Amazon India Fashion Week: Fashion Blockbuster

Let’s begin from the end. When some of the most well-known and coveted Indian designers walk the runway as part of a fashion week finale, it’s bound to be a party — one where Rohit Bal does his mandatory dance. The big, fat Indian fashion fraternity turned up in numbers to celebrate India Fashion Week’s 25th edition at Pragati Maidan on Sunday night. Folk musician Kutle Khan set the mood for the show, which had an elegant backdrop of miniature dolls on racks.

Fifty garments by 25 designers, two ensembles each, were themed on “Crafts of India”. So there were veterans such as Ritu Kumar, Wendell Rodricks, Abraham & Thakore, Suneet Varma and Tarun Tahiliani, as well as the best of the younger lot such as Rahul Mishra, Gaurav Gupta and Pankaj & Nidhi. The two Manish(s) — Arora and Malhotra — were sorely missed when the designers walked one by one for the final bow. A mix of hits and misses, the clothes ranged from traditional Indian wear to western silhouettes, from pret to bridal, but all following the same colour story — red, orange and pink.

With so many fashion philosophies on the ramp, it’s incredible how some designers managed to stand out with their signatures. Mishra’s two ensembles in orange carried forward his love for geometry, with floral patterns that looked like dried autumn leaves. Ashish N Soni’s affair with bows was evident in his pant suits for men and women, as was Pankaj & Nidhi’s applique work on saffron-hued pieces, and Amit Aggarwal’s metallic swirls on sheer gowns. Manish Arora frolicked with colours as his anarkali and kaftan pieces paired with shimmery gold churidars, and neon shades, found a spot on the runway. JJ Valaya, Tahiliani, Kumar and Varma presented intricate embroideries and embellishments in bridal outfits, to no one’s surprise. And apart from following the colours, Monisha Jaising’s pieces had no reason to be part of this capsule.

The star of the evening, however, was Anamika Khanna. Thread work embroidery, sumptuous with coins and old brass pieces formed the blouse and the border of the pink cape, accompanied with black silk lungi-inspired skirt.

It’s easy to go wrong with an elaborate project like this, and apart from the customary hour-long delay, the show was a delightful end to the five-day-long Amazon India Fashion Week. That it managed to silence the murmurs around its dullness even for a bit is quite a feat.