This weekend, eight designers present a cocktail of high fashion

The past has always enchanted the fashion world, with designers inspiring from vintage style statements. But retro is no longer a buzzword and the very mention of hippie chic of 70s or 80s rock can set in a sense of déjà vu. What holds sway now is a blend of old and new. This weekend, look out for city-based designer Asmita Marwa and Mumbai-based designer duo Shantanu-Nikhil giving a contemporary spin to vintage style statements. As part of Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2012, eight designers will present their collections ranging from autumn/winter and festive wear to universal outfits that will work through different seasons.

Asmita Marwa’s collection ‘La Vie En Rose’ is her way of looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses. Inspired by the Woodstock era, she draws elements of late 60s and early 70s. “That was a time when peace, freedom of expression and music defined people’s lives. For me, it spells hope at a time when we are grappling with recession and corruption,” she says. On the ramp, expect flowy dresses, maxis with polka dots and batik prints that were synonymous of the era. “I’ve used silks, chiffons and cottons. It’s a fun, young line,” says Asmita.

Shantanu and Nikhil’s ‘Romantic Renaissance’ is a bridal line pays an ode to understated luxury of 50s and 60s. The duo has a loyal clientele for bridal wear in Hyderabad. “We’ve used Mughal embroidery and appliqué work with emphasis on textures and layers. The lehengas are contemporary with the use of lace. Layered scarves and short, fitted jackets are also part of the collection,” adds Shantanu. The line is a pre-cursor to the outfits that the duo will present in their flagship store to be launched in Hyderabad this November.

Also focusing on the bridal market are Falguni and Shane Peacock with their ‘Peacock Bride’ line. Expect flared lehengas, saris with sexy cholis in deep reds, fuchsia and bright colours, worked upon with crystals and feathers. The line meets requirements of pre-wedding and post-wedding functions apart from bridal wear in nets, chiffon and satin. Tasselled shoulder corsets and tiered frilled net gowns are also part of the collection.

Raghavendra Rathore departs from heavy winter/festive wear to introduce ‘Club Jodhpur’. “This line is positioned between couture and prêt. Priced affordably, the show will begin with denims in myriad of colours and progress towards embroidered outfits for festive season,” says Rathore. His line primarily consists of menswear with a few garments for women. “Instead of my staple bandhgalas, you will see achkans and dhotis/lungis combined with jackets. Akshay Kumar wore a few garments from this line for OMG! Oh My God,” adds Rathore.

All that’s black

Neeta Lulla’s collection ‘The Dark Side’ will take advantage of winter to present a line in black. “I’ve drawn inspiration from baroque and gothic style statements. It’s a synergy of Indian and western sensibilities,” says Neeta. Cocktail dresses and coats styled like kurtas are part of the collection made from cotton, cotton silks and nets. “I’ve also used kalamkari and zardosi,” adds Neeta.

At the other end of the spectrum, Gavin Miguel feels winter doesn’t call for dark hues. His collection ‘Stairway to Heaven’ will have evening gowns and cocktail dresses in pastel shades. “The idea came from my two-year-old daughter who likes lighter shades,” says Gavin. The designer feels pastels are not the staples of spring/summer. “We don’t have extreme weather in most parts of India. I have previously tried softer shades for autumn/winter and received good response,” he says. The evening gowns and cocktail dresses will be in shades of baby pinks, salmon pinks, lemon yellows, mint greens and a showstopper gown in pure white.

Vikram Phadnis will present a line that’s luxurious, with an ornate sense of design. Skirts, kalidaars teamed with bundis and jackets, dupattas and stoles with tassels and gota work are part of his line.

Nandita Mahtani, on her part, will play on her strength — relaxed, resort wear. “I haven’t named my collection. I’ve designed multi-purpose outfits that women can wear at resorts, cocktail evenings or as cover-ups on beach wear,” says Nandita. She has used georgettes, chiffons and satins in a range of shades, from metallic to black and white to candy colours, embellished with sequins, beads, stones and chains.

The fashion tour will be held at N Convention on October 13 and 14.

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