Editor’s Picks: 8 Best Collections From Amazon India Fashion Week AW18

Meriam Ahari , 20 Mar 2018
Honor 9 Lite presents Nitin Bal Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Nitin Bal Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi

Something was missing at Amazon India Fashion Week’s Fall 2018 presentations. Namely, it’s people. Usual suspects like Amit Aggarwal, Rajesh Pratap Singh and Hemant & Nandita were absent from the roster of shows exhibited at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Perhaps, Indian designers are jumping onto the worldwide sartorial bandwagon of forgoing runway shows for a more cost-effective approach. Whatever the reason, it was clear that fashion’s key players (big-name bloggers and editors of major publications included) decided to pass on the need to see and be seen.

Another surprise lay in the venue’s monochrome aesthetic. The all-black scenery gave the style set little to work with in terms of documenting their street style. A far cry from last season’s photogenic industrial displays and vibrant backdrops. After all, in today’s age—If you didn’t post it, did you even wear it?

At the entrance, guests were greeted by an army of statues—Identical black and white minion-like fashion troopers. Not sure what the reasoning was behind FDCI’s need to eradicate any traces of colour, but coincidentally, designers seemed to have gotten the memo. A majority of the shows presented collections solely in black and white. Even the designers known for their vivid use of the spectrum—like Anupamaa and Wendell Rodricks—showcased lines that were predominately (if not entirely) all white.

So, what was trending at AIFW? Definitely not colour. Instead, black and white palettes, pleats, thigh-high boots and velvet (in everything from clothes, to shoes and bags) made themselves heard. The emphasis was not on unique and innovative silhouettes, but rather the detailed construction of garments.

Here are 8 collections that resuscitated Fall 2018’s Ready-to-Wear:

1) Samant Chauhan

Samant Chauhan’s familiar ladylike dresses repackaged in new fabrics and embroidery were enough to appease his fans. However, Samant tackled the difficult task designers often face of marrying core brand aesthetics with new offerings in order to avoid predictability. Adding to his prim-and-proper mix was a funkier pinafore layered over a classic white button up. Still elegant, but with a bit of edge.

The designer often looks to the past for inspiration, referencing the Victorian era (and the medieval ages last season). Yet, his styles resonate perfectly with today’s modern woman. Take for example the demure strapless gown with a glittering beaded bodice. The well-constructed ruffles on its skirt seemed to be draped without rhyme or reason, but the result was tidy.

The final lineup of all-black styles provided plenty of LBD options for the reserved type. Even more notable was Samant’s menswear. It wasn’t the models’ striking salt-and-pepper beards or hipster man buns that made these distinguished men look so edgy. It was their black kurtas, Jodhpur pants, and lungis layered under long jackets that bode so well on the runway—And would in any urban environment really.

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Samant Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Samant Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Samant Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Samant Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Samant Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Samant Chauhan at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi.
Samant Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Samant Chauhan at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi.
Samant Chauhan at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Samant Chauhan at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Samant Chauhan at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Samant Chauhan at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Samant Chauhan at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Samant Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Samant Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18
Samant Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18
Samant Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18


 

2) Gauri & Nainika

If there’s one thing Gauri & Nainika do best, it’s providing just the right amount of drama. In true opulent fashion, models in black and white gowns radiated with red carpet glamour as they sauntered down a runway covered entirely in loose silver glitter.

In fact, many of these brazenly feminine frocks would have fared well at the Golden Globes, alongside the #TimesUp movement where celebrities wore only black on the red carpet to protest sexual harassment prevalent in the industry and elsewhere. Gauri & Nainika’s flattering full skirts, oversized 3D hand embroidered flowers, and extravagant ruffles are award ceremony no-brainers for Bollywood celebrities.

Actress Vaani Kapoor walked the ramp in a Dynasty-style dress with 80s cream puff-shoulders that would have given (original Dynasty actress) Joan Collins a run for her money. Other guaranteed grand entrances include two cream silk organza high-low tops (one with an exaggerated bow at the shoulder) that were worn over shorts for an unconventional eveningwear look à la Kendall Jenner.

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Nexa presents Ashish N Soni with Gauri & Nainika at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
GAURI & NAINIKA at AIFWAW18 in New Delhi
GAURI & NAINIKA at AIFWAW18 in New Delhi
Vaani Kapoor walking for Nexa presents Ashish N Soni with Gauri & Nainika at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Gauri & Nainika at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
GAURI & NAINIKA at AIFWAW18 in New Delhi
Nexa presents Ashish N Soni with Gauri & Nainika at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
GAURI & NAINIKA at AIFWAW18 in New Delhi
Nexa presents Ashish N Soni with Gauri & Nainika at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Ashish N Soni with Gauri & Nainika at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
GAURI & NAINIKA at AIFWAW18 in New Delhi
Vaani Kapoor walking for Nexa presents Ashish N Soni with Gauri & Nainika at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Gauri & Nainika at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18
Gauri & Nainika at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18
Gauri & Nainika at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18


3) Sahil Kochhar

One of the most breathtaking collections at AIFW was Sahil Kochhar’s “CHITR” line inspired by artist Ayumi Takahashi. Sahil’s laser-cut suede appliqué (both machine and hand embroidered, with the latter taking up to one week of labour for a single garment) was a spot on interpretation of Ayumi’s paper cut images.

