Day 1 of Wills India Fashion Week was all about commerce. Designers may be creative but most designers played it safe. Many stuck to their signature styles or went bridal. For the fashion editors, there may not have been much that pushed the envelope but for the buyers, there were plenty of easy safe options to choose from.
It is a mix of the two that makes for an ideal fashion week show- and Tarun Tahilani did just that. It also marked Tarun’s move into jewellery as he collaborates with Azva Jewellers. Bauble was obviously top of mind for Tarun, as jewellery also inspired prints, necklines and motifs. Tarun has always been one of the few couturiers who can translate his signature style into prêt. There was an easy feel to the collection thanks to salwar pants, kedias and dhoti drapes. Starting with a monochromatic palette he moved to teals and ruby red. There were all the signature Tarun elements, chic chikankari, divine digital prints and elegant concept saris. But a cleaner and more paired down approach gave this collection a fresh feel. Perhaps the only criticism was that it could have been edited down—showing nearly 50 pieces, by the end of show, it did drag.
Also having three showstoppers did not help — Shilpa Shetty, Harman Baweja and Ayesha Khanna is perhaps a little OTT!
Kiran Uttam Ghosh has made pleats her signature. Layering has always been her skill. She gave the paisley (a motif you can expect to see a lot of this season) a new twist by placing it around the armhole.
Trousers are something she also played with, cigarette pants being her favored choice. But it was antique gold and rose gold pieces that stole her show. Whether it was a gold pleated herringbone dress or an antique gold paisley embroidered jacket, her combination of Indian crafts with Japanese sensibility injected with a glamorous colour palette made for statement pieces that have a feel of elegant ease. Like Tarun, she kept her collection refreshing by adding a new sense of ease.
Shantanu and Nikhil’s collection looked back to the Victorian era. The duo’s most austere collection to date, perhaps these were the only designers who stepped out of their comfort zone.
Cocktail dresses, lycra saris, high necked blouses, jacket lehengas and drape inspired menswear made for a complete collection. Jamevars added a feel of heritage. A mostly muted colour palette gave the collection a soothing feel, which was heightened by tonal embroidery.
Raakesh Agarvwal and Rina Dhaka stuck to the sexy take on fashion they are known for. The tighter the better, and shimmer that shines was Rakesh’s mantra. Skin show, thigh high boots and bustiers insured, this was all about being risqué.
Vineet Bahl and Anupama Dayal both took the bridal route. Anupama’s bride and bridesmaids were obviously off to a destination wedding. Anupama’s design always has a free spirited allure. Vineet’s collection was full of elegant old world charm. Classic and contemporary is Vineet’s forte.
For too many designers, it was all too obviously about being safe.
Pix: Viral Bhayani for MissMalini