LFW W/F 2011 Day 4: Wendell Rodricks brings pristine to the ramp

Ethereal. Sensual. Organic. Three words to describe Goan designer Wendell Rodricks’ collection at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011. Designed with Himalayan mineral water in mind, Wendell played with soft pastels and splashes of fuchsia in natural fabrics like natural dyed cotton linen and pure silk.

The collection was divided into four segments, each with a distinct approach. The first segment, Naturally Yours, had linen as the base with natural flowers and bark, in colours like pristine white, yellow and wood.

Model at Wendell Rodricks LFW W/F 2011

Model at Wendell Rodricks LFW W/F 2011 Model at Wendell Rodricks LFW W/F 2011

The second, “Indian Water”, would have been great as evening wear. Silk was used in tunic dresses, pin tucked and layered kurtas; and sunray pleats for tunics.

In Mountain Brooks with Sparkling Water, Wendell used ripple pleated fabric to achieve sparkling water detailing in gowns, ponchos, and a pre-stitched sari. The final segment (Raani Pink Carpet Glam) was dedicated to glamourous evening wear like katftans and sari gowns with hints of shimmer and sparkle on the waist, straps and back.

Model at Wendell Rodricks LFW W/F 2011 Model at Wendell Rodricks LFW W/F 2011

While there were minimal accessories, we loved the specially-made footwear and the odd statement necklace and cuff, some made of nature-inspired materials.

Model at Wendell Rodricks LFW W/F 2011

What do you think of Wendell Rodricks’ purity-inspired collection?

LFW W/F 2011 Day 3: Sabyasachi weaves magic again, one silver thread at a time

There’s always a buzz at Lakme Fashion Week when one of India’s best-known designers Sabyasachi is due to present. Fashionistas, journalists and ordinary folks wear their precious Sabyasachi outfits to the show. Photographers wait in anticipation of Bollywood actors, but there’s a respectful hush as the show starts and the first model walks out.

This season, at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011, Dr Mitul Sengupta danced to kathak beats ending with a series of chakkars, then calmly began chanting classical beats as models glided on head ramp.

Models in pairs and groups resembling North-West Frontier Province families (with kids) strolled out in elegant kurtas, tunics, cholis, sherwanis, dupattas, and wide Patiala salwars and palazzos. The monotonous canvas in the initial garments were balanced with colourful printed dupattas and turbans.

Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011 Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

Then came the splashes of colour—first as long coats and cowled pants, then as printed saris with silver borders in zardozi and Kashmiri thread work.

Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

The silver embroidery was a stark contrast to the gold and bronze detailing that are in vogue these days, so it was a bold move to say the least. 🙂 I particularly enjoyed the embellished bodices and shimmering wide borders with velvet and net.

Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

Headgear played an important role with turbans for men, and embellished caps and headbands for women.

Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

Also noteworthy was the Urdu calligraphy on a couple of blouses. Fashionista Sabina Chopra, wearing the same blouse, later told me it meant “bheegi palkein” or wet eyes.SAbina Chopra at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

Sabyasachi retained his favourite flavours with Sundarbans floral prints, colours like earthen colours and red, orange and white, fabrics like khadi, organza, silk, and his signature immaculate tailoring. The special moments—senior models like Carol Gracias and Nayanika Chatterjee, children in fine Sabyasachi clothing, and creative concept of presentation—were appreciated by the audience as they clapped and cheered throughout the show. Well-deserved applause, to say the least!

Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011 Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

LFW W/F 2011 Day 3: Debarun goes B&W, Shyamal & Bhumika play with rich colours and crafts

The 5.30pm show on Day 3 of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011 was easily the most contrasting dual-designer show of the season. While Debarun Mukerjee kicked off the show with a starkly black-and-white collection, bridal wear experts Shyamal and Bhumika Shodhan’s clothes were rich in colour and embellishment.

Debarun Mukerjee
Aptly called Kohl, Debarun’s creations ranged from saris, lehengas, churidar-kurta sets, dresses and gowns for women and sherwanis, kurtas, bundgalas for men.

Model for Debarun at LFW W/F 2011 Model for Debarun at LFW W/F 2011

Using applique throughout the line, Debarun made the most of the two-colour palette with clever use of fabrics (net, Chanderi, raw silk, silk), accessories (scarves, bags, flat chappals) and detail (floral motifs on yokes, dupattas and across the front).

