Designer Rehane's spin on golden and jewel-toned fabrics for a collection she's showcasing at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week

Fashion Weeks are not new to Rehane. Having participated in national design dos for several seasons, she shows no signs of pre-pageant pressure.

“Please… could I have these things removed when Mr. Bean's sister is here,” she jokes, almost knocking off an intricately-carved knick knack, at Amethyst, where a preview of her collection for the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week is scheduled. Models sashay in and she tweaks some outfits at the last minute.

A fashion risk-taker, the Chennai-based designer revisits the gilded age in “A Gilt Trip”. “This collection is all about the fabric. The minute I saw reams of dull gold fabric, my creativity was stirred. It's a detour from the busy embroidery and eyeball-grabbing colours of my past lines.”

At a fashion walk (choreographed by Sunil Menon) in the laidback ambience of the cafe, models displayed two short sequences — one comprising knee-length dresses and the other featuring tiered gowns cut close to the body. Piping, trims and pin-tucks were the key elements in terms of embellishment. “I did not want to overdo embroidery. Sometimes it looks like it's slapped on the fabric. I wanted the fabric and the styling to stand out. It's quirky the way this mute gold fabric works. From some angles, it looks subtle like khaki. Fitted torso, cinched waists and a full-skirt feel are elemental to beautiful gowns. To beat monotony, I've just added the tiers. They will work as occasion wear.”

Though the usual flower-power and cacophonous colour schemes of her oeuvre (Think Alice or Anatolia) are missing, the East European influence is visible in this line too.

Creating two to six lines a year can be a creatively daunting task. But Rehane says, “I think if you enjoy your work thoroughly, the passion can push you to work and experiment. Fashion Weeks are a good platform to show your creations to a larger audience. Most of my Mid-East clients came as a result of these pageants. And, guess what? My next stop is Paris. Yes, I've been invited to display my collection at a store coinciding with the Paris Fashion Week. It helps to have a global aesthetic. You can cross borders seamlessly.”

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