indian Couture can be stunning without an overdose of ‘Bling’. In fact the absence of ‘Bling’ gave the collection a very ‘classy’ feel. Extensive use of sheer net added sensuality to his well crafted collection. The colour story developed nicely with Indigo, Black and Crimson. Gradient shading – lighter shades blending in to darker ones – was effectively used. The embroidery work was mostly on the border or the hem and occasionally strategically placed on the breast panels and cuffs. Some deft layering added a novelty factor to the collection.
JJ Valaya had his ‘off-site’ show at The Grand Hotel. Little less opulent than what I expected but then high expectation is always the ‘devil’. Valaya showcased his signature Couture line – intricate embroidery work on lehengas, Bling but nothing OTT, long achkans in Chevron pattern with parakeet embroidered on them and some classy empire line maxi dresses in silk-satin were eye-grabbers. Valaya too used shades of Indigo in his collections. Looks like ‘Indigo’ is the colour for the coming Wedding season.
The PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2012 kicks-off today (8th August 2012) at the Taj Palace Hotel with two heavy-weight designers – Varun Bahl and JJ Valaya. Bahl calls his couture collection – India, Nouveau - and attempts to merge the classic evergreens of old India with the outlook of modern Indian dressing tastes.
JJ Valaya, a master of opulence is doing an off-site show at The Grand Hotel. When I asked if the show is indoors or outdoors, Valaya said, “It is both indoors and outdoors.” Expect some real grandeur at Valaya’s.
The one big problem plaguing the Indian Fashion Industry is that it has to deal with some Fashion Retailers who often don’t understand fashion. Take the case of Mumbai’s one of the best Indian Designer wear store – D 7 at Turning Point Building on Khar – Danda Road. D7 is a unique concept store represented by seven of Delhi’s leading designers and brands that include Ranna Gill, Namrata Joshipura, Nidhi & Pankaj Ahuja, Rabani & Rakha, Rajesh Pratap Singh and most recently Rohit Gandhi & Rahul Khanna who have yet to launch. Tulsi by Neeru Kumar has recently moved out of D-7 after Manish Arora.
Rohit Gandhi & Rahul Khanna have taken up space at D-7 when Manish Arora vacated the space. Why did Manish and Neeru vacate? Simply because the aesthetics and style sense of other five designers are very different from that of Manish Arora and Neeru Kumar, who didn’t do good business from D-7. They were the odd-ones there.
Now the Landlord has bee rather unprofessional in opting for Ankur and Priyanka Modi’s AM:PM instead of Varun Bahl for the space vacated by Neeru Kumar. Varun Bahl’s aesthetics gel in with the aesthetics of other designers at D-7, which means good business for all but thanks to AM:PM’s offer of premium rent, landlady is adamant in signing them on.
But last I heard that the occupants of D-7 are backing up Varun Bahl and would stick together to have him there than AM:PM, and would walkout en-masse if Madam doesn’t budge. If that happens, the loss would be Mumbai’s that don’t really have any good store retailing good Indian Designer Wear!
Folks I have some real spicy news for you from the ongoing Men’s Week in Delhi.
Varun Bahl was very upset with a journalist of a National Daily because the scribe did the interview with him on the K JO+Varun Bahl collection for VHIMW but when the story appeared it was all about Karan Johar. We all know that the label K Jo+Varun Bahl has creative inputs of Varun and charisma of K JO. But it is sad that the media is so Bollywood struck these days that anything beyond Bollywood becomes insignificant. Varun Bahl is definitely justified to be angry. The scribe could have interviewed Karan Johar instead.
Media concluded that Robert Vadra was the muse for Ashish Soni’s look at the VHIMW. You know why? Well because the models wore a pencil line moustache that had resemblance with Robert Vadra’s moustache. Ashish Soni is rather flummoxed and laughed it off. But just think how stories are created by media. India’s First Family’s Son-in-Law is the muse of Fashion Designer made a great story so they created it. Any other moustached buddy of Ashish Soni wouldn’t have made such headlines.