The biggest fashion extravaganza of the country — India Couture Week (ICW) — drew to a close on Sunday after five days of serving up baubles and Bollywood on blingtastic sets. In a sea of floorsweeping lehengas, zardozi embroidery and jadau jewellery, we spotted some promising and forward-thinking fashion from the stables of Rahul Mishra and Amit Aggarwal. Here are some highlights from the concluding days of ICW:
The enfant terrible of Indian fashion – Rohit Bal presented Gul-dastah, an offsite show at The Imperial hotel. Bal stuck to his forte of rich fabrics, embellishments and dramatic silhouettes. Fit and flare gowns, lehengas for women, and bandhgalas, jackets and embroidered kurtas for men dominated the collection. In his last couture collection Bal had given the humble rooster a moment in the sun, and this time it was the turn of the flamingoe. Red flamingoes against the backdrop of a white sari was one of the highlights of an otherwise ornate collection. The use of the vicar collar was an interesting way to add drama to the creations. As the collection’s name suggested, there were peonies, tulips, poppies and sunflowers — all a tribute to Bal’s home state Kashmir.
The who’s who of the fashion world were in attendance, along with likes of Rajeev Sethi and Robert Vadra.
Rise and Shine
Given the bridal tone of the ICW, kundan and jadau jewellery were the expected players on the ramp. Refreshingly, Amit Aggarwal’s Crystalis collection featured stunning jewellery designed by him in collaboration with Outhouse by Kaabia and Sasha Grewal. They were a welcome break from the otherwise blingastic presentations. Outlandish and oversized earcuffs, earrings which were inspired from crystalline structures in bold metallic colours were the high point of the collection. They complimented the edgy and highly structured line to perfection. One can safely predict that these will be replicated in fashion bazaars across the country.
Last Curtain Call
Top model Noyonika Chatterjee walked her last show on Sunday evening. Wearing a floor-length black Rohit Bal ensemble, with layered skirts, Chatterjee had her last stride of pride after a career that spanned more than three decades. The 5’11, dusky model, who is now 50 years old and a mother to a daughter, had started her career at the age of 13. Apart from modeling she has trained beauty contestants and choreographed pageants. Over the years, Chatterjee has dispelled many preconceived notions,
including that of age, dusky complexion and also continuing to model after marriage and a baby.
This ICW saw the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) sign up a media house as a sponsor, with President Sunil Sethi’s firm Sunil Sethi’s Design Alliance acting as co-presenter. “There are now fashion weeks – rather, fashion weekends in many towns. But I am not sure they can replicate the authenticity of the ones that we do under FDCI. We chose to tie up with a media partner to help spread the message,” says Sethi. The FDCI itself is also geared up to constitute a new board, which in turn shall decide if a new president shall be brought on board. Sunil Sethi has been the president of the apex body of fashion for the past