The Runway Report

The Runway Report

Fashion can transport you to another culture, or even to a completely different time period. While it represents the best (or worst!) the age has to offer, the culture and the artistry of the time find expression in clothes. The Mughal era or the marriage of tradition with modern was a clear example of that power at the Lakme Fashion Week 2017. Mood of the season? Although we want to say opulence and drama, laid-back and elegance also hogged equal limelight. You can see it all in the following trends and highlights from the show.

From traditional sarees to evening gowns, gleaming yards of tussar to Uppada silk, sparkly sequins to vintage zardozi, ready-to-wear pret to custom-made lehengas, it was all on display. Skipping the zappy music, outstanding sets, starry surprises, and everything that makes a show unforgettable, we present the best looks, cuts, moods, and details that you need to know this season, all in one place.    -- Sumana

Living in the high-paced digital age, we sometimes fail to discern our innate sense of style. We tend to overlook the fact that trends are fickle, but style is timeless. Hence this season, you may want to trade in your skinnies for relaxed bottoms. This is a style for all. Ace the style by balancing these forgiving silhouettes with a blouse or a jacket that hits no lower than the hips. Wear them high-waisted and with a shirt tucked in as they are undeniably wonderful on all.

Designers Monica and Karishma’s 'Amoh by Jade' caught our eye. Made of fine silks and paired with a chic and comfortable pair of Jodhpur pants, this trend was the star of the show. The designers’ 'Aiyana' collection explores and expounds the essence of self-expression, freedom and rebellion, which remain an enigma to many. It implores one to take risks, to be adventurous and to be always true to oneself. Every piece from the collection unfolds a different story that manifests the wearer’s philosophy and notions.

There is something instantly electric about royals and their dress, as the grandiose style offers fine detailing and elegance. It may also be time to hit the history books as you can give the old world charm an urban update. An aristocratic mood is at the centre of this trend, with intricate specifics and dramatic embellishments.

Design motifs like swans, peacocks, flowers, and curvilinear pillars with brackets, pottery, chatteris, semi-circular domes, and triangular khaprel roofs with arabesque designs in a mosaic pattern are a part of royal dressing. The garments can be richly decorated with semi-precious stones, thread, and zari work forming vines and flowers, jaalis and jharokaas embroidered geometrically. Also throw in some scallop details, flirty frills, clean-cut silhouettes, ruffle detailing, and sleek layering.

Here are works of designers Manoj Agarrwal and Anushree Reddy, who aced this trend this season. Manoj Agarrwal is known for his impeccable craftsmanship with the finest detailing in hand embroidery. Deeply inspired by two mighty dynasties – the Mughals and the Rajputs – the designer’s ‘Jodhaa’ collection is a fluent amalgamation of the Mughal’s appreciation for the finer things in life and the Rajput’s love of beauty, elegance, and fine detailing.

He comments, “The inspiration for Jodhaa was so engrained and carefully thought over that it resulted in beautiful Rajasthani weaves with warm tones of saffron, emerald, copper, brown, and henna red. A red veil epitomised each ensemble of the collection.

On the other hand, Anushree Reddy’s collection was a blend of garments narrating a story, starting with easy-to-wear silhouettes, which had interesting new separates going on for every occasion right upto the wedding day. Evocative fabrics like the pure hand woven ahimsa silk, dreamy organza, and pure organic mal mal were applied to add life to the garments. The label’s classic dreamy florals in watercolour hues were also seen recreating the Nawabi era.

Having crafted a label that creates breath-taking, feminine Indian wear with a hint of the Nawabi royalty, Anushree Reddy stun​ned the runway onlookers with her vintage bridal collection titled ‘Niloufer – A Tale of the Beloved Begum of Hyderabad’. Her winter festive collection drew inspiration from the beautiful Princess Niloufer of Hyderabad. Themed on the elaborate royal opulence that harks back to the era of the majestic Mughal empire, the intricate hand embroidery takes strong influences from details ranging from architecture to jewellery. Taking the traditional route this season, Anushree designed beautiful garments with zardozi taking centre stage, translated into contemporary silhouettes.​ ​

“I have taken a departure from habitual silhouettes which are my forte, and emphasized the modern yet steeped in tradition glorious Indian bridal dream. I hope to extend this collection to a woman who likes classic styles and believes in celebrating her big day, whilst staying true to herself, amidst her roots. Niloufer is a perfect offering this season for the AR Bride!” says Anushree.

