Candy Pratts Price, the Executive Fashion Director of Style.com recently covered Lakme Fashion Week from Mumbai with her very first Candycast from the road, exploring the culture, food, society, and of course, the shows. Highlights included hip young designers like Anuj Sharma, Agnimitra Paul, Kallol Datta, Swati Bhimte, Ritesh Kumar, and Rahul Mishra, many transforming the exquisite fabrics India is traditionally know for into glamorous globetrotting gowns and eyecatching ensembles.
Here are some of the names to know from the fashion design scene in India:
Aastha Bahl Using a neutral colour base of crème combined with an op-art fish-like motif, Aastha Bahl showed a resort collection simple in silhouette, but rich in details like pintucks, hoodies with kangaroo pockets, printed leggings, and delicate crochet lace. (photo from Fall 2008 via rediff News)
Agnimitra Paul Known for mixing fashion with a pointed social message, Paul embellished Braille script on the front of dresses, and numbers onto the backs. Her Black Lily collection of chiffon, netting, georgette and linen featured ruffled lace halters, one-shoulder dresses, and slim tunics in pink, green, and red. (AgnimitraPaul.com)
Anand Bhushan Classic silhouettes in shades of ivory and gray were delicately embroidered, creating chic cocktail frocks. (photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Anand Kabra Striding down the runway on Asian wooden sandals, ideas of beauty from both China and Japan infused the Wabi-Sabi collection. Textures were uneven and random, almost rustic, while a muted palette of softly-diffused color contrasts created a subtle glamour. (from Fall 08 - AnandKabra.com)
Anuj Sharma Using just crepe and georgette, Sharma strategically shaped and draped graceful, Grecian'esque gowns in muted shades of brown, gray and nude by knotting the fabric strategically - in keeping with his Knot for You theme - and in some cases, adding fabric flowers with skinny black ribbons. (photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Anupamaa Combine the minimalism of post-war Scandanavia, patterns and motifs from rural India, and the painter Jamini Ray. The result? The Gallerina, a vibrant collection of oyster pink, amethyst, faded gold, mocha, ash, magnolia, papaya and chalcedony on fabrics such crepe, georgette, brocade, satin and lurex; embellishments included agate, chalcedony and onyx. (Anupamaa.com)
Araiya For The Journey of a Doll into Space, Arshiya Fakih Eappen outfitted her mannequins in glittery futuristic, club-ready cocktail minis which playfully mixed origami and Grecian draping with offbeat touches like pleats which reversed into a different color and slim leather patchwork and embossing. (photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Bian Gossip Girl made an appearance in Gurpreet Pia Fleming's collection fashioned from woven silks, georgette, lace and netting. The found-in-nature color palette included aqua, purple, teal, with a dash of tea, stained ivory and some retro metallics. (photo: rediff.com)
Couturewala For their debut collection, A Pristine Aliveness, Ayan and Preetika Sarkar mixed Spanish style with abstract Indian Kolkata motifs. Vibrant colors, intricate embroidery and interesting cuts in soft georgettes, silk and cottons recalled the old world charm of candelabra-lit Barcelona, while gold tights paired with embroidered, multi-patched silk tunics spoke of influences closer to home. (photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Drashta Sarvaiya Anticipating the spring tea party circuit, Sarvaiya's charming Marmalade collection of feminine, flirty frocks channeled the fun-filled 20s. Dropped waists, flap trousers, waistcoats and flapper ensembles were shown in girlie colors like pastel peach, purple, turquoise, orange, rose-pink, mint and yellow, in commensurately girlie fabrics like chiffon, Chantilly lace, tulle, and coated georgette. (photo from F/W 08 via BharatTextile.com)
Harangad Singh Khadi and other handloom fabrics in muted shades of ivory, leaf green, olive, and brown were fashioned into high waists, smart jumpsuits, halter dresses, and capes for a detailed, elegant look. (photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Jyotee Khaitan Khaitan looked to the German art movement for Faux Bauhaus Chic, as well as plantation workers and peasants. The result was an interesting, wearable melange of handloomed fabric churidars and pants paired with fluid tops, Zouave-shaped trousers with asymmetric tops, and draped saris featuring pleating and surface texture in shades of white, blue, gray, brown, and touches of pink, purple, orange, green, rust and yellow. (photo: girls. pic)
Kallol Datta 1955 With outfit names as striking as their color palette of orange, black, brown, and British mailbox red, ensembles like Your Boyfriend's Star Shirt, 80 Year Old Woman, and Funeral Dress made for a thoughtful Future For Sale collection. Free-flowing shapes were layered in unusual cuts and fits...perfect for the Bjork wannabe in your midst. (photo: rediff.com)
