India’s first physical fashion showcase after covid-19 hit saw a resurgence of the “more is more” spirit. There was a baffling mash-up of offerings—while some designers chose to showcase spring, summer and resort pieces that had been on their Instagram for months, others sent out couture pieces more suitable for the destination wedding market. Some highlights.
Trans-seasonal offerings: Rahul Mishra conjured up a lush Himalayan landscape brimming with poppies and calla lilies in luscious 3D embroidery. From impeccably cut jackets to floor-sweeping gowns to flirty lehnga skirts, Mishra’s Enchanted Garden was for the individualistic dresser who values timelessness and trans-seasonal dressing. If king of glam Manish Malhotra’s line Diffuse had geometric patterns peppered with metallic details seen on separates like bomber jackets, embossed ensembles, floaty kaftans and balloon pants paired with vests, Pankaj and Nidhi had southern Spain on their mind, with easy breezy separates sheathed in silk organza petals and leaves.
Sustainable chic: The strong athleisure undercurrent saw resort offerings presented with trainers, sling bags and sporty totes. Khanijo and Antar Agni collaborated with adidas Originals, re-imagining sneakers in materials made in partnership with the Parley Ocean Plastic network. While Khanijo recontextualised indigenous textiles, tailoring them in silhouettes and presenting them with a streetwear touch, Antar Agni stayed true to its signature draping techniques with a subtle play of graphics.
An interplay of textiles: Shruti Sancheti’s ALCHEMY had rich, multi-hued Maheshwari in metallic hues and sheer Chanderi in dusty pastels, raw silks and silk from a cluster in Karnataka. The designer trained her focus on danka—a technique from Udaipur, Rajasthan—with a masterful use of German silver diskettes, metallic threads and embellishments. Vaishali S. showcased the fabric manipulation and intricate cord work that has been a hit with global buyers, allowing customers to trace the entire process through Blockchain. Nikita Mhaisalkar zeroed in on the graphic opulence of North America’s Navajo tribe for her collection, Terrain 2022.
Go bold or go home: Nirmooha made a bold statement with poolside ensembles styled with chic organza cover-ups. Always the bellwether in resort-wear, Shivan and Narresh unveiled a sensorial carnival of pieces emphasising techniques such as knitting, crochet and needle lace. In the jewellery space, it was hard to overlook Outhouse’s sensual and look-at-me outing, OH Dopamine—a medley of beads, pearls, resin, seed beads, feathers, rhinestones and enamel.
Closing the fashion week, designers Falguni Shane Peacock sent out a glam-leisure line with 3D-textured shine on bomber jackets, varsity dresses styled with bicycle shorts and sporty chic separates with erotically placed cutout detailing, building their signature sexiness into seams on dresses and separates that shaped and elevated the derrière.
Manish Misra is a fashion writer and digital creator.