This season, be inspired by the westernised interpretation of the sari usually worn by princesses of our country to acclimatise to the cold, and windy weathers of London and Paris during their visits, while fully retaining their opulence and glamour. These silhouettes are Western with long overcoats, trench, pea coats with high collars, which show impeccable style.

Imagine these patterns in rich Indian textiles. That is Hyderabad-based designer Sailesh Singhania’s collection ‘The Winter Rose’. It pushes the boundaries on the perception of handwoven textiles by infusing playfulness while tightly retaining the highest quality of the craft of hand weave. The colours are a celebration of festive winters with ruby red, celebratory orange, royal purple, fuchsia pink, emerald green with luxurious vintage gold zari work.

Designer Sailesh Singhania says, “I am paying homage to the princesses with opulent hand woven silk saris and lehengas that lovingly hold in its warp and weft all that was dear to these ‘Beauties with a Purpose.’”

Another interesting mix of current and ancient is Monika & Nidhii’s ‘An Ethereal Romance’ collection, which weaved together modern artistry with old world intricate embroideries. Feminine embellishments and slight sparkle are de rigeur in every trousseau, and this duo does it in calculated measures for the urban nomadic bride and her entourage.

Silhouettes that sparkle as moon dust include voluminous lehengas with cholis, billowing skirts with body hugging corsets and capes, and metallic sarees embellished with shimmer.
These highlight the majestic feminine figures and use of fabric like georgette, tulle, satin, crepes, and organza together.

Showcasing their collection for the first time, designers Monika and Nidhii note, “Our collection will take you in a magical spell of femininity which shimmers all the way to glory. Made to adorn majestic feminine figures, feathers take a life of their own. It takes you to the old world charm combined with modern elegant feminine silhouettes leaving you yearning for more.”

Now think of ensembles inspired by the legends of the Greek and Roman goddesses like Aphrodite, Hera, Gaia, Artemis, and Athena, which celebrate femininity that is strong, individualistic and timeless. Imbuing the different qualities of these goddesses, Nachiket Barve’s collection has a juxtaposition of the feminine and soft detailing, with the toughness and metallic sheen of warriors’ armour.

Greek drapery, the toga, panelled skirts, bias cutting and capes that graze the shoulders form some of the key elements of the collection. His trend stands for modern, progressive design that’s clever yet sustainable, timely yet timeless. The revered olive branch, Juno’s peacock, trellises from the gardens of Byzantine, gilded Greco Roman wreaths, sprays of apple blossoms, and Greek letters form a unique amalgamation that gives identity and a rich visual lexicon to the collection.

Unabashedly unique is the mantra of this season. From eccentric prints and geometric textures to good old Kalamkari and Madhubani art on rich natural fabrics like silk organzas, linens, and crepes came out to play as seen on the runway this season. Art that will make you nostalgic for all the right reasons and spellbinding appliques; this look is all about submitting to frenzy.

A perfect example for ostentatious appliqués is designer Vidhi Wadhwani’s collection, where thousands of tiny 1 cm triangles of fabric in myriad hues which is meticulously appliqued, patched, and quilted together, along with metallic fabrics created intricate 3D geometric textures with a luminous feel. Exuding a playful, eccentric, and luxurious vibe, targeting the experimental and adventurous modern woman of today, this Nagpur-based versatile designer shares, “This being a festive season, we have tried to bring metallic highlights and 3D appliqués but in a more sustainable manner. A lot of new contemporary textures have been introduced as well.”

Hyderabad-based Neha Agarwal and Gaurang Shah have given the kitschiest motifs of Madhubani and Kalamkari art a new spin. For the first time, embroidery, prints and knits have also been used to create uniquely Indian garments with this aesthetic. Each piece is versatile enough to go from day to night and style equally well with crop tops, sneakers or shorts.

