Amazon India Fashion Week 2015: For the love of Picasso and dolls
There was something simple, something cute and something downright sexy on the evening of Day 4 at Amazon India Fashion Week 2015 in the Capital. Veteran designer Poonam Bhagat’s label Taika, on Saturday, took an artistic interpretation of Cubist painter Pablo Picasso’s fascination for lines and dots, transferred the constellation drawings from the canvas to the fabrics, and presented a simple and unique collection on the ramp.
Long skirts, dresses with outwardly curved thighs, full-sleeve shirts with wide peplums, boatneck tops and cut-out jackets formed the range in ivory, cobalt blue, black and orange, paying ode to the setting sun. Special ‘constellation headgears’ were crafted by Tokyobased milliner Satsuki Nakagawa for the show. The collection was minimal yet chic, and brought to the fore the designer’s skill for traversing through younger styles with a sophisticated sensibility. Speaking of sensibilities, Pero by Aneeth Arora brought explored identity through art with her 1930’s militaryinspired collection , juxtaposed with adorable little dolls created by a Gurgaon-based contemporary artist. Miniature dolls lined either side of the ramp and small green-coloured first-aid military boxes lay on the seats-with knick-knacks like Swiss knives, patterned band-aids, badges and postcards- while chants in a foreign language filled the room.
As guests took guesses over what the collection was going to be about, they were called to attention by a live marching band belting out beats on a drum and tunes from synchronised bugles. The show began with models strutting down in feminine-androgynous ensembles-check jackets with loose jeans and boots, berets with pompoms on top, dresses with softly pleated skirts boasting of dot and star prints, dungarees, oversized parkas and gallaces over wide trousers-while Princess Pea dolls played as accessories.
Fabrics comprised handwoven wool (from the Himalays) with Scottish checks and indigo resist block-printed khadi from Gujarat. Also on display on garments were enamel brass buttons made by Rajasthani silversmiths. The showstopper was the artist herself who walked the ramp wearing an oversized doll head covering her face.
The final show for the evening was by one of the hottest tickets among the fashion fraternity, designer Gaurav Gupta. Lame fabrics made a comeback at the show with draped oneshoulder dresses, hooded tops, and pre-stitched saris in shimmering blue and plum tones. Elements of the customary ‘goth’ in G.G. Studio was presented with subtle elegance.
Three party dresses with irregular gold and black sequins were wellcrafted and received admiration and applause from the spectators. Structured bows and shoulders added dimension to the garments while men’s suits in grey pinstripes brought a masculine edge.
India’s influence on the rest of the world
In a first-of-its-kind, a special after-show discussion was hosted at Veda Cafe with leading British designer and fashion influencer Dame Zandra Rhodes as the chief guest. Veteran designers Ritu Kumar and Rajeev Sethi chaired a conversation, titled ‘How The West Was One’, with Australian-born international photographer Robyn Beeche and British performance artist Andrew Logan.
The panellists discussed if India needed to make efforts to win the West or if there was already enough to grab their attention. Adding historical context, Kumar said, “India has faced too many years of carrying a colonial hangover. We were a poor country, yes, but we were never poor in textiles. We need to build on our strengths.” Rhodes-who has designed for the likes of UK’s Princess Diana and singer Freddie Mercury- confessed she fell in love with Indian textiles, saris and salwar-kameez in 1980s. In 1987, she even did a show on saris.
Beeche, meanwhile, said, “India riveted my whole being. My senses were on fire with the colours, smells, emotions and devotion. I thought this was better than a Paris catwalk, and decided to give it all up to stay here and photograph the beauty I saw.”