Masaba has been one of the best things that happened to Satya Paul this year. After a successful RTW collection, Satya Paul introduced a Demi-couture line that intended on blurring lines between pret and couture. I loved the initial hype and the images the design house released. The brilliantly done graphics in relation with the collection were bang on. Loved the use of while and black (as that what majorly the collection constituted of) and the floral highlighted images.
Going the botanical and oversized print this time around , The Demi couture collection started off under UV lights (reminded me of alexander wang and also the fact that she understands that its a couture show and the need for the drama and setting)… but where Wang was the minimalist in his approach, Masaba used the botanical printed panels gave it all a brilliant eerie feel to make audience anticipate what was coming off next. The semi or rather ‘demi’ couture collection comprised mainly of A lined silhouettes featuring high waisted skirts, jackets, layered gowns, palazzos. embroidered capes as well as a multitude of printed saris (though I was not too sold on some of the blouses). A couple of body con gowns with digitally printed layered upper made for some really good visual presentation on the ramp. Breaking away from the traditional Indian couture which then goes in the bridal category, the contemporary vibe of the collection gave the audience a much needed breather from the last two days making her stand out for all the right reasons. The half and half black and white gown with floral print on one definitely caught my eye.The sheer layering with prints echoed bits of Masaba (her last collection), which is fine since every designer tends to bring their own design aesthetic to a design house. However it was to Masaba’s credit that she put up a good spin on the black and white with colored accents to differentiate with her own design house’s collection. This one was much more sophisticated and refined in terms of its treatment to be classified in the couture category.
To her credit, prints are Masaba’s strength and one she plays off indefinitely at various occasions. The oversized botanical floral prints ranged from the daffodil, rose, iris, lotus and cosmos. From oversized, to layered to repeated, Masaba played all she could with the prints and had fun with them. She lets prints shine and take center stage with her ensembles making even the simplest of the silhouettes shine. Also in her latest outing she combined the two extremes surface technique digital (via prints) and the handwork (via the sequin work), along with thread embroidery, displaying her knack for not shying away from experimentation (the rest are definitely gonna follow the suit). She had the cores highlighted, the outlines, the shadows of the flowers worked upon with sequins and pearls making it a strange graphic marriage of sorts which plays off each other amazingly well. What resulted in was some brilliant prints and flowy and languid lines and a fun presentation that made the audience vying for more in the collection (esp. someone like myself who is a sucker for good prints). And lets be serious its Masaba at the helm! so it was bound to be fun.
What I didn’t like or felt a bit lacking mostly the silhouettes were A line along with loads of net making it all the more puffy and could have been toned down for a variety of silhouettes. I infact liked the body-con dress Masaba wore as one of the better pieces of the collection. Furthermore I also felt that at many occassions collection resonated too much of a 90s. That could have been attributed to the chunky jewellery that PCJ decided to heave upon the contemporary collection which needed minimal-to-none (YES! people couture presentation can be without the jewels) . While I was in totally love with the lookbook styling (which is releasing this september) of this collection (shown below), I was quite disappointed with all that heavy jewels going around and the shimmery makeup which proved to be quite the dampener to what could have been flawless presentation. The design house should have stuck with the original styling of slick back hair and romantic gothic makeup. Also the idea of Anil Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor to fill in for Sonam… should have gotten Rhea Kapoor.
What is good about THE humble Masaba is that after the show she tweeted that ‘Shows done. ! I want to sleep forever ! It’s been a tough month and I hope u liked it if not il be back next season:). Gn!’ .. This shows shes not afraid to make mistakes. She knows she is young and accepts them wholeheartedly. Neither is she ready to give in to the pressured demands, and there is always a next time, and for this youngest one (just 24) at the couture week, there would be plenty… as Karan in Humtum would say ‘Kyunki yeh zindagi buhat lambi hai’
Images courtesy theSPgirl, Style Me India, Satya Paul and Masaba Gupta