Model for Debarun at LFW W/F 2011 Model for Debarun at LFW W/F 2011

Model for Debarun at LFW W/F 2011 Model for Debarun at LFW W/F 2011

Shyamal & Bhumika
Trust Shyamal & Bhumika Shodhan to sweep the audience away with their luxurious and opulent festive wear, apt for brides and guests at grand weddings alike. The designer duo presented traditional garments like jamas, chogas, peshwaz, achkan, panelled lehengas and cholis in velvet, net, brocade, matka silk, tissue and shot silk georgettes. Jewel tones like wine, honey gold, aurora and beet red, burnt orange, gold, copper, and peacock green, added to the richness.

Model for Shyamal & Bhumika at LFW W/F 2011 Model for Shyamal & Bhumika at LFW W/F 2011

Shyamal & Bhumika re-introduced flared shararas with floor-length anarkalis, and dressed women in slim sherwanis with diaphanous skirts. Sexy cholis were paired with panelled lehengas. As for the embellishments, we could write pages! They played with zardozi motifs and jaals, wire Marodi embroidery, washed gold, copper, peeta and gota work, along with precious jadau stones.

Shyamal & Bhumika 7 Shyamal & Bhumika 5

Shyamal & Bhumika 8 Shyamal & Bhumika 9

The show had two showstoppers, Hema Malini and Esha Deol. Needless to say, Shyamal & Bhumika don’t need Bollywood to wow fashion lovers, their fashion is enough!
Esha Deol for Shyamal & Bhumika at LFW W/F 2011 Hema Malini for Shyamal & Bhumika at LFW W/F 2011

LFW W/F 2011 Day 3: Pria Kataaria Puri mixes glam, Middle East and punk

Persia and 1970s punk make an unusual sartorial combination. Yet the two concepts fused together wonderfully in Pria Kataaria Puri’s Persian Punk collection at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011.

Even though the collection was mostly chic resort and holiday wear , the tunics, one-shoulder blouses and gowns could just as easily be worn for an evening out. While the silhouettes were fluid, Pria experimented with fabric and fits for a cheeky effect. For instance there was a mini with fish tail sides, disc-shaped sleeves, a gold moulded sheeted mini and a delicate black beaded kimono sleeve cover.

Model for Pria Kataaria Puri at LFW W/F 2011  Model for Pria Kataaria Puri at LFW W/F 2011

Using various kinds of silks, Pria’s garments were inspired by Persian embroidered fabrics like nomadic patch work, button work, gold ribbons and cord work. We especially liked the printed leggings—they’re quite eye-catching! Hot orange was the colour of the show (we absolutely loved it!), while beige, black and brown also made an appearance with shimmer and shine. Interestingly, the prints had buttons as motifs!

Model for Pria Kataaria Puri at LFW W/F 2011 Model for Pria Kataaria Puri at LFW W/F 2011

Jewellery from the Cappuccino Collection were perfect complements to the clothes featuring gorgeous champagne coloured diamonds from drop earrings to bangles.

Model for Pria Kataaria Puri at LFW W/F 2011

LFW W/F 2011 Day 2: Narendra Kumar jazzes up menswear with a swingin’ show

There was live music, dancing and some very polished gentlemen. No, it wasn’t a dance club from the mid 20th century, but Narendra Kumar’s show at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011. The collection, presented to a live rendition of Frank Sinatra’s Fly me to the moon, comprised formal evening wear for men.

It was one of the few shows we girls could swoon, whistle and cheer (it was a virtually all-male show). Each model did a little jig or dance step on head ramp, spreading the joy of music and rhythm.

Narendra Kumar at LFW W/F 2011

The collection’s focus was bespoke suits (especially classy tuxedos). The colours were beyond black—deep sapphire, wine, green, pale pink, midnight blue, along with neutrals. The men looked dapper in single and double breasted jackets, with broad, narrow, peak and notched lapels. The tuxedo lapels were inspired by Japanese kimonos, while we also saw draped and cut away collar jackets and the iconic “smoking”. The trousers were sexily slim with turn-ups.

Namit Khanna at Narendra Kumar LFW W/F 2011 Narendra Kumar at LFW W/F 2011 Narendra Kumar at LFW W/F 2011

The fabrics were just as luxurious with Dupion silks, velvet, smooth Ari silk, patterned and textured handloom silks and brocades. The beautiful jackets had hand and machine embroidery, quilting, appliqués and motifs from the Art Deco and Nouveau periods.

