The fashion industry was quick to adapt to the new reality and make a switch to the digital world. Even though this year has been an unusual deterrent in our lives, art, culture and fashion are a few things that people indulge themselves in, in these dark times. The beauty of art and design is a much-needed light in disguise that gives people that ray of hope to hang on. And the makers of fashion did just that. Surprise people with what they thought they were going to miss this year—fashion weeks. While a whole bunch of digital fashion shows took place in the last few months, India witnessed its first-ever digital fashion week over a span of 6 days. The Fashion Design Council of India in partnership with Hindustan Times just held a digital version of India Couture Week 2020 from September 18 to September 23.

With a lineup of 12 ace couturiers from the Indian design industry, FDCI brought couture to life via the power of social media. Sans the chaos of a real-time fashion week, this year, designers explored sartorial drama through fashion films. The virus imposed unavoidable limitations for sure, but these 12 designers surpassed them to bring to their audience what they’ve been craving—luxury fashion and newfound creativity. The new reality was a challenge these designers took upon themselves to emerge with something even better. And might we say, they did absolute justice! Ahead, we give you all the details you might have missed from the first-of-its-kind couture week!

6 days of couture with 12 designers, here are all the details you need to catch up on:

1. Day 1 with Gaurav Gupta and Suneet Varma

Gaurav Gupta opened India Couture Week 2020 with a themed collection on the celebration of love and life. The show was a beautiful ode to humankind. Titled ‘Name Is Love’, the designer designed a line of gowns, pantsuits, dresses, and saree-gowns. Infused with Gaurav Gupta‘s signature architected wave technique, the garments were dipped in a rich colour palette. Think sunset orange, midnight blue, champagne hue and more.

Suneet Varma is known for his collections that always draw their inspiration from romance. And this season was no different. ‘Timeless’ by Suneet Varma comprised an assortment of lehenga sets and anarkalis that were fun, playful and anything but boring. There was a mixed colour palette of golds, pastels and poppy hues on silhouettes like tulle blouses, sequined skirts and crystal-encrusted anarkalis.

2. Day 2 with Amit Aggarwal and Rahul Mishra

Amit Aggarwal‘s passion for highly constructed ensembles is inevitable. The designer is known to foray clothes that can really leave you awestruck and his couture 2020 collection was another testament to his work. Harnessing the power of the ocean, the designer’s one-of-a-kind showcase which was shot underwater consisted of ensembles like lehenga sets and sarees made using the brand’s signature cord technique, polymers and industrial waste.

Rahul Mishra is known for his smart use of fashion to talk about important issues. Named ‘Lotus Pond’, the designer put forth a range of silhouettes that were a tribute to the aquatic ecosystem with lotus as a focal point. His womenswear occasion line comprised sarees, floor-sweeping tunics, lehenga sets and gowns decorated with 3D floral motifs, sequins, beadwork and more. While his tight line of menswear consisted of sherwanis featuring mirror work that was accentuated with embellishments. Pastel hues were given preference this season with colours like blush pink, powder blues and powder yellows.

Day 3 with Dolly J and JJ Valaya

Day 3 opened with designer Dolly J who kept in mind the current times while designing her collection, ‘Gulenaar’. She crafted couture pieces that are easy to wear and can be worn on multiple occasions with functionality given a prime priority this season. And for seasons to come. Voluminous ball gowns and lehenga sets made using cream-coloured fabrics along with reds, millennial pinks and more. Feathers made a cameo in the silhouettes juxtaposed with intricate crystal work.

JJ Valaya is known to inject opulence into his clothes along with prints that are nothing but divine! Inspired by the Ottoman Empire, JJ Valaya‘s ‘Bursa’ was all things royal. With garments ranging from belted sarees to stunning lehenga sets. The use of intricate zardozi was prominent in his couture collection that he used against a backdrop of maroons, reds, gold and more.

Day 4 with Reynu Taandon and Shantanu and Nikhil

When asked about the muse for her collection, the designer said: “the bride of today” without even taking a pause. Reynu Taandon‘s line, ‘Surkh’ is for the modern bride who, even though likes the incorporation of millennial elements in her outfits, wants a hint of tradition. Especially a balance of both in her outfit for her d-day! Keeping that in mind, the designer designed silhouettes like playful sharara sets, lehenga sets, anarkalis and sarees. Colours like fuschia pink and shades of red made an appearance in the couture collection.

Designer duo Shantanu and Nikhil brought to the virtual ramp a collection for the neo-luxe bride. Goth appliqué and zardozi work were infused along with metallic textures on ensembles like cape-style gowns, floor-grazing lehengas and more. The designers also showcased a variety of menswear styles like tone on tone bandhgala sets and sherwanis that were given a contemporary appeal with dramatic drapes.

Day 5 with Kunal Rawal and Falguni Shane Peacock

The menswear genius observed a lack of optionality in men’s style in India and therefore, made it his aim to present an assortment of options for men to choose from. For occasion-wear. For the man of today. Named ‘Hide and Seek’, the designer’s impeccable eye for detail was a prominent trait in his designs. Rich use of French embroidery along with an array of threadwork and tonal embellishments on silhouettes like deconstructed sherwanis and bandhgalas completed his couture collection.

Falguni and Shane Peacock are famous for the sartorial drama they bring to the fore with their garments and this season was no less. They took their viewers behind the scenes with a grand display of their garments, which can be described with 3 adjectives: opulent, traditional and melodramatic. Brides that want to leave no sartorial stone unturned and make jaws drop on their d-day, ‘Marry Me in Jaipur’ is the collection for you. A blend of heavy crystal work, sequin work and beadwork with their signature use of feathers is all things mesmerising! Stylists Shaleena Nathani, Tanya Ghavri, Aastha Sharma, Mohit Rai and makeup artist Daniel Bauer also featured in the film, which was graced by the likes of Shraddha Kapoor.

Day 6 with Anju Modi and Manish Malhotra

Designer Anju Modi revives the deep-rooted traditions of India along with its rich inventory of textiles and gives it a contemporary twist. For the millennial bride that’s bold and feisty, Anju Modi brings to you a line of ethnic-wear that boasts the fine craftsmanship of the brand on jamdanis and pashminas, that are accentuated with zardozi, dabka and mukaish work. Regal bridal-wear ensembles like a brocade lehenga teamed with velvet blouse, rich pashmina silk sarees and more complete the designer couture 2020 collection.

The fashion connoisseur, the designer of the stars, Manish Malhotra drew the curtains at India Couture Week 2020 with Janhvi Kapoor as the show-opener and the showstopper. He presented a line of regal bridal wear and brought to the fore a Mughal essence. Drawing his inspiration from the richness of the Mughal repertoire, the designer crafted ensembles like kalidar kurta sets, gharara sets, salwar kamiz and more for women, that were decorated with hand-woven zari—original gold and silver. All the ensembles were tied together with stunning kadha dupattas, that only enhanced that Mughal-inspired vibe. Steering clear of the traditional bridal colour palette, the designer this season picked hues like pistachio green, dusky pink, grey and maroon. For his menswear line, royal jama angrakha topped with heavy shawls made a cameo.

Missing the traditional form fashion weeks, the extravaganza and that human touch are a given. But the digital edition did not fail to impress. The experience—even via screens—was ethereal and made way for goosebumps. On that note, whose collection for India Couture Week 2020 did you like the most? Tell us in the comments below!

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