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The looks at Wills India Fashion Week

Gardens bloom, Satya Paul gets a makeover and Bollywood actresses walk the runway at Delhi’s fashion week

  • Actress Gauhar Khan at the designer Joy Mitra show at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week-2013 in New DelhiImage Credit:
  • Jacqueline Fernandez, Isha Gupta and Siddharth Malhotra walk for Manish Malhotra at Wills Lifestyle India FashImage Credit:

Bollywood brigade at Manish Malhotra

Malhotra opted for young actors including Sidharth Malhotra, Esha Gupta and Jacqueline Fernandez to showcase his collection titled ‘Threads of Emotions’ at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW).

Malhotra received the most cheers from the audience, especially girls who hooted his name from every corner.

“Esha, Jacqueline and Sidhartha are young, energetic and spirited and my collection is about these three things,” said Malhotra after the show when asked why he opted for those faces. “Every actress that I have styled and has walked the ramp for me is special to me. It is very hard to choose one star. But if I had to, then I would say Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra,” Malhotra told IANS.

The designer paid an ode to Phulkari embroidery from Punjab.

“Last two years I promoted Kashmir thread and zari work and chikankari from Mijan, a small village in Uttar Pradesh. WIFW is just the beginning. The idea is to focus on craftsmanship and showcase it to various fashion weeks by roping in celebrities, thus making it more popular,” he said.

The collection consisted of saris, anarkalis, floor-length anarkalis and angarakhas. For men, there were bandhgalas and structured clothes. The fabrics used were georgette, net and raw silk.

Tahiliani takes inspiration from fakirs

Saffron-clad sadhus at the just concluded Mahakumbh inspired Tahiliani’s show on Thursday, Kumbhback, which saw models in sensual drapes and structured dresses in red, saffron and orange.

Although his collection was inspired by sadhus, the designer maintained his signature style of drapes and the men’s and women’s collections -- in silk, velvet, cashmere, cotton and net -- were high on style and glamour with Indian aesthetics.

“I love draping. However, nowadays since we are lost in western clothing, we drape less. I have always loved the thought of using drape techniques in my clothes,” said Tahiliani, who visited Mahakumbh in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh in January.

“I went to the Kumbh to see how sadhus and fakirs drape, and it was stunning and this collection is an extension of my experience. I have always been inspired by structured drapes and this time we did in much more focused way,” he added.

The show started with a live performance of Sounds of Isha, Isha Foundation’s own band, which presented spiritual and mystical music that blended well with the theme of the collection.

“Ever since I heard their music, I was mesmerised. I have been to Isha Ashram and I think this was the right time to involve them with my show,” said the designer.

“Fashion is meant to represent our time and our era as I believe in living in reality. My collection is not dressy, but modern. These are all separates and one can mix and match accordingly. There are as many as 150 separates (garments) and I believe that people can make 700 looks out of them. So we are creating separates to look different,” he said.

His collection included saris and lehengas, which he feels can be used as separates.

“I am always looking for new things because as we are becoming modern, Indians shouldn’t stick to Indian wear in terms of costumes. Indians should go for contemporary look because then I think people will wear more of it,” said the designer.

Preity Zinta walks ramp for Surily Goel

“Surily is one of my favourite designers. She is a versatile designer. She intelligently experiment with fabrics and threadwork and truly knows what works best with the women,” Zinta said.

She opted for a black off-shoulder gown because it goes well with her personality. “It’s bold, classy and very feminine,” Zinta said.

The 38-year-old actress admitted that she likes wearing Western outfits more than ethnic. “I usually wear Western outfits like jeans and tees at home, gowns at the formal events and short dresses when I go out with friends.”

“I always look forward to Surily’s designs as they are perfect mix of right colours, fabrics and designs,” she said.

Preity’s forthcoming film “Ishkq in Paris”, which was supposed to be released in November 2012, is still in its post-production stages.

“I can’t disclose the dates as of now but it will release soon,” said Zinta.

Masaba gives Satya Paul youthful makeover

Masaba Gupta, who opened the autumn-winter edition of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) on Wednesday with her debut collection for Satya Paul, says she has given a makeover to the signature styles of the brand by creating ensembles for youngsters.

“The inspiration for the collection was young girl who loves colour, fun and quirkiness - she is called SP girl,” said Masaba, daughter of actress Neena Gupta.

“The clientele of Satya Paul so far has been someone who is older, so we tried to reposition the brand with the collection that is meant for young girls,” she added.

Masaba took charge as creative director of Satya Paul late last year and showcased her collection for the brand for the first time.

Known for her quirky prints, the designer used architectural designs on the saris, asymmetrical gowns and knee-length dresses.

“There were a lot of quirky prints and each design signify something about the women’s journey,” she said and added that for instance, lipstick signifies glamour.

“The telephone booth signifies the wait in girls’ life. So every print signifies the constant change in girls’ life,” she said.

“Satya Paul always go with very earthy colours and at the same time very quirky, but we went to different colour palettes. We are not going with old signature Satya Paul, we are showing different varieties to it,” she said.

As expected, the curiosity was high and some known faces including Mandira Bedi and Saba Ali Khan cheered the designer.

“Masaba is a dear friend. Last year, I walked for her, but this year I have just come to see her collection. I own a lot of Masaba’s collection. It perfectly reflects my persona. It’s bold, bright and lively,” said Bedi, wearing a white-black Masaba sari.