Krishna Mehta Poster red, cobalt blue, yellow, green, iridescent orange and tones of violet in handwoven, embellished Western silhouettes. (photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Kiran Jaisinghani & Meghna Agarwal Channeling inspiration from Buddhist mystic forces into tiny folds, pleats and tucks, Kiran Jaisinghani and Meghna Agarwal created a harmonious, earthy collection of dresses, smocks, crushed blouses and layered skirts. (photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Tarun Tahiliani for Levi's Beneath chandeliers and against a glittery black backdrop, Tahiliani's denim collection proved equally glittery, embellished with Swarovski crystals, sequins, and silver chains. As is traditional on the runway, the bride closed the show - this time in the form of Bollywood's starlet du jour, Sonam Kapoor, barefoot and poured into bleached white jeans festooned with jewelled chains and crystals. (TarunTahiliani.com; photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Manish Gupta There is an oft-ignored rule of classy fashion: if you're going to show off a lot of leg, cover up on top already...just like these Gupta minis in pastel-toned minis with interesting embellishments, pintucking, and a slight hint of shine. (photo: IndiaTimes)
My Village Grouped into four colorways - grey/black/white; yellow & white; electric blues; look-at-me reds - designer Rimzim Dadu manipulated and texturized cotton and chiffon with pleating, pin-tucking, and tone-on-tone embroidery, with diagonally-draped minis, slim sheath dresses, and embroidered smocks. A cool tailored orange corded frock closed the show. (RimzimDadu.com)
Nachiket Barve Known for his interesting cuts, panels, and seaming, Barve showed ladylike dresses and suits in rich fabrics and equally rich colors including azure, purple, cerulean, sap green, mango, crimson gold, flesh, ecru & chalk. (NachiketBarveDesign.com)
Nidhi Gambhir Breezy mini-length shift dresses in textured ivory fabrics, perfect for the beach-bound globetrotter.
Nikasha Tawadey Drawing inspiration from 19th century Bengal artists, Tawadey's Shisheer or "Big Look" collection was just that: chiffons, khadi silks, and muslin - in earthy terracotta, lavender, rose, pebble, moss green, off-white, and brown - cut into free-flowing, roomy silhouettes with dropped shoulder seams and minimal structure. (photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Nalandda Bhandari Voluminous and flowing, Buoyant Passion was about layers, textures, ruffles and more ruffles rendered in dresses and tunics in soft, feminine fabrics - reminscent of old world splendor. (photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Priyanka Verma & Ravindra Mohan Knitwear in bright red, green and yellow against a gray base - primarily simple shift dresses with colorful appliques, woven fabric sleeves and silver insets in the blouses. The highlight was the final look, a military trench over a knit mini.
Pallavi Jaipur The beauty of Rajasthan was the theme of this parade of wrap minis, low-slung skirts, long blouses with teensy Jaipuri prints, and swingy, knee-length skirts with floral embroidery and silver along the hem. Colors included gray, cream, pink, green, and turquoise on various types of silk, and traditional embroidery techniques were scattered judiciously throughout, melding traditional craftsmanship with a modern silhouette. (PallaviDesignStudio.net)
Rahul Mishra The designer decided to Let Craft Lead the Way for spring, transforming translucent traditional fabrics from the town of Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh - a center for handloom weaving since the 5th century - into sleek, layered silhouettes in an sophisticated urban palette of black, gray, white, with some yellow, turquoise, red, and touches of gold weaving.(photo: rediff.com)
Rimi Nayak Capris, swing tops, tiny embroidered shrugs paired with bubble skirts and sheer blouses in colorful prints. Standouts included a moss green frock with tiny brown cape and a gown in green and brown with intricate rouching which is destined for the red carpet.
Ritesh Kumar Layered tops with white drapes, nature-inspired graphics, rouched draped pants with shrugs, tiered dresses, asymmetric satin dresses and rolled collar jackets created an elegant, if complex collection. (photos: iqons.com)
Sailex Draping and ombre-shading dominated this assortment of soft pastel harem pants, cowled dresses, trousers, and Grecian-inspired minis in drapey satins, chiffons, and georgettes. The strapless candy-pink number with asymmetrical hem - mini length in front under an additional top layer that curved around the sides of the body and on down to the floor in the back - was a glam standout. (photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Swapnil Shinde Shinde looked to NYC's Chrysler Building for Art Deco inspiration, showing exaggerated shoulders and sleeves, elaborately draped collars and pleating, and shades of black, white, misty lavender, blue, nude, copper, and ash grey. The hard-edged 80s glam minis would be perfect for the gym-toned social gal on the go. (photo: ChinaApparel.net)
Swati Bhimte Waistcoats, narrow trousers, coats with printed side insets, jackets, asymmetric skirts, hoodies, knits, and sleeveless jackets were inspired by the Alps and mixed and matched with delicious abandon and fun for glam indie-fashion types. (photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Vivek Kumar Fluid fabrics in bright colors were embellished with gold touches, such as an orange jersey pleated dress with a belt, and a printed tunic in rust with black leggings, and black raglan-sleeve dress. (Fall 08 photos via rediff.com)
