Day 2 was all about generation next. Many of the designers who showed may have been in the industry for less than ten years but showed maturity beyond their years. Of course the star of the day was Rahul Mishra! The recent winner of the International Woolmark prize (following in the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent) showed a collection that combined craft & effortless style.
Rimzim Dadu and Kallol Datta both showed after taking a break. Both made collections true to their aesthetics but that were more market savvy. Rimzim is well known for her shredding techniques, her clothes often feel like installations. Her collection was payola inspired, used leather and chiffon in innovative stripes. This is Rizmim’s USP, but paired down silhouettes made this collection more wearer friendly. She even showed saris for the first time.
Kallol Datta’s Paranoia Pronoia collection had made his shapes longer and leaner than before. This helped make his clothes more wearable. He is about the dark side of fashion, and while this has not changed, the over eerie feeling had gone maybe thanks to his use of blood red. And of course Kallol ensured he had the last word with his last piece listing these words on the back – crop top, peplum, cut-out, which are the trends of the season. Since his collection is not for fashion victims, he is allowed to have a laugh at those who fall into the fashion trap.
Anand Bhushan obviously has science top of mind as his collection looked at DNA under the microscope. Full of surface ornamentation, there were lots of longer styles in his show. Anand has realised that he has many Middle Eastern buyers and that length is what they want. His pieces with pearls and crystals where his strongest. It is the first time Anand has gone the crystal route- again because this is what the market craves.
Nachiket Barve’s collection was called MAIA and in New Zealand native Maori language it means confidence, courage and bravery. Nachiket sure has all of these as this textile and craft expert showed he could do urbane sophisticated glamour. The Tatoo was the central theme. It was right on trend using capes, fringe, leather, cut outs and boxy tops. This being his most dressed up collection to date, he showed a new confidence.
The one to watch
Rahul Mishra was probably the show that whole industry had their eyes on. This master craftsman has understood how to make clothes with an Indian sensibility look international. As complicated as the techniques are that Rahul uses, he makes them look simple. He uses french knots to look like Bandhini, badhini to look like a digital print and makes merino wool seem as light as jersey. A colour palette that is always subtle, be it yellows that quietly become ivory or purples that move into black- there is nothing simple about what Rahul does, yet he makes it look effortless! As he combines his love of innovating craft with shapes that are easy to wear- be it a peplum jacket, cocktail dress or a shift. Geometry and landscape were inspirations as are lotuses and other flora. Opposites attract and that is the true beauty of Rahul’s aesthetic. It is no wonder that Rahul is the first designer at Wills India Fashion Week this season to receive a standing ovation, including from his colleagues seated in the front row like Rohit Gandhi, Tarun Tahiliani, Gaurav Gupta and more.