At a fashion show recently, knitwear design students presented 25 promising lines

The ramp was long, the auditorium swank and the music hip. The graduating batch of the Knitwear Design department at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Chennai, seemed to know what their future would look like. Knit Moda '11 showcased 25 collections and one brand, promise.

Eighteen weeks of research and design endeavours woven into themed sequences, each collection was distinct from the other. Staged in front of an audience that was more friendly than judgmental, the show saw some valiant experimentation cast alongside silhouettes that toed the rulebook.

The winning collections of the night were Vichitra by Shreya Burman, Transhybrid by Vasudha Kannoujia and Russian Barbies by Roshan Nargis, for their design and creativity.

Fusing a bright palette of green, mustard, brown and red with contemporary motifs, Shreya Burman's collection titled, Vichitra, had an immediate effect on the eye. Caps complementing layered skirts, patchwork designs coupled with bunched up sleeves, and beads of coloured cloth dotting shrugs puffed at the shoulders, the designs were a kaleidoscope of Indian and Bohemian elements.

Calling upon her discipline's strongest techniques, Vasudha's Transhybrid was a parade of knitwear that you could almost believe was yours. She blended creativity with technology to come up with silhouettes that were simple in a palette dominated by dove grey, black, brown and blue. Scarves with pockets were an interesting touch. Seeking inspiration from the famed Maryoshka dolls, Roshan Nargis has captured the swift change from formals to evening wear in her collection, Russian Barbies. In its formal avatar, the models sported broad bows, high-necked blouses and mini skirts, with formal bags. The colour palette was sober black, grey and brown. In one fluid motion, the formals were shed or rearranged to make way for the evening and cocktail dresses.

In a show of 25 collections, there might have been only three clear winners, but there were others that stood out for their creativity, technical soundness or simply for their popularity. Nevin Tom fused paper folding techniques into his creations to attain creases that you would never want ironed out; Deepti Khatri's precise cut and technique held together black and white sides of the same garment, fused into one, yet interchangeable; and Tulika Das' collection was easily loved for its metrosexual theme, baby pink and handbag toting guys and their gimmicks onstage.