Arjun Khanna An ice cream parlour complete with candy stripe awning set the stage - literally - for Arjun Khanna's collection, dubbed Ice Cream, of structured, body-conscious vanilla confections (models even wore snow-white turban-like "wigs") with touches of strawberry mocha, mint, blueberry, lemon, butterscotch and sorbet. Jackets, shirts, waistcoats, and trousers kept company with jodhpuris and sherwanis, sexed up with interesting touches like ice-cream ripple shaped cuffs. (photo: ChinaApparel.net)
Bounipun The final look, a bright red suit with a red polka-dot tee, made it apparent that Kashmir-born designer Zubair Kirmani knows how to add a touch of drama when the occasion demands. The rest of the collection was his trademark body-conscious Indian-style jackets paired with skinny pants in stylish, non-fussy cottons and hues like pale gray and beige. (Bounipun.com; photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Dev R Nil Batiks in jigsaw patterns in a palette of black, white, grey, sap green, pink, blue and mauve for a somewhat avant garde selection of jackets, tees, shirts, trousers with pleats, and slim pants. (DevNil.com; photo: fibre2fashion)
Leconet Lemant's LHMAN Are You High? The Indo-French duo posed this question as the context for their show of typically guylike colors - khaki, grey, white, brown, and clay - and less typical pink, blue, red, coral, and a quirky dog print. Linen, jersey, grosgrain, cotton, herringbone, twill and poplin were rendered more futuristic with fluorescent plastic, metallic plaques and transparent framing for lapels and cuffs. The all-red finale suit is perfect for the male coming out or wanting to be all-out. (photo: ChinaApparel.net)
Manoj Dubey Fresh colors combined with sparkle. Two standouts: a red and orange pin tucked top worn with green sequined hot pants, and a shimmering purple gilet with cowl pants.
Raghavendra Rathore for Nikon Khaki, black, white & other muted shades in luxurious satin cottons, silk blends and linen proved a retro, dapper mix of epaulets, trench coats, jodphurs, and cargo pants reminscent of the 50s. (Rathore.com; photo: ChinaApparel.net)
Sanjay Hingu Sharply tailored checked pants and printed shirts, and fish embroidery on soft-ivory linen jackets mixed western styling with Indian touches.
Troy Costa Flashy fellas will dig all the silk denim, jersey, silk rayon, as well as the zips, studs, and buckles - enough to satisfy any peacock headed straight from the office to a night of club-hopping. (photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Vivek Karunakaran Shirts, slim trousers and summer suits in shades of white, blue, black and gray, with interesting touches like blue and white piping on shirts.
BOTH MENS- & WOMENSWEAR:
Narendra Kumar Hoping to highlight the growing level of violence in the world, Kumar sent The Rise of Fascism down the runway in the form of military-inspired bombers, blousons, jackets, and skinny pants in somber black, gray, maroon, and white - with occasional touches of the green and saffron of India's national flag. Even the models walked with military precision to face-paced tunes and revolutionary speeches, their heads wrapped in "blood-stained" bandages. The women were less Che Guevara and more corporate climber in stylish suits, pinstripes, and coats. (photo from 2008 via rediff.com)
Imchatsung Imchen The headhunter and his consort from the legends of Nagaland inspired sharply-cut jackets with quilting details, trousers and tops for both men and women in black, red and white, along with a checkered fabric for the ladies. (photo: The Times of India)
Rishta A cocoon-clad future was obviously on Arjun Saluja's mind, with Grecian draping, ankle-length bubble skirts, epaulets, and kimono/karate dressing for the women; safari gear, cowled Jodhpuri trousers, and all-white harem pants for the men...and lavish draping and cowls for both genders. (photo: rediff.com)
Abdul Halder For the bride in search of something other than a stereotypical white tulle meringue, Halder's colorful traditional creations for men and women provided a colorful alternative. (photo: ChinaApparel.net)
Digvijay Singh East meets West in traditional Indian menswear with a modern touch. Kurtas, shirts, tunics, churidars and pants were tailored in neutral-hued cottons stand up to oppressive summer heat, with cuts and fit were drawn from rural Gujarat and Rajasthan. (photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Jasleen Kochhar & Jenjum Gadi Elegant, flowy gowns and tone-on-tone floral embroidery, and pintuck kurtas for fellas. An understated, chic collection in pretty shades of pink, blue, orange, fuchsia, yellow and brown. (photo: fibre2fashion.com)
Shyamal & Bhumika Gorgeous kurtas, lehengas, dupattas, saris, sherwanis, and Jodhpuri jackets - each as elaborate and colorful as their names - added up to a kaleidoscope of colors, fabrics, textures, and patterns that are just what a modern, but still traditional, Indian bride or bridegroom wants. Dubbed Gaam, Gujerati for village, this collection summed up the fabulousness that is a Gujerati Kutchi wedding. (ShyamalBhumika.com; photos: fibre2fashion.com)
To reach any of the designers without websites listed, LakmeFashionWeek.co.in has most everyone's contact info.
- Lesley Scott
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