Veteran Indian designer Ritu Kumar began her post-show press conference with a sweet smile and the words, “I know this collection has come as a surprise, but it’s not a transformation. Rather, it’s a reflection of India moving to a fairly different silhouette from when I started a few decades ago.”
Indeed! I half-expected to see kurtis, cotton blouses and churidar kurtas at LABEL by Ritu Kumar. What I did not expect was a collection of predominantly evening wear.
Called Summer Constellations, Ritu’s son Amrish Kumar (Creative Director) gave a modern twist to the highly-favoured Indian textiles, using them with modern silhouettes and drapes.
The dresses and gowns alluded to the night sky, with a hint of shimmer and twinkle. Using easy-to-wear fabrics like slinky knits and georgettes, even as the makeup and hair styles reminded me of the 1930s. The colour palette was mostly navy blues and blacks, though there were warm reds and oranges in her prints.
Some of the surprises in her collection: short jackets, asymmetric tunics, and experimenting with a jumpsuit and head gear! Even though the collection was not spectacular, it spoke about the Indian fashion consumer—young, demanding, seeking something wearable, fun, trendy and affordable. That’s LABEL in a nutshell.
A new aesthetic has emerged, not for the Indian fashion follower, but for Ritu Kumar’s LABEL. I’d like to know what the girl next door thinks of it.
Would you buy these clothes? Tell us!