Anamika Khanna's couture line at her Delhi show was a mix of Indian craft set against a background of very global silhouettes that transcended bridal
The thing about Anamika Khanna is, her clothes, while remaining distinctly Indian in terms of embellishments, finishes and basic silhouette, can be easily envisioned being worn by chic Parisians walking in stilettos on cobbled roads, or fashionable but eccentric Britons who swear by vintage goods in Dover Street market (pardon the stereotyping) with equal respect. She's probably one of the few Indian wear designers whose ideal global scenario transcends big, fat NRI weddings.
Also, when couture in the country — more often than not — has become synonymous with bridal wear, Anamika doesn't blur the lines completely.
White water pipes, erected like pillars, on a widened stark white ramp studded here and there with LED lights, formed the backdrop for Anamika Khanna's show at the Pearls Infrastructure Delhi Couture Week — themed ‘To each his own, a hero'.
Laser-cut jackets came paired with fringed LBDs. A silver fish-scale tunic came paired with a net skirt. As a clever take on the tailcoat there came fitted jackets embroidered at the collar, which met with loud applause from the audience. The gold fabrics (developed in-house) came with a dull greenish tint, lending the garments an it's-there-it-isn't feel of vintage. Draped over a lycra bodysuit was a robe that from the back looked like a structured waistcoat worn over a lehenga. A simple net dress came with origami sleeves.
An off-white lehenga edged with brocade border, reminiscent of the traditional Kerala sari, became gothic when paired with a black fringed blouse. A net poncho went with an embellished lehenga with floral motifs. Also big was the exaggerated shoulder trend. Red was the only bright spot of colour in a black-ivory-beige-gold palette, edging a net sari here or lending festive cheer to an embellished skirt paired with gold sequinned blouse there. All garments came paired with gold or silver wedges. There were a lot of fishnets too. The couture jewellery came courtesy Kolkata-based Raj Mahtani. “It is a very serious collection, where every piece is a hero in itself,” said the designer at the end of the show, dressed in one of her own creations, a crushed silk mono-sleeve blouse paired with high-waisted draped pants and a jewelled neckpiece that seemed ready to bring down her petite frame. “The idea (behind the collection) is to take Indian craft to a global level.”
Explaining the set, Anamika said, “I wanted it to be really modern.” Anil Kapoor played the confident showstopper, dressed in a black sherwani brightened by a conspicuous brooch. Taking the ramp along with him were Lisa Haydon, Amrita Puri and Ira Dubey, the cast of soon-to-be-released Aisha.