Abraham & Thakore’s modern bride

Ignoring floral shades like green, yellow and orange for subtle colours like dark reds, pinks, blacks and mustards, designer duo Abraham & Thakore’s collection ‘Shaadi Redux’ went beyond the usual for the modern bride

“We have looked at the Indian wedding dressing sense from a modernist perspective. Today a modern bride wants to look different. It’s the perfect wardrobe collection of a modern-day bride,” said Abraham, as the duo showcased the collection Friday evening.

“There’s this long pleated lehenga worn with a tailored top, or a stylish fitted skirt worn with a short blouse,” he said.

The collection included saris, skirts, jackets, kurtas and formal coats.

Abraham said that he used a lot of pure silk and brocade. “Zari cutwork has been done extensively on the garments. Apart from this, we have also done badla embroidery, gold zari work, tussar brocade with badla cutwork, and thread work,” he added.

The designers started working on the collection five months ago. “We completed graphics and paperwork by December and then began with the tailoring. Lot of complicated weaving techniques have been involved. Like weaving the jaals (net designs) using pure Jakarta fabric was tough. But we did it,” he said.

The designers haven’t yet fixed the prices. “It’s still in progress. We are so tired but finally we did it,” he said.

Reynu Taandon gets bold and beautiful

A tribal woman moves to New York, walks with poise and is ready to face the world. Designer Reynu Taandon beautifully narrated the story with her collection, Urban Goddess on Friday, at a show packed with socialites and buyers who cheered and applauded throughout. The collection is divided into two categories, resort and casual wear, comprising loosely fitted silhouettes like kaaftans and kurtas, and evening gowns.

Garden colours -- greens, reds, oranges, purples, yellows, blues, pinks and browns -- featured in resort, while for the evening wear she used black and gold.

“I had the concept clear in my mind since the beginning. I had gone to Paris recently. I have presented some of the creations there also. I have mostly used pure georgettes, velvets and nets. A lot of thread work has been done. The black evening gowns are embellished with gold leather leaves to indicate that the woman has not forgotten where she has come from,” said Taandon of her collectionm priced from Rs.15,000 to Rs.50,000 and beyond.

Gauhar walked, danced on ramp for Joy Mitra at WIFW

Bollywood actress Gauhar Khan walked for designer Joy Mitra on Friday in a collection that was a tribute to Indian cinema. Looking stunning in multi-coloured lehenga embellished with zardozi, Khan said: “I feel beautiful in the creation. I feel so ladylike. It’s stylish, attractive and wearable. It’s light-weight and really suits my personality.”

The 31-year-old, who has worked in films like “Rocket Singh: Salesman of The Year” and “Game”, added: “I would love to wear the dress to an engagement party or even at my sister Nigar Khan’s wedding. Joy is a dear friend, I love his work. I am glad he made me wear such a nice dress. It’s my mother’s birthday today, but I am here for him to celebrate his success.”

However, she was “little nervous before the show”. “I had elephants in my stomach instead of butterflies. I wanted to add the fun, so I danced a little just for the fun,” she confessed.

The actress, who participated in the dance reality show “Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 3”, and scorched the big screen in songs like “Jhalla wallah” in “Ishaqzaade” and “Parda” in “Once Upon A Time In Mumbai”, is passionate about dancing.

“I love dancing and music, especially to Bollywood music. Give me any song and I will start grooving then and there,” said Gauhar.

Shantanu-Nikhil’s traveller

For their show Thursday, the ramp was converted into a desert to showcase a mix of Indian and Western garments for women, and for the first time, men, with pieces including ne-piece short dresses, long, flowing evening gowns, embroidered anarkalis, saris and lehengas, sherwanis, jackets, dhotis and kurtas. The accessories included luxurious travel bags.

“We have taken inspiration from one of the most amazing works of [Kuwait-based Palestinian artist] Tarek Al Ghoussein that beautifully interprets the sand dunes,” said Shantanu.

“Our collection shows journey of a traveller in the desert who is waiting to reach his final destination.”

Wool, lycra, organza, leather, textured silk, French knots and nets were treated with cutwork, laser work and layering.

“We launched here our menswear collection. We feel Indian men have come close to being a fashionista but they don’t get many opportunities. Therefore, we have created cotton jackets for men on which we have done layering by using pashmina. One can also find layering done on the kurtas and sweaters,” he added.

Nikhil revealed that they have also launched a new line of bags.

“Carrying a luxurious bag with sophisticated yet simple dress was our idea for the show.”

Models also wore sunglasses.

“Oh that’s Mahatma Gandhi style sunglasses! It’s very much in vogue. Go buy them,” Shantanu said.

Shantanu added that the latest trend will be pencil-fitting saris for women.

“You don’t have to wear a petticoat. It’s a blouse and pencil-fitted leggings and a silhouette draped over it. It looks awesome,” he added.

Hemant-Nandita’s garden hues

Delhi-based designer duo Hemant and Nandita took inspiration from nature with body hugging, graphically printed one-piece short dresses and skirts in garden colours.

“Last season, we had a floral collection. This time we have tried to copy varied textures of woods and plants,” said Hemant.

“We started working on the collection around six months ago. We visited various gardens across the city like Lodhi Garden, Buddha Garden, Hauz Khas Village. We clicked pictures of trees and plants and then graphically or digitally printed the texture on the fabrics.”

The designer duo has mainly used heavy crepe fabric, which they had imported from China. They also made good use of cutwork and multi-coloured designer laces.

“If we talk about techniques, then we have just focused on the cutworks. It’s something I feel will never go out of the trend,” said Nandita.

“When you create fitted silhouettes, cutwork should be done very carefully otherwise it can ruin the dress. With loose flowing silhouettes, cutwork should be kept minimal,” she said.