Narendra Kumar at LFW W/F 2011 Narendra Kumar at LFW W/F 2011

We were almost disappointed when the fun show came to an end, though Kabir Bedi in a white brocade tux and some more singing provided some cheer. 🙂

Narendra Kumar at LFW W/F 2011

LFW W/F 2011 Day 2: Nachiket Barve, Little Shilpa, Swapnil Shinde interpret speed

On Day 2 of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011, DHL presented a trio of designers representing the future of fashion—Nachiket Barve, Little Shilpa and Swapnil Shinde. While all three designers are a few seasons old, their approach was fresh as they interpreted the brand’s theme—speed—in in their own personal ways.

Nachiket Barve
Seeking inspiration from the the fast-changing colours of a breath-taking sunset (The Golden Hour), Nachiket Barve used pink, golden, purple, and red hues in his garments and accessories. Playing on the ombré effect, the designer created saris, tunics, kurtas and dresses in his signature fluid style. Sequins, polki detailing, cutwork and applique were expertly used to create timeless global fashion wear. We also liked the matching neckpieces and clutches.

Nachiket Barve sari at LFW W/F 2011 Nachiket Barve shorts and blouse at LFW W/F 2011 Nachiket Barve wrap dress at LFW W/F 2011

Little Shilpa
Shilpa Chavan’s interpretation of speed was flight and the urban landscape—birds, wings, aeroplanes and skyscrapers. Her models walked the ramp encased in sky and clouds boxes made from packaging material, while the headgear was made with pleated ikat fabrics and feathers that framed the face. Aviator glasses were used as hair bands and glass pieces symbolised eflection.

Little Shilpa at LFW W/F 2011 Little Shilpa at LFW W/F 2011

Swapnil Shinde
Swapnil Shinde’s LFW W/F 2011 collection was based on sound waves, hence named “Speed of Sound”. Swapnil created ripple-inspired shapes with folds, pleats and drapes in fabrics chiffon, taffeta, organza, and crepe, along with materials like acrylic, PVC and leather. PVC rolls and tubes were the most cleverly-used embellishment (for lack of a better word), seen on the bodice, waist and shoulders of dresses and gowns. The soft drapes falling across the front of the garment in waves added to an elegant, high-fashion look.

Swapnil Shinde at LFW W/F 2011 Swapnil Shinde black dress with drape at LFW W/F 2011

Swapnil Shinde at LFW W/F 2011

LFW W/F 2011: GenNext designer Urmi Ghosh brings art to fashion

Urmi Ghosh is an artistic young woman from Kolkata, and has just taken her first steps into the Indian fashion scene. A NIFT graduate, Urmi presented her first collection as designer at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011’s GenNext show last week  in Mumbai.

Urmi Ghosh GenNext designer at LFW W/F 2011Urmi’s collection, called “Maar and Moumoune”, depicted the tale of Pablo Picasso’s lover, Dora Maar. (Moumoune was Dora Maar’s cat). Using heavy fabrics for cold climes, Urmi fused layers, textures and motifs like a veteran for dresses, jumpsuits, tunics and smocks with asymmetric cuts. Despite the muted colour palette, the imagery of cats, boots, birds, and a little girl was striking.

Even though Speaking Chic sat down for a formal interview with Urmi, it later turned into a freewheeling conversation on art, architecture, travel and photography. 🙂 Here’s some of the things we spoke about:

Urmi, what have you conveyed through your first collection?
I’ve envisioned my first collection specifically for the Delhi clientele. What I wanted to communicate is my design aesthetic to buyers. Every piece in the collection can be toned down into something very wearable in a number of ways, like by using lighter fabrics. Fortunately, I have been able to communicate my aesthetic in just the way I wanted.

So what is your design aesthetic?
Developing a design aesthetic is an evolutionary process. But I’m a more silhouette- than embroidery-centric person, so you can see that it is very minimally used in my garments. I’m quite form-oriented and like I anti-fits. I don’t go for skin show. As for colours, I prefer dull and neutral colours like greys, which I’ve used. Though I do like to break greys with a bit of colour.

Urmi Ghosh - GenNext designer at LFW W/F 2011  Urmi Ghosh - GenNext designer at LFW W/F 2011

Tell us more about Dora Maar and how her story inspired you.
Dora Maar was an extremely talented lady, but Picasso left her for another woman. Through the collection, I’ve tried to portray the transformation of Dora into a schizophrenic and recluse who needed therapy.

And the little girl we see in the imagery on your garments is Dora?
Yes, I imagined the little girl as Dora Maar. These images are by Japanese surreal artist Naomi Kobayashi and her illustrations depict this young girl and her hallucinations, which could well be those of Dora and do justice to Dora’s story.

