Tarun Tahiliani's Mahakumbh-inspired collection breathedsome life to Day Two of WIFW
The master of drape got a reference point that couldn’t have suited him better. Tarun Tahiliani, showcasing “The Kumbhback Collection” took a cue from the sadhu drapes of the Mahakumbh to present a line that drew from his strengths while making a few additions.
With a focus on separates, the ready-to-wear Autumn/Winter 2013 line on Day Two of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week here came up with pieces like the kedeo-inspired organza jacket, a draped gilet (paired with a sari) that looked like a shawl wrapped around one’s shoulders, stitched bandhej saris, among others. Accessories were used cleverly, like cloth hair pieces that looked like shrunken saffron turbans, sequinned purses that took after the kamandal that the sadhus use, and thick-strapped mannish sandals.
It was with a feeling of deja vu that one watched Samant Chauhan’s show. It’s easy to like the Bhagalpur silk that Samant has turned into a USP, as well as the minimal usage of dyes. The ‘Rajputana’ theme that he got going two seasons ago this time came as ‘Rajputana Bikers’, where he sought to mix ‘biker elements’ like leather jackets, with the panels that characterise Rajputana ‘poshak’.
The show did start off that way – with the backless jackets paired with a digital print skirt, and the digital tyre print that came on the trousers matched with a jacket with embroidered sleeves. The biker, however, sped away a bit too soon, taking one to what could be a line from six months ago.
Urvashi Kaur, with whom Samant shared the show, titled her nomadic collection “Fez”, incorporating elements of tie-and-dye and rouching. The highlight of the show remained the live performance by Delhi-based band Space.
The previous day’s highlights came towards the end. Pankaj & Nidhi has become a label to watch out for – a riot of colour that’s controlled at the same time, a showcase of new techniques in every show (like Sashiko, a Japanese quilting technique, and Wycinanki, the Polish art of paper-cutting, in previous showings). “The Music Box”, their Autumn/ Winter 2013 collection, had a print story based on musical instruments like the guitar, violin and piano. (The ramp was covered with piano-print vinyl.) It made a lot of commercial sense too. For those who might not be that inclined towards bold prints, the Baroque period was another point of reference, and there were many easy separates. Silhouettes remained clean and lean, and those included mid-length dresses, mullet-hem jackets (in merino wool), pencil skirts and peplum tops. Prints were also strategically used, like the necks of the guitar on a peplum giving the impression of separate panels. Surface detailings included crewel embroidery, trapunto quilting and applique. The coloured leather pieces, too, stood out.
Namrata Joshipura’s “Wings of Desire” was her take on luxe sportswear. Collection notes emphasised on the introduction of new materials like neoprene, polytex and glazed micro-fabric, which came on pieces like sweatshirts, tops and pant suits, respectively. Alongside the sequin embellishment the label is known for – more grungy than bling – there was leather “wing” applique. Sportswear details were subtle – like the ribbed cuffs on a black-gold dress. Here again, there was a lot of leather. In a previous interview the designer spoke about that balance that a fashion designer needs to achieve between experimenting and retaining the label’s core elements. In that way, the collection articulated that point of view.