Neha Agarwal’s ‘Mithila in Soho’ presents urban evening wear, where each garment was hand embroidered depicting the motifs of Madhubani art, marrying Indian art with modern sporty silhouettes. Neha Agarwal mentions that it is her attempt to take the splendour of traditional Madhubani art to fashion-forward women of 2018.

Give your outfits a scintillating effect created by natural dyes this season. The splash of colours can be extracted from the bark, flower, and root of plants. While the kasaya red can be derived from madder and pomegranate seeds, earthen yellow is from haldi, black can be achieved by mixing iron and jaggery, and moss green by mixing indigo and myrobalan. All these can be blended to produce innumerable shades for Kalamkari.

Gaurang’s​ ‘Chitravali’ brings the grandiose ancient Indian art alive on textiles, using hand-painted Kalamkari, resulting in an enthralling festive gaze. Every aspect of this collection is strong and bold with diverse colour personality. One of the highlights of his inspiration, Gaurang says, is a unique collection of Kanjeevaram silk that is synonymous with celebratory wear. Bright colours are subdued in the natural dyes, yet maintain the richness with archaic temple tales using the korvai weaving technique.

This season, bring back the tutu moments. Lace and frou-frou textures mean many, many different things this season, and there’s no reason to complain! The soft and elegant trend is a mélange of sorbet colours: peach and prosecco, canary yellow, minty melons interspersed with bright pops of calico blues, and reds. Easy fabrics like chambray, schiffly, and tulle dominate the look, with ruffles and frills adding a delicate femininity. Mix prints and embellished textiles ranging from novelty fruits to bold blooms.

Label Ritu Kumar’s Sweet Surrender collection is all about delicate things. Inspired by 18th century French marquise fashion juxtaposed with a deliberate déshabillé look of the 80s, her collection includes soft pastel colour tones and bold, tropical prints. Both eras represent an apotheosis of taste, colours, fabrics, fashion modernity, and refinements in the world. The outfits are a combination of easy fabrics and area fun, flirty yet evocative collection for the young fashion front women of today.

Normcore no more. High-voltage glitz is here to stay. For an evening out, try metallic hints and shimmers on your gown. Memo for those big Friday nights for dressing like a shiny disco ball. Pick from glossy textiles. With this trend, less is definitely more. Restrict the shine to one piece only, and balance it. You can make the sequins age-appropriate by pairing them with sophisticated separates.

Renowned designer duo Falguni and Shane Peacock, along with jewellery design label Farah Khan Fine Jewellery ruled the runway with their collection titled ‘Cassiopeia’, which had inspirations from outer space. They recreated some of that magic and sprinkled some of that amazing dust this season.

You may not head to the moon and return, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress the part. Your palette can include muted pink, nude, caramel, galaxy hues, chrome finished eclipses, and starry ashes. For jewellery, try an exotic mix of intricate necklaces, earrings, rings, and cuffs. They may be encrusted with natural flat diamonds in various shapes, radiant rubies, fiery green emeralds, rubellites to sapphires, citrine, kyanites, amethysts, along with dazzling diamonds that present a quixotic colour palette.

Normcore no more. High-voltage glitz is here to stay. For an evening out, try metallic hints and shimmers on your gown. Memo for those big Friday nights for dressing like a shiny disco ball. Pick from glossy textiles. With this trend, less is definitely more. Restrict the shine to one piece only, and balance it. You can make the sequins age-appropriate by pairing them with sophisticated separates.

Renowned designer duo Falguni and Shane Peacock, along with jewellery design label Farah Khan Fine Jewellery ruled the runway with their collection titled ‘Cassiopeia’, which had inspirations from outer space. They recreated some of that magic and sprinkled some of that amazing dust this season.

You may not head to the moon and return, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress the part. Your palette can include muted pink, nude, caramel, galaxy hues, chrome finished eclipses, and starry ashes. For jewellery, try an exotic mix of intricate necklaces, earrings, rings, and cuffs. They may be encrusted with natural flat diamonds in various shapes, radiant rubies, fiery green emeralds, rubellites to sapphires, citrine, kyanites, amethysts, along with dazzling diamonds that present a quixotic colour palette.