The Chennai International Fashion Week opens in style. A report

Fashion's back in all its fury in the capital. It's the return of the Gitanjali Lifestyle Chennai International Fashion Week, with top designers laying down the law about what's in and what's not this season.

The city's own Rehane opened the festivities with her ‘Anatolia' — a collection of short, embellished dresses in solid, earthy tones, set off with intricate work in flamboyant colours such as turquoises and hot pinks. Some of the creations, marked by their accentuated hips, had the flowers of early autumn blooming seductively on them. The showstopper, Udita Goswami, was in a dress of muted golden mesh, with the brocade-like work at the edges setting the shimmer off dramatically. “I was influenced by the colours and spirit of East Europe while making ‘Anatolia,” said Rehane, “and I've tried to keep that alive through my work.”

Then it was the turn of Anuradha Bisani who worked around the theme of ‘Vibrant Colours of India' and brought alive the celebrations in saris in chiffons and sheer fabrics, teamed with blouses with the sheen of silver and metal. There was mirror-work that reflected the lights of the ramp, and brocade that added a traditional élan. Dresses were there too, in dark pinks, monsoon greens and rich purples; all flecked with gold. Rashita Sehra's ‘A Colourful Dream', inspired by the hues of the wild, had primarily gauzy silhouettes, smoky greys and greens, and were stone-embellished and layered.

‘Flowers of My Dream', by Delhi-based designer Rinku Sobti was determined to be different. “We'd been asked to theme our designs for a festive collection, and I decided to see if I could achieve the same look with none of the regular embellishments.” And she did, too. That meant a rich, brooding collection of gowns and short dresses in fabrics as varied as jersey, silk and suede, characterised by laser cuttings and appliqué flowers.

The rest of the evening saw designers Charu Parashar, Claudia Antoniette, and Rahul and Gunjan put their most fashionable feet forward for the city. And as the lights dimmed on the ramp one by one, it was only till the next day, when it would be graced by fashion afresh.

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