The materials used were silk, French lace, nets and brocade appliquéd on the clothes

Without any Bollywood celebrity in attendance, designer duo Shantanu-Nikhil, known for their soft, romantic designs, unveiled the Gothic bride on the ramp on Saturday, Day 4 of the ongoing PCJ Delhi Couture Week.

With scattered chairs piled up to the ceiling in the background, haunting music, the designers created the right ambiance to present the new age bride in their couture collection tilled ‘She is the One’.

“We are known to have romanticism in our designs but this time we decided to try something different. This collection gives a Gothic feel, which is harsh. Our designs represent the woman of today, who has deeply inspired not only us but the world in all, with her power to withstand the extreme surroundings that constantly put her down. Her avatar as the new age bride is complete as a woman who believes that she has the courage to rule,” said Shantanu.

The models sashayed down the ramp in lehengas, skirts, sarees, long coats with metallic embellishments. The materials used were silk, French lace, nets and brocade appliquéd on the clothes. A lot of metal was used in the garments as well as to accessorize the models. The heaviest of all clothes weighed 15 kg.

The collection had colour palettes of vintage tones of burnt blues with a strong element of gold and finally a dose of black and red. The garments were cringed on the waist and then fell down freely.

“All these colours are clear indicators of her personality that has been tarnished and scrapped by the current socio economic conditions of the world that we live in. The textures, the surfaces and the silhouettes are somewhat harsh like depictive of how we as a community are treating women,” Nikhil said.

When asked if black was the appropriate colour to chose for a bridal collection, Shantanu said, “Indian weddings have become very elaborate and liberal now. It is a five function event. Now-a-days there are even theme weddings, so I don’t think that black is not a wedding colour. May be not on the main day but it could be used for a cocktail or a bachelorette party,” Shantanu added.

Displaying his art deco, pop and wildlife inspired creations, celebrated designer Manish Arora returned to the Indian ramp with a spectacular show and a retrospective of his earlier collections at the Couture Week.

Arora, whose celebrity clientele ranges from singers Katy Perry to Lady Gaga, summed up his favourite pieces from his past three years’ collections at the show last night and also did a retrospective of some of his classic creations which were never before shown in India.

“This was a mix of all my collections from the past three years, my favourite pieces from the Paris Fashion Weeks. Then we also had a number of pieces as a retrospective,” Arora said after the show.

The show itself was a visual spectacle with neon dots as decor and multicoloured lights lining the ramp as models walked through wearing clothes from Arora’s previous collections like Space/Disco, India Pop, Warriors, Graffiti Art, Circus, Baroque and Magic. Mostly in red and black the clothes had various graphic art, embellishments and a considerable use of fur.

“The fur used is real, but its legal and official. I have tried to use mostly natural fabrics, but there is a use of plastic and other materials as well. I am fond of colours so my collections are bright, inspired by various artistes from across the world.

“I am inspired by anything and everything. My ideas are simple but their execution is tough. I made a dress inspired by a butterfly, which took us six months to finish,” said Arora.

The designer, who recently stepped down as the artistic director of French fashion house Paco Rabanne, also made clear the difference between Couture in India and the West.

“There are certain rules of couture in the West. You have to be listed as a couturier. Most of the clothes are handmade and the use of machines is minimal. There is attention to details. But in India, couture is more about designing clothes for festivals,” said Arora.

The designer said showing at the Couture Week doesn’t mean he could now devote more time to India.

“I can’t show in India much often because of time constraints. Also, I don’t do prêt lines so I cannot show at the regular fashion weeks. This couture week was just at the right time, so I decided to bring my collections here,” he said.

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