Urmi Ghosh - GenNext designer at LFW W/F 2011

In your collection you have fused fabrics and textures in a very artistic manner. What inspired you to do that?
I’ve drawn inspiration from Cubism, which is a style Picasso was known for. For instance, in the painting Dora Maar Au Chat, Picasso has painted Dora by putting together different shapes and fabrics, and her attire in the portrait is intricately done.

It seems art has been a great source of inspiration for you. Do you paint? And which artists have influenced you?
Yes, I do paint—I love exploring poster colour and painting on glass. And both Picasso and Salvador Dali have influenced me immensely.

Aki Narula is your mentor at LFW W/F 2011 along with other GenNext designers.  How was your experience working with him?
Aki has been a rockstar! He’s been like a father figure to all of us, guiding us, being patient, and giving us good advice. When I was working on my fourth or fifth garment, I got very sceptical of my designs. He told me to cover the clothes I’d already done with a sheet and continue with my collection. I did that, and it worked! Before I head back to Kolkata I’m gonna hug him and tell him thanks!

Day 1 at LFW W/F 2011: Rina Dhaka, JJ Valaya dazzle with their Indian wear

Two veteran Delhi designers (Rina Dhaka and JJ Valaya) showcased their collection in Mumbai on the first day of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011 and lived up to their reputation.

Rina Dhaka

Rina Dhaka’s collection of easy-to-wear court couture was completely feminine in colour, silhouette and fabrics. The colour palette included delicate hues like lilac, plum, soft pink and champagne. The fabrics were sheer, and as Rina Dhaka later explained, “from the 1990s”, such as tissue, chiffon and organza. We loved the use of lace and lamé (both contemporary fabrics).

Rina Dhaka at LFW W/F 2011  Rina Dhaka at LFW W/F 2011

The metallic embellishments, however, were modern, with gota, plisse and sequins, along with pewter beads. While most garments were simple straight-cut kurta sets, Rina Dhaka also sent long sheer skirts, lace and cut-out tops and even a pre-stitched sari.

Rina Dhaka at LFW W/F 2011  Rina Dhaka at LFW W/F 2011

JJ Valaya

Meanwhile JJ Valaya, who loves photography almost as much as fashion, showed his collection in a viewfinder-and-lens themed set as giant screens played a series of photographs in black and white, sepia, colour and digital formats. Each theme formed the colour palette and mood of that segment. The garments included saris, lehengas, churidar-kurta sets for women and bandhgalas for men.

Hence there were waistcoats with white motifs, paneled sheer kurta and black churidars, brown and off-white printed saris with crystals, lehengas and cholis with net dupattas and paisleys for men’s Raja coats.

JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011  JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011

Taking a step forward into colour, Valaya used red and blues in long coats, jackets with saris, bandhgalas and lehengas. Embellished yokes, printed saris and floor-length kurtas decorated with rich crystals, stones and sequins rounded off the Tasveer collection. Embellishments also included precious stones, gold detailing and velvet embroidery. BTW, we especially loved the waist pouches and hair jewellery.

JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011  JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011

The mainstay of the collection was JJ Valaya’s Alika jacket in raw silk, shot silk, brocade and lame, pairing it with a variety of garments—saris, lehengas and tunics. Can’t wait to get my hands on one!

JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011  JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011

Day 1 at LFW W/F 2011: GenNext impresses with creative, out-of-the-box designs

The GenNext show of Lakme Fashion Week throws up some interesting designs every season, and this season (LFW W/F 2011) kept up to its promise. From unconventional men’s wear to grungy women’s ensembles, extreme detailing and a variety of constructions, we saw it all. Here’s a glimpse of what the eight GenNext designers have to offer:

Farah Sanjana
Farah Sanjana’s Collars Galore used origami, metal work and architectural shapes to create mostly blouses and dresses in pristine white. Farah used exaggerated and multiple collars on the neck, shoulders, sleeves and down the front of garments in a stunning start to the GenNext show.

Farah Sanjana at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designer

Mohammed Javed Khan
This menswear collection (called Ex-pression-ist) made ample use of layers for the quirky men, giving them ample options and tips for layering this winter. The look was put together with an “I-care-a-damn” attitude.

Mohammed Javed Khan at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designer

Shashank Raja and Prajwal Badwe
The duo sought inspiration from the Elizabethan era and Indian royalty for their collection, teaming Indian embroidery with fabrics like organza and net. Their dresses and gowns had a dash of orange, adding to the charm of their collection.

Shashank Raja and Prajwal Badwe at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designer

Siddharth Arya
It was 1980s cult punk inspiration all the way with grunge styling, as models at Siddharth Arya walked out with armadillo reptilian shoulders bolero and rag doll micro mini. Taffeta came alive for a layered skirt with metal grunge embroidered coat and the leather appliqué dress with jet sequinned cape and cutout leggings rocked on the ramp. There was even a grunge sari!

