Before there was the wild Masaba, there were quirky Dev R Nil. A silent duo of designers from Kolkata, Dev R Nil have always managed to keep it simple, effective and yet up the garment with their quirky signature prints. Been around the block for a while now, it’s surprising they do not get the kind of press that Masaba would generate due to her fun work. Unfazed by all that, this duo of designers lets their work do all the talking. Of their past works, since I have been following them for quite a while now, many prints have made to my favorite list. It was actually them, who’s understated, quirky, organic and kitschy design sensibilities appealed to my own and their prints were such which, if they would not have done it, I would have made it for myself and worn it. Now that I am done saying that how much I drool over their stuff, and being an admirer of their work, I was excited as ever since they released a teaser for their show.
Aiming to go understated, the ‘in silence’ collection was just that. Picking up elements of Zen, the designers indicated a silent autumn/winter in a spiritual space. That explains the colour story too, lots of calming monotone, some pale blues and minty greens but not without a sudden splash of red. As described by their press release ‘The coldness of the icy blue, mint and the teal….The indifference of the grey, black and white are warmly hugged by the olive and the Red. Merging of faiths in the fading of colors through Ombre.
Though I could not spot any menswear, the womenswear didnt disappoint either. Doing this for a very long time, the duo knows how to strike a balance between the prints and the silhouettes. Simple shirts, some dramatic onesies, some cool layered looks crafted in silk, wool, crepe and their “favourite” wispy organza, comprised off in the collection.
Maintaining their mainstay of prints, the duo “developed fern, bamboo and dried roses in screen printing. The theme is primarily monochromatic and we have tried to keep it simple yet different.” With a track record of fun quirky, this was a rather understated pleasant surprise coming from them (though i cant say the same for someone looking at their collection for the first time).Taking a calming outlook towards florals (which at occassions did seem like the cellular print they did last season), we also get fun fern patterns which look tribal, circular doiles . Heavy doses of ombre effect combined with sheer effects (looks like a trend), to create peek a boo, rounded off their looks. Bringing out the Japanese theme, the duo worked with beading, threaded textures, cutwork and applique techniques. The biggest challenge according to the designers was “to combine print with embroidery and make it look more evenings and dressy, to move away from the casual vibe a print is associated with.” I liked most of their looks, except for a few, as they were fuss free and simple. However I had to mention this kurta paper-bag silhouette which I found quite interesting to say the least with inverse sides of sorts in the fern print.
P.S. this time around I layouted this post in this certain way because i felt this collection is much more enjoyable to see in continuity.