Viewing the collection up close at the designer’s stall was akin to wandering an art gallery, pausing in front of each design to admire the thought and effort behind it. Sahil’s silhouettes were fairly simple, and thank goodness for that—The piecey construction and dizzying handwork alone are enough to overwhelm even the most skilled patternmaker. The designer’s signature peplum and tulip shapes were stitched together like a paint-by-numbers—Each garment consisting of patchwork in velvet, corduroy, and organza.

The label is fast becoming known for it’s textured surfaces. Sahil attributes his success to the brand’s “constant effort to add luxurious finishing details to garments with our signature serrated edging and piping that we love doing.”

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Sahil Kochhar at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in Delhi
Sahil Kochhar at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in Delhi
Sahil Kochhar at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in Delhi
Sahil Kochhar at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in Delhi
Sahil Kochhar at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in Delhi


4) Nitin Bal Chauhan

Nitin Bal Chauhan is somewhat of an anomaly. His label consists of two verticals—One being Nitin Bal Chauhan Edge. Edge is considered the more experimental and avant-garde part of his brand. Closet staples like checked blazers and vests were reimagined—as though from a dreamlike subconscious—into high fashion garments with displaced seam lines, oversized shapes, and shifted pockets and plackets. “This complex combination of draping and creative pattern making was challenging. To combine volume and structure was interesting and exciting,” shared Nitin. The designer’s Edge collection may not be considered as revolutionary with the international crowd (after all, Junya Watanabe, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto have all been there and done that), but a lot can be said of Nitin who went out on a limb presenting such a radical collection in India.

As every “starving artist” has learned, high fashion doesn’t always pay the bills. That’s why he created his second vertical Nitin Bal Chauhan Fusion which offers soft dresses and fluid tunics with more wearable handwork. While Edge is meant for “a bold woman who wants to power dress herself in sharp western wear,” Fusion is perfect for the “classy woman who is comfortable showing her feminine side,”explains the designer. It turns out, Fusion is just as artsy as Nitin’s Edge vertical. Each embroidered and beaded design is created from a blueprint that Nitin hand-drew himself—Whimsical figures of women with free-flowing locks, vintage perfume bottles and antique cameras. From the excitement he drew at AIFW, we hope Nitin continues to go against the tide as India’s non-conformist vanguard.

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Nitin Bal Chauhan at AIFWAW18 In New Delhi
Honor 9 Lite presents Nitin Bal Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Honor 9 Lite presents Nitin Bal Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Honor 9 Lite presents Nitin Bal Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Honor 9 Lite presents Nitin Bal Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Nitin Bal Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18
Nitin Bal Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18
Nitin Bal Chauhan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18
Nitin Bal Chauhan Fusion Line
Nitin Bal Chauhan Fusion Line
Nitin Bal Chauhan Fusion Line
Nitin Bal Chauhan Fusion Line


5) Pallavi Mohan

Pallavi Mohan described “Winter Dahlia” as her “most glamorous collection to date” and we could not agree more. Luxe fabrics of georgette, tulle, silk, leather, and velvet where given utmost texture with touchable embellishments like ostrich feathers, tactile sequins, laser cut appliqué and heavy wool embroidery. One impressive “mermaid” gown was covered entirely in large, iridescent sequins that cascaded into an ombré spectrum of aqueous shades. Pearly organza embellished with hot pink and bright emerald green beading provided a rich contrast. Styles ranged from a poet blouse with large pussy bow, sexy long slip with a thigh-high slit, embellished blazers, and flirty cocktail dresses. Accessorising the styles with berets, opera gloves, and velvety thigh-high boots lent Parisian vibes.

The outcome was charismatic, mysterious and decadent. Even more so when little girls walked the ramp, holding hands with the older models to show off their charming “Mommy & me” matching outfits. Pallavi described the multifarious collection as “headstrong with a strong point of view that challenges the very idea of anything being constant.” What’s more bewitching than a designer (or any woman) who’s sure of exactly who she is?