Siddharth Arya at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designer

Theresa James and Roger Prince
This Canadian design team sourced fabrics for their collection Retarded Velvet from across the globe, Ghanaian batik, Native American fabrics, South Indian cotton with Tencel and Lyocell. And these were not the only contrasts, as colours, prints and silhouettes were mixed and matched for a fabulous design story.

Theresa James and Roger Prince at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designers

Urmi Ghosh
Pablo Picasso’s lover’s (Maar) tragic story provided ample fodder to Urmi Ghosh’s debut collection, with motifs of cats, boots, tight rope walkers, birds and cages. Urmi used a range of techniques on a single garment, ranging from colour blocking and piping, to appliqué and cutwork.

Urmi Ghosh at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designer

Thinles Chosdup and Niranjana Adhya
This Ladakh-inspired menswear collection combined shades of grey and steel with a few colourful touches, producing garments like asymmetric waistcoats, drop crotch pants, skirt front trousers, breeches and patched jackets.

Thinles Chosdup & Niranjana Adhya at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designers

Nikhil Thampi
This young designer deconstructed silhouettes with drapes in neutrals for men and women. For women, there were layered gowns and skirts, while the men wore long draped shirts and buttonless waist coats and wool tunics. And oh, the leather inserts added a wonderful finishing touch.

Nikhil Thampi at LFW W/F 2011

Which GenNext designer do you like the most?

Day 1 at LFW W/F 2011: GenNext impresses with creative, out-of-the-box designs

The GenNext show of Lakme Fashion Week throws up some interesting designs every season, and this season (LFW W/F 2011) kept up to its promise. From unconventional men’s wear to grungy women’s ensembles, extreme detailing and a variety of constructions, we saw it all. Here’s a glimpse of what the eight GenNext designers have to offer:

Farah Sanjana
Farah Sanjana’s Collars Galore used origami, metal work and architectural shapes to create mostly blouses and dresses in pristine white. Farah used exaggerated and multiple collars on the neck, shoulders, sleeves and down the front of garments in a stunning start to the GenNext show.

Farah Sanjana at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designer

Mohammed Javed Khan
This menswear collection (called Ex-pression-ist) made ample use of layers for the quirky men, giving them ample options and tips for layering this winter. The look was put together with an “I-care-a-damn” attitude.

Mohammed Javed Khan at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designer

Shashank Raja and Prajwal Badwe
The duo sought inspiration from the Elizabethan era and Indian royalty for their collection, teaming Indian embroidery with fabrics like organza and net. Their dresses and gowns had a dash of orange, adding to the charm of their collection.

Shashank Raja and Prajwal Badwe at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designer

Siddharth Arya
It was 1980s cult punk inspiration all the way with grunge styling, as models at Siddharth Arya walked out with armadillo reptilian shoulders bolero and rag doll micro mini. Taffeta came alive for a layered skirt with metal grunge embroidered coat and the leather appliqué dress with jet sequinned cape and cutout leggings rocked on the ramp. There was even a grunge sari!

Siddharth Arya at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designer

Theresa James and Roger Prince
This Canadian design team sourced fabrics for their collection Retarded Velvet from across the globe, Ghanaian batik, Native American fabrics, South Indian cotton with Tencel and Lyocell. And these were not the only contrasts, as colours, prints and silhouettes were mixed and matched for a fabulous design story.

Theresa James and Roger Prince at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designers

Urmi Ghosh
Pablo Picasso’s lover’s (Maar) tragic story provided ample fodder to Urmi Ghosh’s debut collection, with motifs of cats, boots, tight rope walkers, birds and cages. Urmi used a range of techniques on a single garment, ranging from colour blocking and piping, to appliqué and cutwork.

Urmi Ghosh at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designer

Thinles Chosdup and Niranjana Adhya
This Ladakh-inspired menswear collection combined shades of grey and steel with a few colourful touches, producing garments like asymmetric waistcoats, drop crotch pants, skirt front trousers, breeches and patched jackets.

Thinles Chosdup & Niranjana Adhya at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designers

Nikhil Thampi
This young designer deconstructed silhouettes with drapes in neutrals for men and women. For women, there were layered gowns and skirts, while the men wore long draped shirts and buttonless waist coats and wool tunics. And oh, the leather inserts added a wonderful finishing touch.

Nikhil Thampi at LFW W/F 2011

Which GenNext designer do you like the most?