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Not So Serious by Pallavi Mohan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Not So Serious by Pallavi Mohan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Not So Serious by Pallavi Mohan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Not So Serious By Pallavi Mohan at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Not So Serious By Pallavi Mohan at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Not So Serious By Pallavi Mohan at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Not So Serious by Pallavi Mohan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Not So Serious by Pallavi Mohan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Not So Serious By Pallavi Mohan at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Not So Serious by Pallavi Mohan at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi


6) ILK

Ilk’s autumn/winter collection called for closer inspection. While their styles looked fantastic on the runway, it wasn’t until they were examined up close that one could see how spectacular the detailing. For example, what appeared as a perfectly palatable pinstripe suit was in fact, not printed stripes, but yellow cord that was hand fed into a machine to embroidered straight lines onto khadi fabric. The 3D pinstripe gave an otherwise basic fabric “an urban look by adding handmade texture onto it,” shared Shikha (one half of the designer duo). What seemed like basic fringe on the ramp was also the same pinstripe cord, but converted into loops and sewn into the seams of pieced together tops. Adding further dimension to the garments were tiny Statice-like fabric embellishments that were hand sewn to create a dotted pattern or strategically clustered in groups.

In terms of styles, Ilk’s main attractions were the oversized textured cape that converts into a dress and woolen blouse with elasticized slip-on sari.

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ILK by Shikha Grover Goel and Vinita Adhikari at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
ILK by Shikha Grover Goel and Vinita Adhikari at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
ILK by Shikha Grover Goel and Vinita Adhikari at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
ILK at AIFWAW18 in New Delhi
ILK at AIFWAW18 in New Delhi
ILK at AIFWAW18 in New Delhi
ILK by Shikha Grover Goel and Vinita Adhikari at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
ILK at AIFWAW18 in New Delhi
ILK at AIFWAW18 in New Delhi
ILK by Shikha Grover Goel and Vinita Adhikari at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
ILK at AIFWAW18 in New Delhi
ILK by Shikha Grover Goel and Vinita Adhikari at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi


7) Rohit Kamra

“I’m inspired by vintage charm from different worlds and fuse it with the sensibility of Indian regalia,” says Rohit Kamra. This seems a pretty accurate statement considering the traces of aristocratic, equestrian, and military influences from the west, Europe, and India in his fall collection. More specifically, Rohit was inspired by the Tudors. The designer’s use of rich, textured fabrics like velvet, suede, corduroy and quilted neoprene made for sturdy blazers, jackets and vests that were adorned with regal mantle embroidery that one might find on an imperial family crest or adorned with the same stately medallions once worn by old-world nobility.

However, the real magic lay in the embellishments of the jackets. Nehru collars and cuffs were thickly embellished with woven leather, chains, studs, and scalloped suede.

Rohit adhered to a simple, masculine colour palette of dusky tan, inky black, and midnight blue—Letting the equestrian and military influences (like contrast elbow patches and jodhpur pants) speak for themselves. “I’m most excited to see real men wearing my collection. Men who feel like modern-day Maharajas from within their soul.”

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Rohit Kamra at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Rohit Kamra at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in New Delhi


8) Kanika Goyal

While Kanika Goyal is fairly new to the industry (having launched her eponymous label in 2014), it’s clear she knows what she’s doing. Her impressive resumé boasts a degree from both NIFT and Parsons in New York, as well as internships under Bibhu Mohapatra, Marchesa, and Prada. Kanika’s designs have been worn by A-list celebrities and featured in major magazines (like Deepika Padukone’s fiery Femina cover for their February 2018 issue).

Kanika’s cut-and-paste garments are reminiscent of a car you might find in a junkyard—In a good way. Sections of garments replaced by mismatched “missing parts” or industrial “scraps,” to form a new body—And new look with it. Take for example, the maroon knit sweater with one black furry standout sleeve or the plastic, transparent neon orange cuff on a t-shirt. The flow of a graphic print on a duchess satin suit was disrupted by a section of heat transferred reflective sheet. Interesting, seeing as though Kanika was influenced by Kintsugi—The Japanese art of repairing broken pottery in a visible way using gold or silver lacquer to highlight, rather than hide its “flaw.” Beautiful.

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Kanika Goyal Label at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in Delhi
Kanika Goyal Label at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in Delhi
Kanika Goyal Label at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in Delhi
Kanika Goyal Label at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in Delhi
Kanika Goyal Label at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in Delhi
Kanika Goyal at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Kanika Goyal at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Kanika Goyal at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Kanika Goyal at AIFW AW18 in New Delhi
Kanika Goyal Label at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in Delhi
Kanika Goyal Label at Amazon India Fashion Week AW18 in Delhi


Read about the latest fashion trends, best beauty looks, and top shoes and accessories from AIFW’s Fall 2018 collections here.

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